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Old 09-25-2011, 01:27 AM   #1
Toy4Rick
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Default LME vs. DME... I'm sold

Hey gang,

I have been dying to get into this new Hef to provide a LME vs. DME update as promised so here goes.

Started with the same Hef recipe for both, the one on the left was made with LME, the other was made with DME. The LME was a partial boil (very gentle boil) and the DME was a full boil (again very gentle). I did adjust the Hops to account for the full boil and the higher hop utilization, steeped the grains a bit longer, other than that, everything else was the same. FWIW, I always remove from heat to add LME/DME to eliminate scorching.

The main reason for doing this was due to the pronounced caramelized taste that every batch of beer seems to have and the much darker color as well.

With the DME recipe, the caramel taste is virtually gone. The Hef flavors are much stronger, it's a cleaner beer and I really love it. I know some will say the partial vs. full boil helped the beer, while I agree, I also don't see how it could have made this much of a difference. The color of the wort was significantly different from the very start.

I have been reading a ton from others that taste the same caramel flavor and to me, late additional just didn't go far enough, tried that on my 3rd Hef batch, it was better by a small margin, this is by far the best Hef I have brewed yet.

The last two times I have been to the LHBS, they say that LME and DME is exactly the same, I'm not so sure this is the case.

Enjoy


Toy4Rick



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Old 09-25-2011, 01:31 AM   #2
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My first brew was a hefe and it was 7 lbs of LME and some hops and WLP380 I believe. Same color as your LME hefe. It was definitely a wheat from the yeast, but like you said, it had something extra to it.



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Old 09-25-2011, 02:24 AM   #3
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LME tends to be browner, most likely because of the process of converting it to the thick gooey substance we delightfully boil and add hopps to.

For me DME vs LME is just not an argument to be had at this point. I prefer the more heavily hopped brown ale and bock type beers, my fiancee loves similar. Yes there's more caramel, but I can deal with that in exchange for the massive price difference.

for me LME is about $5 for ~3lbs (1L)

DME is $11.25 per Kg (about 2.2lbs, approx. 2.75lbs equivalent)

I can justify spending $20 on LME for a beautiful heavily hopped ale, but I can't quite justify spending $50 for the same amount of fermentables for a minor taste difference

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:02 AM   #4
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Both of those beers look delicious!!

I just did my first DME batch, 8 pounds of light DME for 5 gallons. Hoping we get color like your beer on the right.

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:30 AM   #5
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Here in North San Diego, the price is not that different.

LME is $3.00 / lb if I buy in bulk, my Hef calls for 7lbs or $21.00
DME is $15.00 / 3lbs and the same recipe calls for 5.8 lbs so that is less than $30.00, although I used all 6 lbs.

The difference in color is not worth the price, the difference in taste is well worth the price, IMO

Toy4Rick

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:42 AM   #6
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Sometimes if I want to just a simple quick beer ill throw together and extract recipe and I always use DME. It may just be in my head but I can always taste the LME where as the DME tastes much more like an AG batch. Awesome experiment!

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Old 09-25-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy4Rick View Post
Here in North San Diego, the price is not that different.

LME is $3.00 / lb if I buy in bulk, my Hef calls for 7lbs or $21.00
DME is $15.00 / 3lbs and the same recipe calls for 5.8 lbs so that is less than $30.00, although I used all 6 lbs.

The difference in color is not worth the price, the difference in taste is well worth the price, IMO

Toy4Rick
Can't argue that

I wish I could find DME for that rate, it is nice when making lighter beer.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
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I would imagine a lot of difference could come from full vs. partial. When I do a partial I usually boil about 3.5 gallons, ending up with 3 post boil. Full boils will be closer to 6-6.5 gallons to get 5 gallons post boil. That means the partial has a lot more sugar much more concentrated on a heat source leading exactly to darker color and caramelized taste... The color difference above is surprisingly stark, but how can you rule out that partial vs full boil leads to a stark color difference holding everything else the same?

With that said, I like DME because it keeps longer. My guess is freshness of the extract has more to do with the outcome than anything (but I have no experimental evidence of that!)

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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I'm not so sure I can get behind this as being in any way factual. For one, maybe you had old LME? Secondly, LME would be more likely to caramelize in a partial boil as it will be a denser wort. Personally I am a DME guy myself, I just like it better to work with, but I've still used LME plenty of times and never get such stark results. For example, below is a Belgian Wit I did with LME. That recipe had 5lbs of Wheat LME and 1.75lb Pilsen DME. It was also a partial boil. When done it came out to only 2.5 gallons in my fermenter and I had to top off the rest. Mine is nowhere near as dark as yours. Mine is more the color you have on the right! And, had I done a full boil, which I just as of now have the capability, I believe it would've been lighter than this. So, overall not saying I disagree that LME can most commonly come out darker, but something you did or were unaware was this cause of this dramatic difference you see. If you want to really experiment do the same exact process for each batch - both same recipe with the same boil amounts. Also you'd need to compensate the extract as LME is about 20% water so you'd need to use about 20% more LME. So 5lbs DME = 6lbs LME basically.



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Old 09-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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I get slightly better attenuation from DME, about 2-4 points. I had a really hard time getting LME brews under 1.020, regardless of what the SG was. Now I brew AG, and have a degree of control over that. As far as caramelization, I always added extracts just before my aroma hops. I feel the brief boiling water bath is enough to sterilize, and I got much cleaner flavors than when I did the 60 minute extract boil.



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