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Old 11-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Is DME better?

Well, winter is coming to the Northwoods and, as we all learned last year, I am becoming unabashedly a wimp about cold weather as I near the big Five-0. This means that, although I certainly COULD continue to brew outside, like in my garage or something, I'm going inside to do my brewing. This also probably means doing some extract brews again.

My question is this: I always did liquid extract brews with steeping grains before going to AG. By the time I did my last extract brew, though, I was getting sort of tired of them. They all seemed to sort of taste the same in a way. Do you think I would like the results better if I try doing it with dry extract?

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Old 11-06-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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I know many have strong opinions for both sides but I will say that I have made excellent beers from both DME and LME...no one ever commented on twang or other off flavors on the LME beers, including other homebrewers.

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Old 11-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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If you can get your hands on fresh LME, go for it. If all the LME is sitting dusty on a shelf at the LHBS, you may want to go the DME route. DME stays fresher much longer.

I'd focus more on getting the type of extract that will suit the type of beer you are making. Pick an extract suitable to the style, i.e., some extracts will produce fuller bodied beers and others drier beers (for both LME and DME). Instead of focusing on what is cheaper, or whether or not its LME or DME, choose an extract that will allow you to make what you want to make the best.

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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When I was doing extract/steeping grains, I loved using DME. I thought it gave me a better tasting beer.

I do AG in my kitchen. You live "down south" from me, so you know there's no way I'm moving my body outside to brew, especially in the winter. My wort chiller wouldn't even work, since my hose would freeze right away. If you have a decent stove, you could do AG in your kitchen. Just a thought!

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:26 PM   #5
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I didn't notice DME making my beer taste better.

I did, however, noticed that it was more fun because I felt as if I was adding ground grain rather than ambiguous beer-making chemical stuff...

It's all in the perception and what feels better to you.

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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I only made a handful of extract brews. However, the ones I made with LME tasted significantly worse than the ones that I made with DME. Take that for whatever it is worth.

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Old 11-06-2007, 09:07 PM   #7
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I tried both. Noticed no difference in the taste as other have stated. I did have a lot more problems with boil over with DME than I did with LME. I was careful about dumping it in my boil too, so I dont think it was a result of my procedure.

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Old 11-06-2007, 10:35 PM   #8
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Yes! Well, I prefer it

Longer shelf life, dissolves better, less carmelization

I still use both sometime, tho

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew
When I was doing extract/steeping grains, I loved using DME. I thought it gave me a better tasting beer.

I do AG in my kitchen. You live "down south" from me, so you know there's no way I'm moving my body outside to brew, especially in the winter. My wort chiller wouldn't even work, since my hose would freeze right away. If you have a decent stove, you could do AG in your kitchen. Just a thought!
I have thought about it, but the one time I had a smallish boilover on my stove, it was with a 2 gallon partial boil. I would sure hate it if I had it happen with my big stockpot doing a full boil on the stove. I suppose I would have to figure out a way to rig up my wort chiller to work inside, too.

I will say this-- as I gradually transitioned to AG, I did one or two full boil extract brews outside. I noticed right away that two things really improved by doing full boils. First, my hop utilization really increased and second, using a wort chiller rather than an ice bath to cool the brew. Then, moving to AG ramped up the quality even more.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobes341
I tried both. Noticed no difference in the taste as other have stated. I did have a lot more problems with boil over with DME than I did with LME. I was careful about dumping it in my boil too, so I dont think it was a result of my procedure.
I note you are getting ready to do an AG brew. If you have had trouble with boilovers, here is an excellent tip that someone here was kind enough to share: get yourself a spray bottle full of water and use it to spray the top of the wort as is begins to come to a boil. I am sorry that I can't remember who posted that tip, but it really works. Somewhere there is a thread where he posted a link to a video that he did demonstrating how well the spray bottle works. I highly recommend it.
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