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Old 10-09-2006, 05:41 PM   #1
Orpheus
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Default Making Peace with LME

I've heard much talk here about LME. I'm quite happy with the results that I get from it and was surprised to learn that many of the homebrew awards go to extract brews.

I have also heard that the only major difference for LME is the color, supposedly derived by crystal added to the LME?

If this is all true, I may be done with following recipes which call for specific colors of LME. I'd rather always go with the lightest LME available and color by using specialty grains.

Any thoughts on this?

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Old 10-09-2006, 05:46 PM   #2
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One big advantage of "one LME" method is consistancy. It's a lot like starting with 2-row and working from there. If you brew a lot, you can buy in bulk.

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Old 10-09-2006, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
I've heard much talk here about LME. I'm quite happy with the results that I get from it and was surprised to learn that many of the homebrew awards go to extract brews.

I have also heard that the only major difference for LME is the color, supposedly derived by crystal added to the LME?

If this is all true, I may be done with following recipes which call for specific colors of LME. I'd rather always go with the lightest LME available and color by using specialty grains.

Any thoughts on this?
Color is still a concern. The fact that LME is liquid leads to it darkening over time.

If you buy the lightest colored LME you can find, you still can't make a beer as light in color as the lightest colored DME.

However, as for buying different shades of extract... that's not necessary. You can do exactly what you suspect; buy the lightest colored one and darken it with specialty grains if necessary.

This is what I do (except that I use xtra light DME). I can make a beer with a color as light as 4 SRM or so with that.

-walker
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker-san
Color is still a concern. The fact that LME is liquid leads to it darkening over time.

If you buy the lightest colored LME you can find, you still can't make a beer as light in color as the lightest colored DME.

However, as for buying different shades of extract... that's not necessary. You can do exactly what you suspect; buy the lightest colored one and darken it with specialty grains if necessary.

This is what I do (except that I use xtra light DME). I can make a beer with a color as light as 4 SRM or so with that.

-walker
Thanks Walker,

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!
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Old 10-09-2006, 09:45 PM   #5
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I've been using DME and LME together with some success. I just racked my first all LME brew on Sat. and it was definately darker than my previous attempts.

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Old 10-09-2006, 10:18 PM   #6
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I think that the extensive boiling that LME undergoes to achieve its syrup-y consistency leads to mellanoidin formation, which are the compounds that promote darkening. Once formed, these compounds continue to promote mellanoidin reactions once canned which can affect the color and the flavor of the LME over time in the can. If you are using fresh LME, you will produce great beers, but there will always be the issue of color. I think that the "extract twang" people often refer to comes mostly from the reactions mentioned above and is most present in aged LME. It may be fresh to you, but you never know how long it has been sitting on the shelf at the HBS.

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Old 10-10-2006, 02:23 AM   #7
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I have an Extra Pale Ale in the secondary that I subsituted LME for DME and the only noticable difference so far is the color. I use bulk LME when possible because I can get it fairly cheap at my LHBS.

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