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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > LME vs. DME
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:31 AM   #1
brewmaster27
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Default LME vs. DME

As I read more and more, I've come to realize that many recipes I've seen online (excluding all-grain brews) use either exclusively liquid malt extract, or a combination of liquid malt extract and dry malt extract only as a sugar-substitute.

However, I have not seen any recipes where dry malt extract (DME) is used exclusively. Is it possible to make quality brews using exclusively DME, water, and other grains/adjuncts, or is liquid malt necessary in making a quality brew? The reason I ask is because liquid malt extract is more difficult to store, since I only make 3 gallons at a time.

Furthermore, if DME can be used without LME, how many lbs. of DME is equivalent to a 3.3 lb. can of liquid malt?

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Old 12-12-2005, 12:46 AM   #2
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LME contains 20% water so 20% more should be use than with DME

One of the main differences is that LME can have hop/hop extract added to make extract recipe "kits"

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Old 12-12-2005, 12:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmaster27
Is it possible to make quality brews using exclusively DME, water, and other grains/adjuncts, or is liquid malt necessary in making a quality brew?

Furthermore, if DME can be used without LME, how many lbs. of DME is equivalent to a 3.3 lb. can of liquid malt?
Yes, you can use DME as your only fermentable sugar.

Substute .8 lbs of DME per pound of LME

This is a great tool for figuring out recipes.

http://hbd.org/recipator/
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:02 AM   #4
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Not to highjack the thead, but here goes... Damn, Orfy ! How your setup has grown ! The blogsite is really cool. Seems that you,re doing AG now. Seems like just a month or two ago you were making wine in gallon jugs. My hat is off to you. Your package is still awaiting postage. I feel kinda stupid now sending you a fermenter you can't use.

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Old 12-12-2005, 04:25 AM   #5
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Suds, don't worry about it no probs.
Send the pig sauce some time don't worry about the fermenter.

You guys have helped me make the jump to AG quicktime.

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Old 12-12-2005, 04:42 AM   #6
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it's very possible to make good beer with DME. All the extract brewing I've done has been solely with DME. I'm partial to Munton's. It's really crucial to make sure no excess moisture has gotten into the packaging, though. (If it has, the DME will be like a rock instead of powder).

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Old 12-12-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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The DME is so much easyer to use too. When I use LME I try to get every last drop out of the can, which is not very easy, and i seem to get that crap all over my hands and I always drop some on the way to the garbage can. Its very sticky and I just dont like working with it.

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Old 12-12-2005, 02:41 PM   #8
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Extremely biased opinion ahead.........

I think for the most part, DME is of superior quality to LME. I think every extract brewer would benefit from abandoning the use of LME totally and go with strictly DME and specialty grains. I think DME stores better/longer, it is a more convenient form to use, you use less of it, and (this is only my opinion) the quality of LME in general just isn't as good.

Don't want to start a war here, I'm sure there are plenty of brewers out there who swear by LME. To everyone, I suggest an experiment: Brew the beer of your choice with LME as the only extract (with grains or whatever). Then, brew the exact same recipe with DME as the only extract (making quanity adjustments to achieve the same OG), then taste these beers side by side. Post results/opinions here.

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Old 12-12-2005, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnlandsailor
I think for the most part, DME is of superior quality to LME.
How superior is the question. At my LHBS, Munton's DME is $5/lb. Alexander's LME is $2/lb. I generally use DME anyway, and your experiment would be a good one to try, but I just can't imagine it makes enough of a difference to make up for $12 vs $30 for a typical batch.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherWhiteMeat
The DME is so much easyer to use too. When I use LME I try to get every last drop out of the can, which is not very easy, and i seem to get that crap all over my hands and I always drop some on the way to the garbage can. Its very sticky and I just dont like working with it.
I haven't used LME in a long time, but I used to put the lid on my kettle while I was heating the water to a boil and rest the LME on that. By the time the water was going to LME was quite pourable. I still made a sticky mess of everything, but that's just me.
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