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Old 05-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default DME, Liquid malt, sugar, 'kit' etc conversation factors to calculate wort

Hello! I'm completely new to this forum but it looks like a good community and as I'm getting back into brewing and hopefully dragging a few friends into it this time I need a resource/community to work with/within because questions are going to come up.

I've made many kit beers from extract, both wet and dry. These are easy, because you simply combine a measured amount, plus whatever additional sugar asked for with the specified amount of water and you know roughly what you get. This gravitated to experimentation, adding hops and additives like crystal/caramalts, speciality malts and grains which required no conversation. I eventually wound up brewing partial grain brews, driven by the desire to convert adjutants. I got about a dozen partials under my belt before I took a hiatus for a few years and though these brews required some maths, I never made it difficult on myself, assuming a low 50% efficiency and simply adding less water and brewing sugar to the kit.

Now though, getting back into it, I'm skipping the kit stage entirely and wanting to move into buying large quantities of DME and liquid ME along with smaller amount of grains and hops in order to go right back to partial grain brewing. I wish to weigh it all out from scratch and also end up with custom volumes (I have sourced many old containers which I intend to use as primaries) so I need to work out some way to calculate my recipes.

A kit beer would make 24L from 1.3-1.5kg of extract + 1kg of sugar. I can easily work out that I can substitute 1.5kg of kit extract for 1.5kg of plain liquid ME but I don't know what the substitute is for DME. I also see kits containing 2.4kg of liquid ME also asking to be combined with 1kg of brewing sugar. Obviously then the liquid malt extract is of a varying concentration. I see kits containing a total of 3kg liquid ME and no brewing sugar so I assume that DME substitutes on a 2:3 ratio.

These are all (likely incorrect) assumptions, I wonder if anyone here can help me out? Basically, I need to know how to measure up the liquid malt extract quantities and dried malt extract quantities to know what alcohol % I'm shooting for alongside the grains I'm adding in also bearing in mind I might want to make smaller quantities than a 'standard' 24L brew.

I figure that for a 15L brew based on typical assumptions..

3kg LME / 24L = 125g per L
15L * 125g so 1.875kg
3:2 for DME so 1.250kg

Roughly give me a brew of 4-4.16% abv but I'm guessing a bit here. I'm also guessing with grains as well. if I wanted to sub some DME for 10% grain then I guess I'd assume that at best I'd get 60% fermentable sugars by weight, half that for my 50% efficiency so I'd replace 125g DME with 400g grain.

My all extract brew for 15L would look like either 1.25kg DME or 1.875kg LME or for partial grain, 1kg DME + 400g grains or 1.5kg LME + 400g grains.

I'm only so insane about it because for costs sake, I've bulk bought a medium liquid malt extract and bought smaller quantities of darker DME's. I intend to use the liquid as a base because of the price, add the darker DME's for the character of the beers and then use partial grains and hops where required to enhance each beer individually.

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Old 05-30-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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What you're doing is extract with steeping grains,not partial mash. There are on-line recipe calculators you can use. like this one; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/recipe.html
Or you can get a 30 day trial on Beersmith 2.1 & then buy it for like $28. http://beersmith.com/

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Old 05-30-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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What I'm doing is entirely theoretical at this point but as anything is a possible option at this point I'm just trying to give examples.

Do you know how liquid and dry malt extracts substitute by weight/volume? That is the main thing I'm asking because the majority of my brew will be using those so getting that wrong will be a major problem. I understand that in the example I gave, I was substituting a little grain and it likely would be a roasted crystal malt not requiring a mash, but it could just as likely be partial grain and I'm interested in how much of the final gravity that would make up, either circumstance would be useful to know.

I suppose I could for the sake of an easy life assume 1.5kg liquid, 1kg dry, no more than 500g of steeping grains and scale the recipe down from 24L to 18L by reducing it all 25%. Assuming the DME is 1.33x as 'potent' as the wet then I've got roughly 2250g fermentable sugars from the extract, negligible (112.5g) from the grains, roughly 50% conversion into alcohol, 1181.25g in 15L, 78.75g in 1L - 7-7.8% abv?

Sounds a little strong but then maybe that is what you get, comparable beer kits use 1.3kg-1.5kg liquid extract along with 1kg of white sugar and no grain.

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Old 05-30-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Ok, from hashing around with that calculator. Gives me specific gravity points which might give me a rough outline to start on some recipes.

Amber Dry Malt Extract 45
Amber Malt Extract Syrup 36
British Amber 18
British Crystal 20

Therefore using the DME as my base figure, for identical weight the LME is roughly 80%, the grain is roughly 40% and caramalt roughly 44%.

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Old 05-31-2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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80,40,& 44 add up to 164%. Can't be more than 100% representing the total amount...

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Old 06-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
80,40,& 44 add up to 164%. Can't be more than 100% representing the total amount...
I meant to show the relative contribution of fermentable sugars for each of the ingredients. ie, the LME is 80% as fermentable as an identical weight of DME. Either way I think I'm going to end up having to work out recipes by measuring gravity and adjusting with the DME portion until I hit target.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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The recipe calculators can do the math for you against a style you set in it. Don't make it any harder than you have to.

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Old 06-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stz View Post
I meant to show the relative contribution of fermentable sugars for each of the ingredients. ie, the LME is 80% as fermentable as an identical weight of DME. Either way I think I'm going to end up having to work out recipes by measuring gravity and adjusting with the DME portion until I hit target.
You're making this way to hard on yourself. If you know what ingredients you want to use in a recipe, use any of the software that union told you about, or any of the other multitude of options that do the same thing (I use Brewtarget and it works great for me). Plug in the ingredients you want, enter in your ballpark or estimated amounts you want to use, then fine-tune to get exactly the abv, color, bitterness, etc that you are looking for.

BUT WAIT, there's more! You also get the added bonus of NOT having to derive or remember any differential equations to make simple substitutions!
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Precisely. The recipe software is set by you to the style you want to brew,then you plug in ingredients in the recipe list,keeping an eye on the graph or other that shows where you are to style in relation to the ingredients & amounts you're putting together. So it basically does the calculations for you,depending on what & how much you add. So the software is doing all those calculations for you. That is their basic function.

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Old 06-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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True, for the big picture/full story. But, for gravity, the work isn't that hard (with recognition that beer isn't just about gravity). Afaik, LME is roughly 36ppg (gravity points per pound per gallon) and DME is roughly 42ppg. Sugar is around 46ppg.

So, if you wanted 5 gallons of 1.060 OG wort/beer you'd need 300ppg (5 gal x 60).

Using LME you'd need 300/36, or 8.3lbs LME.

Using DME you'd need 300/42, or 7.1lbs DME.

It takes more LME by weight than DME to hit any particular gravity because it is partly water.

If you wanted to do some of each you'd need to figure the ratio.

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