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Old 03-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Differences Between LME and DME

I just brewed an Irish Stout that used LME in the boil. I just picked up two clone kits from my LHBS and both of them use DME (both kits have a crap ton of DME packed in them.)

What is the difference in quality, ease of boil, etc...if any...between LME and DME?

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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The main advantage of DME is that it lasts longer (as long as you don't get it wet. The main disadvantage is that it tends to be more expensive. There shouldn't be a difference in flavor.

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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I don't live near a homebrew store, so I always liked DME because it was easier to store for me. As long as it's kept in a dry place tightly closed, it lasts a long time. LME can get moldy if it's in an opened container, and it doesn't keep as well long term.

If you can buy fresh LME from a homebrew store that has it in bulk, I think it's about the same quality as DME. LME tends to be cheaper.

The only differences I've ever seen are that LME seems to come in more varieties (Munich for example), and it seems that even pale LME is a bit darker than light DME. I'd use whatever I found most convenient and with the best price.

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #4
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LME is 20% water so 3 lbs of LME will get you less ABV than DME. I've found DME to be much easier to handle as well.

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Each kit contains two bags of DME...how well does this dissolve in the water? I am doing partial boils so I begin with 3.5 gallons to achieve 3 gallons after the boil is completed. It looks like a ton of DME and I am not sure how well this would dissolve in the boil...

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
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I do partial boils with DME too. I don't have any problems with it dissolving. When I'm done steeping or partial mashing, I just bring the wort to a boil, take the pot off the burner, and have someone pour in the DME while I stir. I could easily do it without help though. The bigger issue for me is that if it gets poured too slowly it clumps up and sticks to the bag, but even that's not a big deal as I can just grab the clump and throw it in.

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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DME can be a little harder to get dissolved into the water because it's a powder and tends to float and clump up. Folks often find that a whisk is very helpful in getting it mixed in properly since you can break up the clumps easier with that than with a spoon.

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:42 PM   #8
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It clumps big times upon initial addition, but just stir it for 4-5 minutes and it'll all dissolve cleanly.

Read up about late malt additions too. That will definitely increase the taste of your beer imo because you eliminate the risk of scorching / caramelizing your beer during the 1hour boil (Basically over boiling it). This just involves making the beer kit as normal with only 1-1.5 pounds of DME and then in the last 5-10 minutes adding the rest of it. You also supposedly get better utilization of your hops which everyone wants anyway.

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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It dissolve pretty quickly actually. It will all fit.

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Old 03-03-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
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+1 on the wisk. I add my DME at flame out and use a wisk to break the clumps and then my paddle to make sure its mixed in well.

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