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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Pale Malt Extract Colour
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Pale Malt Extract Colour

Has anyone ever had trouble with their beer coming out too dark when using pale liquid malt extract. I just bottled my latest batch and was aiming for a light yellow colour of around 5 SRM. I used 75% pale malt extract and about 25% of corn sugar to lighten the colour without sacrificing strength. It turned out really deep golden (maybe 8-10 SRM). Is this because the liquid extract caramelised? Or is this just the way it is unless you use a lighter malt.

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Old 01-25-2005, 03:36 PM   #2
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Liquid extract always seems a bit caramelized to me. Try dry light malt extract. It's also possible that some caramelization occured during the boil.

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Old 01-25-2005, 10:22 PM   #3
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Thanks.

Tell me, do you know how they make DME. I've heard that they spray dry it from a fairly dilute wort, whereas LME they use heat and vacuum to remove the water. That would probably explain the LME being darker.

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Old 01-25-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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I don't know for sure, but I've heard the same explanation you posted (spraying vs vacuum/heating). If it's true, then it's easy to see why the liquid would have more caramelized/unfermentable sugar.

DME always seems to ferment more cleanly in my experience, while liquid stays sweet.

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Old 03-28-2005, 03:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I don't know for sure, but I've heard the same explanation you posted (spraying vs vacuum/heating). If it's true, then it's easy to see why the liquid would have more caramelized/unfermentable sugar.

DME always seems to ferment more cleanly in my experience, while liquid stays sweet.
This is from the Hoptech website:

"Some brewers prefer to use dry malt extracts (commonly called DME). They are more easily measured than liquid, but tend to have a higher dextrin content and darker color than the liquids due to the extra drying involved. "

So the drying process seems to actually cause the DME to be darker than the corresponding LME.
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Old 03-28-2005, 02:44 PM   #6
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That's generally not true. The DME is stable. It is most certainly darker than corresponding grains...you can't make a real Pilsner with DME or LME. But LME continues to darken in the can over the course of its lifetime due to colloidal reactions between the malt and liquid. The longer it sits, the darker it gets. So, LME will almost always be darker than DME unless it is extremely fresh.

I'd take the info from Hoptech's website as anecdotal at best. I'm not under the impression that any more heat is used on DME than LME. Read up on the subject in Designing Great Beers if you want the real skinny.

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