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Old 03-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
Just-a-Guy
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Default Question About Boiling LME and DME

OK, I am confused. I've read a lot on here, and it seems like I have read conflicting views. Any help would be appreciated.

I'm about to brew up my 9th batch, which I think I'll do a pale ale. I've been using True Brew kits, which my LHBS sells. They come with some steeping grains, and usually a couple of cans of LME. Some of the kits also have some DME (like the 2XIPA kit).

Anyway, two questions:

1. The kits typically say boil the LME for 20-30 mins after they foam up and subside. I've read that it is not necessary (or advisable) to boil LME too much, especially hopped LME. I've read that boiling the LME is really pointless, and will result of bitter off-tastes. I've also read that one needs to boil LME for a full hour to break down complex sugars into fermentables. Any help at all with this would be appreciated.

2. I would like to add some DME to the kit to increase OG and ultimate ABV. (I think I've been getting around 4% and I would like to get it up to around 6-7%.) If I have a kit/recipe that is just steeping grains, LME and some hop pellets, should I boil the extra (not in the kit, purchased separately) DME first (longer), then add the LME (for a shorter boil time on the LME)?

Thanks for any help, folks. I've read thousands of posts here and read more every day. Trying to learn!

Mark



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Old 03-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. The kits typically say boil the LME for 20-30 mins after they foam up and subside. I've read that it is not necessary (or advisable) to boil LME too much, especially hopped LME. I've read that boiling the LME is really pointless, and will result of bitter off-tastes. I've also read that one needs to boil LME for a full hour to break down complex sugars into fermentables. Any help at all with this would be appreciated.

2. I would like to add some DME to the kit to increase OG and ultimate ABV. (I think I've been getting around 4% and I would like to get it up to around 6-7%.) If I have a kit/recipe that is just steeping grains, LME and some hop pellets, should I boil the extra (not in the kit, purchased separately) DME first (longer), then add the LME (for a shorter boil time on the LME)?
1. Boil the LME for 20 minutes and I would actually add some to the whole hour boil - do the instructions say boil an hour? Ive never brewed any LME that had hops included in it.

Normally they say add half for the last 20 minutes so the LME will not caramelize. Boiling is always good.

As for DME - it's just like LME but drier! Personally I add 1/3 of the extract at the beginning for and then bring it to a boil. Then another third at the 1/2 hour mark and the last 15 to 20 minutes. Boiling is always good but extract will tend to caramelize with extract boil time SINCE,it's been boiled already once.

HOWEVER you do it. It'll work out. no worries!!


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Old 03-13-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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Most boils are for a total of 60 minutes. Old-style conventional wisdom was to boil your extract for this entire period.

As homebrew methods matured, most people found that their beers improved if they didn't boil all the extract for 60 minutes. Boiling for 60 minutes often leads to the carmalized taste grinder talks about.

A lot of folks boil with half their extract at the beginning and the other half around the 15 minute mark (or a variation of the above). This is roughly what I do.

Keep in mind that recipes are configured with hop utilizations calculated for all the extract in the boil for the full 60 minutes. What this means to the brewer is that if you don't boil with all the extract for 60 minutes, your beer could/should potentially be more bitter. However, I really haven't noticed this in practice.

What I do notice with adding extract late is that my beer tastes better!

Search "late extract additions" for more.

Pez.

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I will try the search. In the meantime, do you guys treat DME and LME differently in boiling? I mean, if you're using both, do you start with the DME and boil for a while before adding LME?

Thanks!

Mark

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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When I have had both I boiled half of the LME for the whole 60 minutes. I then added 1/2 the DME at 30 minutes. And the rest of both at 15 minutes. All those times are approximate since the LME takes a while to add and I stopped mid addition to add hops at their appropriate times.

They came out great. I also got a lighter color on my pales when adding late.
Extract tends to get darker than desired.

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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It doesn't matter which you start with. LME is easier to mix when the water is warm, I find DME easier to mix when there is no steam, it is very hydrophilic and will clump up as it absorbs moisture from the steam and make it hard to pour from the bag.

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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It doesn't matter which you start with. LME is easier to mix when the water is warm, I find DME easier to mix when there is no steam, it is very hydrophilic and will clump up as it absorbs moisture from the steam and make it hard to pour from the bag.
Yeah, I've had that happen every time I've used DME. So, do you pour it into the water cold, then heat and stir?

Sorry for these basic questions... but the nitty gritty is often omitted from the bird's eye view of books etc.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
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When using DME I mix it in cold water and then bring the heat up. No steam = less clumping. If you start with LME, simply use another pot with cool water to mix your DME before adding it into your main pot.

FWIW, neither LME nor DME need to be boiled. They were boiled before they were packaged and a second boil isn't needed (unless of course you need to boil for the hop additions). But, late extract additions do not require boiling at all so drop them in as late as you like.

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kealia View Post
FWIW, neither LME nor DME need to be boiled. They were boiled before they were packaged and a second boil isn't needed (unless of course you need to boil for the hop additions). But, late extract additions do not require boiling at all so drop them in as late as you like.

That's what I've read elsewhere, too. So, forgive the dumb question, but why do all these "kits" and instructions say to boil? Is it just to kill any potential nasties in the water or extract? Or just to get everything mixed together?

Also...is there any thinking that one might boil just water and hops for a while (to break out the oils), and then later add in the extract, toward the end of the boil? Or do the hops have to be boiled with the extract to impart the bittering?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Just-a-Guy View Post
That's what I've read elsewhere, too. So, forgive the dumb question, but why do all these "kits" and instructions say to boil? Is it just to kill any potential nasties in the water or extract? Or just to get everything mixed together?

Also...is there any thinking that one might boil just water and hops for a while (to break out the oils), and then later add in the extract, toward the end of the boil? Or do the hops have to be boiled with the extract to impart the bittering?
I had the same question and researched it a bit. I found somewhere that there are interactions between the malt compounds and the hops that add value to the wort so you really can't handle them seperately and just combine them in the end....although I am considering an experiment to do just that...we'll see.


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