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Old 11-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by zeg View Post
DME is 45 ppg, versus malt at 36 ppg if you get it from grain, minus your efficiency.
Not all DME is 45 ppg. Some are 43 ppg. Others are 37 ppg.

Just like all base malt is not 36 ppg. It depends on the grain, the maltster, and their processes.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #22
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I guess one step at a time until I get the extra mastered.
I think you have the right philosophy. Once you get Extract mastered, try a partial mash BIAB. You will be able to use your existing brew kettle, and the only cost will be the mesh bag. If you like Partial Mash better than extract, consider making the plunge and investing in AG equipment.

Best of luck and keep brewing!
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #23
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Not all DME is 45 ppg. Some are 43 ppg. Others are 37 ppg.

Just like all base malt is not 36 ppg. It depends on the grain, the maltster, and their processes.
Sure, sure, but those are fairly typical values. The point is that DME is, in general, more potent per weight than malt and it's not affected by mashing efficiency. That fairly significantly reduces the price difference, particularly for brewers who don't get good efficiencies.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #24
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Sure, sure, but those are fairly typical values. The point is that DME is, in general, more potent per weight than malt and it's not affected by mashing efficiency. That fairly significantly reduces the price difference, particularly for brewers who don't get good efficiencies.
36 to 45 ppg are vastly different ranges and using 7 lbs. of these extremes will result in very different OG/FGs.

I wasn't arguing the differences of gravity points contributed as it pertains to the amount of grain or extract you use. That should be obvious.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #25
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Your right, I was using numbers for DME rather than LME, apologies for the mistake. By the same token the cost figures I used for grains were purposely very high--I used the price of Crystal 60L from my LHBS rather than the "cheap" price that I get base malt sacks for in order to prove a point. And I think the point remains. Let's try an example of what it would actually cost me if I wanted to generate 5 gallons of wort using two different methods, extract and AG. Both batches will have OG of 1.044 not including anything but base malt. And I'll use my own average efficiency of 75%, which is nothing too special as far as I can tell.

In order to get this with extract, I would need to purchase 5 lbs. of Briess light DME (44 ppg), which would cost $25.80 (it's $15.50 for a 3 lb. package).

Or, I could use 8 lbs of American 2-row (37 ppg), which I buy in 50 lb. bags for $54. That would cost $8.64.

Let's say I would spend $12.50 on either recipe for hops, specialty malts and yeast. That means that my total cost for ingredients would be $21 for AG and $38 for extract, which is still pretty darn close to half the cost for ingredients.

That's based on my costs--those who don't buy base malt in bulk or who don't get 75% efficiency would pay slightly more for AG. But you'd have to get pretty awful efficiency or buy really expensive grains in order for it to be close. AG is definitely cheaper.

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:01 PM   #26
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Your right, I was using numbers for DME rather than LME.
LME can also have very varied ppg ratings depending on the maltster.

Again, wasn't arguing the price differences either. Just your conclusion that all extract is rated 44/45 ppg... which is not true.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:02 PM   #27
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It's true, that's why I used a better, more specific example with grain and DME that I actually have.

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:28 PM   #28
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36 to 45 ppg are vastly different ranges and using 7 lbs. of these extremes will result in very different OG/FGs.
Well, ok, but I don't really understand what you're getting at, except for the obvious point that ingredients can vary and you have to use the correct values for those ingredients. Briess Golden Light DME, which is about as common a DME as I can find, is in the ballpark of 45 ppg, and most base malts are in the ballpark of 36 ppg. For purposes of doing general comparisons, I think those are pretty reasonable numbers to use. If you happen to convert a batch that uses a very low ppg extract, then it doesn't apply.

Jerrod, I don't dispute that AG ingredients are cheaper, but based on numbers that apply to my situation (my prices were for DME in 5 pound quantities, about $4 a pound, and cheap 2-row malt in 10 pound quantities, about $1.34 a pound), I'm not going to recover costs as quickly as you estimate. The ability to buy things in bulk will bring down the AG costs, but the equipment (milling, storage, etc) to handle that will also increase the upfront costs. In the end, I think it'd take at least a couple years of brewing to make AG the more cost-effective option. Obviously, the more often you brew the faster you'll make it up.

I think the real takeaway is that it's hard to make generalizations.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #29
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Well, ok, but I don't really understand what you're getting at
7 lbs. of Extract with a 37 ppg rating will yield an OG / FG of roughly 1.053 / 1.013 in a 5 gallon batch.

7 lbs. of Extract with a 45 ppg rating will yield an OG / FG of roughly 1.063 / 1.016 in a 5 gallon batch.


I just didn't want you guys to confuse any new brewers. It isn't uncommon to find Extract below 45 ppg. I do not agree that the majority of extracts = 45 ppg.

This is all I was arguing... Exclusive of price and any all grain comparisons.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:41 PM   #30
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Yeah,that's true. But generally (), I save about $10...maybe $12 per batch for PM vs AE. But the AE batches are 6G vs 5G for me. But the fact of the matter,to me,is that PM has a bit crisper,more defined flavor. Dang,I have to wait till Monday for my HB to be ready,but SNPA & vodka feels good right now. AG 8is workin!
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