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Old 11-22-2008, 01:39 AM   #1
iXanadu
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Hi,

My LHBS has a high turn-over of LME so its always fresh, but the distributor (united canadian) doesn't publish a specification sheet like (http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Ass..._Wheat_LME.pdf). So I don't know how fermentable it its, what gravity to expect or FAN is... I'm wondering if some of my unexpected gravity problems (starting and ending) are related to not knowing these details.

I recently found a good deal on 50# bags of Briess DME (http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Ass..._Light_DME.pdf). I wanted to give this a try because I have better knowledge of how it should ferment out... I got a bag and here are my problems - welcome all comments.

1) On rebag discovered this was REALLY sticky. Breath on it and it clots. After rebaging to 4# bags, had a thin sticky layer of goo all over the kitchen. Wife wasn't a happy camper. Do you folks rebag or work out of the large bag.

2) When adding DME to boil, the steam caused it to clot and stick to the pail I was using to pour the DME with. Do you folks mix this with water first or add it dry.

3) Tremendous boil over. I have over a dozen LME brews without even coming close. This DME brought a head on the boil 2+ inches and overflowed. Any specific DME tips?

4) Can I do late add DME like I regularly do LME?

5) Any other tips for DME?

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Old 11-22-2008, 01:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by iXanadu View Post
3) Tremendous boil over. I have over a dozen LME brews without even coming close. This DME brought a head on the boil 2+ inches and overflowed. Any specific DME tips?

4) Can I do late add DME like I regularly do LME?
Hello!

I am relatively new at this but there are a few things I can offer:

My first question is do you remove your kettle from the heat source when you add the DME? The second is do you add slowly or pretty much all at once? I always take heat out of the equation when adding DME and I always add sloooooooowly until it is dissolved before re-adding the heat. I'm not saying it is the best technique but I've yet to have a boil over.

To solve boil overs, I'd keep a spray bottle of chilled water next to the stove and, in the event of a boil over, mist the chilled water at the foam. The temperature difference will keep it under control. It should settle down quickly either way but if you are prepared with a mister, you can stay in control.

As far as late addition of DME, I'm fairly certain that a lot of brewers do late DME addition so you should be fine. Experts, please correct me if I'm wrong!

Hope that helps!

-Tripod
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:47 AM   #3
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Firstly, yes, DME reacts very very fast to moisture, this is the main reason I only buy it in 3# bags.

For the clumping issue I don't dump all the DME in at once, I add some, dissolve it, then add some more, ect.

No real tips on the boilover other than to use a large enough pot and stir like mad.

You can do a late addition with DME.

Without knowing what your specific gravity issues are I cannot really comment on what the problem might be.

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Old 11-22-2008, 02:52 AM   #4
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Not an expert, but I made the LME to DME jump...

The first time I did an all-DME boil I was pretty surprised by the foam too -- didn't boil over but it was the first time I ever came close (luckily the pot's big enough to give me some freeboard). Now I just lower the heat (without turning it off to keep my wort hot) and add gradually while stirring and have no probs.

I also got impatient and, being a knucklehead, pretty much dumped the second 3# bag in -- making a big lump. With some energetic stirring it dissolved after 5 minutes or so.

Now I use a bowl that holds a 3# bag perfectly. I dump the bag in the bowl and use the bowl to gradually shake in the DME while I stir. I get some of the wacky sticky stuff at the edge of the bowl but not too bad, and I can clean it off easily between bags. I don't buy anything larger than a 5# bag because it absorbs water so easily and I'm worried what would happen if I started messing with a bulk container.

I also add late in the boil, something I learned about after I'd made the switch from LME. No problems.

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Old 11-22-2008, 03:24 AM   #5
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A spray bottle of cold watter is a great help to prevent boil overs.

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Old 11-22-2008, 03:28 AM   #6
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When buying bags of DME always ask if they are heat sealed plastic. Sealed plastic should keep out moisture and if there are clumps then moisture could have already been introduced at some time due to a hole in it's previous packaging and it was repackaged. Always ask if the DME is free of clumps when buying quick sale DME. Clumps are harder to dissolve but they eventually do dissolve into the wort. This is an annoyance but does not hurt anything. Bugs in the bag is much worse.

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Old 11-22-2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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Unless I'm mistaken you'd have to change the weight amount between the two ingrediants as I think DME generally results in a slightly higher gravity per pound. But other than that assuming the rest of the recipe were the same...

I was wondering how similar in flavor an all DME and all LME are to each other when used in the same recipe?



The reason why I ask is because given the shorter shelf life of LME I'm surprised that more of the beer kits (like Brewers Best) aren't all DME whenever possible. Unless of course there is truly a difference between beer made with one over the other. Then again...maybe its just because there are a wider variety of flavors of LME out there or the makers of kits worry about clumping for brewers.


Please note that the above is just some early morning babbling because I couldn't sleep.

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Old 11-22-2008, 03:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses.

The DME came in a 50# bag, had interior plastic bag that was sealed, nice without clumps. I figure there is circa 10 batches in this bag which will take approximately 10 weeks to use, so I didn't want to work out of the bag for fear that moisture would cause it to clump before it gets used. I am thinking about getting some bulk food grade storage containers and keep it in bulk that way. The process of rebagging it was long and messy.

Flavor/Color: Not always - but mostly I'm using a very light LME/DME and affecting color/flavor with specialty grains. I'm hoping for very similar flavors. Least thats what I "think" the long time brewers are doing that don't all-grain.

Gravity: I realize gravity is different between the two. I use BeerTools Pro and just adjust my recipe to get the desired OG. This was how I determined the price point I needed to find DME at be same or less price than LME.

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Cold Crashing: Biermunchers Tits up IPA

On Tap: American Wheat, Dunkel (wlp380), Chocolate Stout, Biermuncher OctoberFast.

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Old 11-22-2008, 05:30 PM   #9
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I store my bulk dme in 1# ziploc bags, inside another ziplock. Mine has stayed dry for months now. I also bag it when nobody is home, and I make sure to work quickly to lessen exposure to moisture. Don't do it on a humid day, and make sure you shut off any fans.

Then just clean up before anyone gets home!

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Old 11-23-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
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First, three words: FOAM CONTROL DROPS. Use them and boilovers are practically impossible on the stove top.

As for storage, I have a pile of silica gel packets I bought in bulk on Ebay a few years back. Throw a couple of them in your storage bags, and no worries about moisture. They will even dry out DME which is slightly damp from exposure to the air while repackaging.

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