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Old 01-22-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
frankvw
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Default Is DME-only brewing a good idea?

For reasons best known to myself, I've become curious about extract brewing. I've never done it, I've always done full grain.

Most extract recipes I've seen so far either use LME or a combination of LME and DME. I'm looking into the possibility of brewing from DME only.

However, if most recipes use LME, there just might be a good reason for that (other than cost or ease of processing).

So. Brewing from DME only... A good idea or not? All opinions would be appreciated!

// FvW

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Old 01-22-2014, 09:58 AM   #2
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I think that cost is the major factor in this but DME will collect moisture when it is humid and tend to make a hard lump. It is quite obvious when you try to pour some into steaming wort as it will stick to the bag as it collects moisture.

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Old 01-22-2014, 10:08 AM   #3
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You can make fine beer with DME only. Before my daughter was born I would regularly do a 5 hour all grain brew days. Time has become a scarce commodity and so I have been working on ways to reduce the brew time. My book has details in a couple of the last chapters, but in essence I've found that no boil DME beer is fine, and the cost is about the same as all-grain. (There are a number of hidden costs with all-grain)

I'm not trying to compare the quality of extract to all grain here, just saying that you can make fine beer with a small amount of time using DME.

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Old 01-22-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
You can make fine beer with DME only.
That's what I thought. So then why do most extract recipes that use DME also use LME?

// FvW
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankvw View Post
That's what I thought. So then why do most extract recipes that use DME also use LME?

// FvW

More variety in color/flavor. I've made an all DME version of Centennial Blonde and been quite happy with it.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #6
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To me DME is more base grain focused and LME is more style focused. So a DME recipe, generally, will have more steeping grains than a LME recipe.

However, I always found my beer to be watery and thin when I did a recipe that had no steeping grains.

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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All I do is dry malt extract. Liquid sinks to the bottom and scorches unless you warm it to 150F or higher. Dry doesn't but it DOES stick to the bag when you pour it over steam. Dunk the bag and it will come off. I'm switching to brew in a bag.

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Old 01-22-2014, 01:25 PM   #8
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It's more to do with the quality of ingredients than "how much crap can I mash in?" I always add at least 1 specialty grain to my brews, but that is by no means necessary. Some styles, like a Pilsner, is BETTER when you only use one grain...whether that's all grain or DME or LME doesn't seem to make a whole lotta difference (though many will argue that AG is better, I don't have any AG experience to contribute).

I used LME one time, and it clung to the bottom like sap. Like the above poster said, I prefer using DME.

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Old 01-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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I only use DME, it's a bit less messy than liquid. All extracts are not the same. I typically use Briess when available.

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Old 01-22-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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I prefer DME over LME because it is less messy to use, even with the clumping issues, and is easier to store if you have extra or order bulk.

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