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Old 01-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #1
SunDevilBrewer
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Default Amber DME and Amber liquid extract?

Okay, I am quite a noob here so please forgive me if these are stupid questions.

I am currently ready (I think) to start brewing my 3rd batch from extract and, after mixed results on my first two attempts (IPAs) I have decided to attempt to create something akin to a California Common (or at least something relatively amber in color.)

I have read several different recipes/tips online for making Cali Commons (and general amber ales) and have found that, by and large, people are using either an amber DME with a light/extra light liquid malt or a light DME with an amber liquid malt. I purchased 3lbs of Muntons amber DME as well as a can of amber liquid extract. Will this work? Will my ingredients yield something other than an amber?

Additionally, can someone help me out as to the function of the DME versus liquid extracts? My first few attempts each involved 2lbs of DME with one can of liquid extract. However, now I am noticing that many 'recipes' I have found for extract brewing call for upwards of 6lbs of DME and seem to involve no liquid extract (although these did involve crystal malt and may have been more for PM brewing.) Can anyone give me just a brief overview of liquid vs. dry malt use/need and if my 2lbs of DME in the last 2 batches was way too little or not?

Many thanks for any help you can provide to me. I pretty much was given a kit 3 months ago and have been attempting to piece together all the little do's and dont's of home-brewing ever since (without a great deal of success.) Thanks!!!



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Old 01-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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It's this simple: dry is the same as the liquid but without the water in it.

Since the water is is removed dry is more stable and easier to store then liquid. Dry will also pound for pound contribute more fermentable sugar to the wort. So you can use less dry to make the same beer as with the liquid.

However, I do not recommend using amber extract. It's not bad but it contains many unknowns. Use pale or ultra light or extra light or whatever they call it. Use that as the base for ALL your beers. Then steep some specialty grains to add color, body, flavor, etc... that is appropriate for the style. This is not partial mashing. It's extract + steeping grains and it's easy to do and makes some of the best homebrew on the planet.



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Old 01-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Maida. Hopefully I can get this batch going here later tonight.

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:41 AM   #4
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I'll second that. Amber LME from one supplier will probably be slightly different from the product of the same name from another.

I don't make the stuff professionally, so what do I know, but I figure most extract makers mash two-row plus some darker crystal malt to make their Amber LME.

The question is, how much and what kind of crystal?

I just use pale, a.k.a. light LME in most of my beers. If I want to make the beer dark, I choose what specialty malts to steep. Steeping grains is easy...

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Old 01-08-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for your advice. I ended up making one last trip to the brewer supply store and boiled last night. I will try to post the recipe I made later on today. Thanks!



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