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Old 07-24-2007, 08:01 AM   #1
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Default Making your own LME

Has anyone out there made their own LME via all grain? Using LME is so easy, but unfortunately there aren't many malt options out there. Could I mash, sparge, and boil for a few minutes a bunch of grain for a high gravity sweet wort and store it to use as LME for multiple batches later? It's almost 3am, and the later it gets the more I envision a sort of sweet wort dispensing wonderland in a spare closet, maybe a 25 gallon drum of 1.090 pale malt sweet wort, a few gallons of biscuit, vienna, different crystals, some chocolate, special b, etc, etc, all in sweet wort (LME) form that I could just measure out, boil, and add hops to whenever I've got a spare hour. My MLT is big enough to get 15 gallons of fairly high gravity pale ale wort, and I think it would last me at least a little while. How long do you think said sweet wort could last in an air tight HDPE container at room temperature? My lofty idea here is to possibly have 10-20, 1-2 gallon test batches going at a time and only mashing one weekend a month. Am I insane? Could that work?

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Old 07-24-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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IMHO, you'd be giving up the real advantage to all grain brewing.. FRESHNESS. Everyone thinks that LME based brews have a certain twang to them. No thanks.

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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I agree, LME beers do have a noticeable taste. Plus, you'd have to do a lot of boiling to get that molasses type consistency.

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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LME avoids infection because it has such high sugar content that nothing can really grow in it directly - sort of like syrup or honey. wort at like 1.090 would not have such an advantage.

I think it would be too much hassle to keep from getting infected. I'm sure it could be done but it'd be very disappointing to have it go bad on you after you just went through the effort to make a ton of it.

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be going for the consistency of molasses, it would be more like pre-boil wort than real LME...I guess it would just be LM. Yeah, I didn't really know what gives extract that twang. They don't necessarily taste stale, they just have that one off flavor. Is that because of some manufacturing process, additive, or just the nature of the beast?

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:19 PM   #6
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I just think that you'd need to get a syrupy consistency for the sugar content to be high enough to stave off infection. If it was at 1.090 or so, you'd have to keep it real sterile, plus, at 1.090, it's really only 2x concentrated for a 1.045 beer.

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:56 PM   #7
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Sounds like a good experiment if you're so inclined.

For me it would be a complete waste of time, but are you going forward with it?

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Old 07-24-2007, 02:21 PM   #8
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It would be extremely difficult to prevent the wort from spoiling, unless you freeze it. The SG of LME is around 1.450.

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Old 07-24-2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
It would be extremely difficult to prevent the wort from spoiling, unless you freeze it. The SG of LME is around 1.450.
Hey, David? Ever take the gravity of Maple Syrup?
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:39 PM   #10
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I would be careful to sanitize everything well as usual, but would infection really be that big of a deal since it is pre-boil? I've heard of some people with an old can of LME skimming a majority of an infection off the top then throwing it in the boil as usual and that takes care of the rest of the nasties.

I just think it would be wicked to do 5 different 2 gallon batches in the amount of time it normally takes me to do a single 5 gallon batch. How cool would it be to enter a different beer into each category of a homebrew competition?

But then again how long would it take me to go through 10 lbs of the less common grains that I would want to use like Aromatic malt? Maybe as long as a year? That's too long. But on the other hand I could do small test batches with minimal cost, waste, time, and cleanup. Then it would be real easy for me to try the same recipe with a little more wheat the next month.

I'm still undecided on the matter...freshness and enzyme conversion of the lower diastatic grains being my biggest concerns. I'm not having any luck finding someone out on the interweb that has tried this before. I refuse to accept the common sense logic that if no one is doing it, it's probably for a good reason. I much rather consider myself the future father of a homebrewing revolution!

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