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-   -   Light vs Dark Extracts (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/light-vs-dark-extracts-159625/)

Joeywhat 01-27-2010 06:42 PM

Light vs Dark Extracts
 
OK, I figured this had been answered but my search turned up little (or my google-fu is weak today...). What differences are there between a light and dark extract? I'm talking specifically about liquid for my purposes but if dry extract is different then I'd like to know.

For instance, is there ANY difference short of color between an 'extra light' and 'light' extract? What about 'light' and 'amber' or 'dark'? From what I've seen some of the darker extracts have crystal or other grains added in as well. Is the a rule or does it depend on who's making it?

Ultimately what I'm wondering is how going from light extract to extra light will effect my recipe. I'm going to add some darker grains and want to keep color light, so I was going to switch to the lighter extract. However if that also means I get a more watered down taste I'll just deal with the darker color.

mbird 01-27-2010 06:57 PM

The darker extracts will have a different flavor to begin with. I think it is best for you to taste sample them to determine which is best for the style that you are brewing. I personally always use the light extract as the base sugar needed for the beer (typically DME) and then add to that the different grains to produce the style I want. Even when making a stout or porter. If you begin with the darker extract you are limited to the type of beer you can make to style. You may prefer the taste of a dark malt extract when making a stout, porter, etc. or you may prefer the taste of light extract and the use of more dark steeping grains in the recipe. It is really up to you to determine which is best for your tastes. I hope this helps a little.
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com

Gremlyn 01-27-2010 07:47 PM

My issue with the darker extracts is that you don't know what grains makes them dark. If you've used them a few times, you can get a handle of what the flavour of the beer comes out like at the end, but that's far too much work IMO. I used to use the lightest extract I could get for the style (wheat, extra light, pale, etc) and then add the colour with specialty grain. It's the surest way to have control over your beer flavour.

Joeywhat 01-27-2010 08:39 PM

Now is this true only with dark(er) extracts? For example, does light extract have a different flavor then extra light? Or are the differences too minute to tell when you're that light (short of color)?

maida7 01-27-2010 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joeywhat (Post 1842024)
Now is this true only with dark(er) extracts? For example, does light extract have a different flavor then extra light? Or are the differences too minute to tell when you're that light (short of color)?

The names are not regulated. within one company you'd expect a difference between light and extra light. But then there is another brand that calls it golden. and another that calls it pale. and yet another that goes by ultra light. ALL of those are fairly similar and may be used interchangeably with subtle differences.

Then you English VS American VS pilsner VS Munich VS wheat. Each have a use and can be blended to make different bases.

Pappers_ 01-27-2010 09:25 PM

^ what they said :)

Use the lightest extract available as your base malt then add specialty grains (such as crystal malts and roasted barley) to add flavor and color.

Cheers!

HSM 01-27-2010 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pappers (Post 1842150)
^ what they said :)

Use the lightest extract available as your base malt then add specialty grains (such as crystal malts and roasted barley) to add flavor and color.

Cheers!

^^^^
Best advice you'll receive on this thread.

Gremlyn 01-27-2010 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HSM (Post 1842356)
Best advice you'll receive on this thread.

NOOOOO! You're WRONG! This was:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 (Post 1841840)
I used to use the lightest extract I could get for the style (wheat, extra light, pale, etc) and then add the colour with specialty grain. It's the surest way to have control over your beer flavour.


Joeywhat 01-27-2010 11:06 PM

OK, thanks for the help. I'll make sure and grab extra light from now on and adjust the grains accordingly.

Is there EVER a time where darker extracts are better when using steeping grains as well?

Pappers_ 01-27-2010 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 (Post 1842375)
NOOOOO! You're WRONG! This was:

I bow to Gremlyn's sure and quick response. You should always follow his advice. My advice is best approached cautiously, unless I'm merely repeating Gremlyn's advice. :)


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