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Old 06-27-2007, 02:02 PM   #1
gman
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Default LME vs DME?

So, I noticed a lot of folks on here advocating the use of DME instead of LME and I was just kind of curious as to why.

I've noticed that I can't seem to get a truly light color out of LME, and I know I read somewhere that there can be a "twangy" taste with LME, but are there other reasons?

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Old 06-27-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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Well, you've mentioned the two main reasons. But it's also easier to store leftovers and keep on hand. Also, unless you can buy the LME in the quantity you need at your LHBS, you are stuck with the 3.3 pound cans. I have some DME that I use for starters and I just keep it in the bag with a twisty tie.

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Old 06-27-2007, 02:19 PM   #3
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Thanks Yooper Chick, I was just curious, and yeah, the 3.3 lb cans are no good.

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Old 06-27-2007, 02:34 PM   #4
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I just did a Cream Ale from NB and the color of the LME was astonishing. I've only seen dark colored LME and this was a nice gold color. I'm also impressed with the color of the beer it made as it's the most "beerlike" color I've ever gotten. (Meaning golden although it's a bit cloudy as I didn't secondary and bottled after two weeks.) I tasted it at bottling and it was outstanding brew.

Course I did late addition so got little carmelization but it was very nice.

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Old 06-27-2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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I figured that the carmelization would be the cause of the darker color. Doing the late addition would probably alleviate that (a shorter boil of the extract at the very least).

Would upping the boil volume lead to more easily created lighter colors?

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Old 06-27-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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I still have problems with LME even with full boils. My last Hefe looked amber because of LME. Despite the cost I think I'm switching to DME for the ease of use and accurate colors.

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Old 06-27-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
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I've moved on to AG, but I used to brew exclusively with LME. It all comes down to one factor: freshness. If you can get good fresh LME, you've got no worries. I always got mine from northernbrewer.com and had no problems. It's a big operation so they have a big turnover on their LMEs.

If you're worried about color, there are ways around it. I have a Honey Ginger Ale that is as light or lighter than BMC in color. I'd pour a pint and post a pic, but it's still morning here, so I'll add a picture later. I can't imagine a beer getting any lighter than that. One way around it is late extract additions. I did that to get light colors and more hop bitterness.

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Old 06-27-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_K
I still have problems with LME even with full boils. My last Hefe looked amber because of LME. Despite the cost I think I'm switching to DME for the ease of use and accurate colors.
I had the same issue, but it was because of the color of the Wheat LME. The Wheat LME I got from nb.com was brown in color. It's hard to brew a light colored wheat beer with a brown LME. I'm not sure why it would be brown?!?!
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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I went all DME for my 3rd batch. I made an APA and got convinced to try all DME. 6 lbs of it and 30 minutes of boiling later I had a nice, light orange colored wort in my fermenter (the darkness of it comes mainly from the 1 lb of steeped crystal 40L, but it's light, which is what I wanted). I think from now on though, I'll do some late extract additions (even when going with DME), as carmelization doesn't help the color too much.

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Old 06-27-2007, 05:21 PM   #10
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Another advocate of freshness. As LME ages, it not only gets darker, but it starts giving your brew what is refered to as the "extract twang". None of these problems with DME though.

I think Briess even makes a Pilsen DME now, I think I'll try some of that along with a late addition of Munich LME for my first lager.

Cheers!

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