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Old 05-11-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Make Your Own LME??

Has anyone ever made their own LME? Since I don't have the room for a big enough setup to do full AG, I was thinking about trying to make some LME ahead of time and can it myself to save some $$. Just curious...

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Old 05-11-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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The process is rather complicated and wouldn't save you money in the long run. I've read that the companies that produce this do so using a vacuum system after long boiling.

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Old 05-11-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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I guess making LME isn't exactly what I am looking to do, let me see if I can clarify.

Grain to extract conversion is 1lb grain to 0.75 lbs syrup, right? So if I had a 5 gallon recipe with 8 lbs pale malt I would instead use 6 lbs pale extract. What if I made that 5 gallons with the grain, then just boiled the bajeebus out of it for a few hours so that it was vastly more concentrated, so what would go into 5 gallons would instead be in 1-2 gallons.

Its actually starting to sound like more work than it's worth, but still something that might be interesting to try.

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Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 PM   #4
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I'd be worried about carmelization, but have no experience.

On an unrelated note, I would love to hear how your Jamaica beer turns out. I've been thinking doing one myself.

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Old 05-11-2009, 11:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
I guess making LME isn't exactly what I am looking to do, let me see if I can clarify.

Grain to extract conversion is 1lb grain to 0.75 lbs syrup, right? So if I had a 5 gallon recipe with 8 lbs pale malt I would instead use 6 lbs pale extract. What if I made that 5 gallons with the grain, then just boiled the bajeebus out of it for a few hours so that it was vastly more concentrated, so what would go into 5 gallons would instead be in 1-2 gallons.

Its actually starting to sound like more work than it's worth, but still something that might be interesting to try.
It does sound like too much work. It'd be so much easier to do a PM batch, and just use alot less LME by using more grains.

In your example, with 6 pounds LME, you could use 6 pounds LME = 1.043 OG. Or, you could use 4 pounds LME + 3 pounds 2 row = 1.043. Or, 3.3 pounds LME (one can) + 4 pounds 2-row = 1.043.

Depending on how much grain you can mash, you can get most of your fermentables from grain and just use a little LME or DME to make up the balance.

I mean, really, when it comes down to it, that's all AG brewers are doing. Taking grain and making it into liquid malt extract.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:09 AM   #6
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To make enought extract for a full batch of beer you'll have to have full batch all-grain setup. Am I missing something? Why take the time to mash, sparge and do an extended boil only to prepare more containers for holding all of the sryup. Seems like it would take longer than doing the steps but instead throwing it into a boil and making beer instead.

Just re-read the OP and I think I know what you want to do now. Just buy the extract and concentrate on making good mini-mash beers with that. You'll be far ahead in the long run and they'll be pretty easy to convert to AG when you can run a bigger rig. If you need recipes there's plenty of great recipes here in our database.

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:28 AM   #7
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To make enought extract for a full batch of beer you'll have to have full batch all-grain setup.

+1. In order to "boil the bajeebus out of it" as you put it, you would need the full AG setup that you say you don't have room for.

FWIW, there was a guy on this forum that made his own LME a few years ago, just to see if he could do it. I don't remember who it was, and I don't feel like searching, but it has been done. Oh, and the guy said the LME was awesome on pancakes!
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:42 AM   #8
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I was thinking that since I can't do AG, I could get some pre-made wort for the base and then mash whatever speciality grains I wanted for the style I chose to make. I think I'm just antsy to be able to AG and am looking for work-arounds that don't exist :P

As for LME syrup on pancakes... yum!

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On an unrelated note, I would love to hear how your Jamaica beer turns out. I've been thinking doing one myself.
Still decided what to use as the base, though I'm leaning towards a blonde. I'll be sure to post the recipe and how it turns out!
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:53 AM   #9
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I'm confused -- if you don't have the space for AG, how would making LME work? because LME is basically concentrated AG ---- you start with AG then concentrate it down to LME.

I think partial mash's are in your future - and you're in luck - there are some wonderful threads on this site about brewing PM's on your stove!

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Old 05-12-2009, 05:24 AM   #10
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I'm confused -- if you don't have the space for AG, how would making LME work? because LME is basically concentrated AG ---- you start with AG then concentrate it down to LME.
I was thinking I would make several smaller batches of base malt. I'm gonna drop that idea though

I am making a 5 gal MLT this week, just waiting on my SS washers from McMaster to come tomorrow, so PMs will definitely be in my future.
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