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Old 07-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
nerdlogic
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Default Liquid Malt Extract v.s. Dry Malt Extract

I've been brewing for a few years, following recipes closely and using DME or LME when instructed. But whats the real difference? Like is there a conversion rate between the two? Why use DME over LME or the reverse?

example:

Is 2LB of DME equivalent to 2LB of LME?

Do you only need 6LB of of LME where you'd use 10LB of DME?

muchos gracias in advance to anyone who can answer

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
Arkador
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no.

2lb of LME is equivilant to 1.6lb of DME

I use this formula..

5# LME *.8 = 4# of DME
5# DME /.8 = 6.25# LME

Extract: Dry (DME) Vs. Liquid (LME) Vs. Canned

Dry
Pros:
Stays fresh longer than liquid
Easily storable, and easily transferred into separate containers. This comes in handy when using dry extract for starters, or for doing partial late extract additions
Available for bulk purchase from most any LHBS and most online stores
Easy to clean up any spills

Cons:
Tends to clump when added to wort. This is easily remedied by adding DME slowly and stirring constantly
Available in fewer varieties than LME
More expensive than LME

Liquid
Pros:
Available in many different varieties
Smells amazing. So amazing, in fact, that sometimes I'll dab a bit on my upper lip, and just be in a heavenly mood all day
Less expensive per pound than DME or canned extract

Cons:
You will at some point, regardless of how careful you are, spill this stuff. It's not too difficult to clean it off a stove top (if you're quick about it) but it will make your floor feel like velcro if left to dry. Clean it ASAP
To get every last drop out of your container, you'll need to either dip the container into the boiling wort and pour the run off out, or ladle in boiling wort and pour again. It's not difficult, just be careful not to burn yourself as I do every single time
Pours slowly. Remedy this by letting the container soak in hot water for a while to thin it out


Canned Extract
Pros:
Can be purchased pre-hopped
Can be stored over long periods of time without much degradation of quality
Container shape is conducive to the dip and pour method to get out every last little bit

Cons:
Tend to be much lower quality. The difference between canned LME and LME fresh from an LHBS or online is very noticeable
Can be purchased pre-hopped. Your guess is as good as mine as to what variety of hops they used to make it, or in what quantity
Requires a can opener to open. Not really a big deal, in all honesty
Pours slowly. Remedy this by letting the container soak in hot water for a while to thin it out
Just like LME, you want to clean up any spills as soon as possible
Available in very few varities

LME= Cheaper

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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IMHO, DME gives you more bang for your buck. However, LME is available in many more varieties, for instance you can't get Munich DME, yet it is available in LME. Having said that, for certain styles LME is useful, but I do exclusivley brew with DME.

It's shelf life is longer, it is easily stored, the only real drawback is the clumping, but that can be easily taken care of with a whisk.

Here is an easy way to convert: since LME is 20% water 1lb LME = .8 lb DME

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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I see in another thread, someone says dry has more variety, I have never done a breakdown myself, so am unsure if i would concider that as a variable.

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Old 07-10-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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I don't use DME much myself, in fact I only use it for starters. At my LHBS, the bulk Breiss LME is always fresh and only $2.00/lb if you use your own container - a one pound package of DME is $5 and 3 lb package is $12.

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Old 07-10-2009, 06:53 PM   #6
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I've used both and I can't tell any difference in flavor or apperance. I'll stick with what's cheaper.

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Old 07-10-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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LME may nominally cost less, but it's tough to store partially used portions so for me DME winds up being cheaper in the long run. There are ways to freeze partial portions of LME for storage, but it gets to be far more trouble than it's worth to me.

DME also stores longer without degrading and is easier to measure out.

I've pretty much gotten to the point where I use almost exclusively pilsner DME and wheat DME, with mini-mashes and/or steeping grains to work up from there. I stick with one brand, too, so I'm always working from the same base.

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Old 07-10-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifishsum View Post
I don't use DME much myself, in fact I only use it for starters. At my LHBS, the bulk Breiss LME is always fresh and only $2.00/lb if you use your own container - a one pound package of DME is $5 and 3 lb package is $12.
Wow, 1 lb for $5 bucks, thats a rip-off!
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