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.