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Old 11-02-2009, 01:32 AM   #1
cryptonic84
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Default question about extract vs base malt

Greetings HBT!

I have some questions really quick about extract and malts. I am looking at getting into PM and AG brewing but don't quite know what the appropriate ways to shift from extract to grain is. Specifically how do you go about finding how much grain and what types to make the equivalent of extra light, light, amber, dark, pilsner, and munich extracts? Is it possible to make a wheat malt extract by mashing? I am sure there is some type of chart or spreadsheet or sticky but i am sure you can imagine the random results i have gotten from the search feature. thanks in advance.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:31 AM   #2
JLem
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I use BeerSmith brewing software - this helps me figure out how much of everything I need to hit what I am aiming at in terms of OG, color, etc.

In general, 1 lb of grain = 0.6 lb DME = 0.75 lb LME

As for the types of grains to match the types of extracts - I think each extract manufacturer probably does it differently, which is why it is a good idea to only use light (or xtra light) extracts if you switch to PM - you control the specialty grains for your color and flavor profile and let the extract fill in for a portion of the base malt.

I do all PMs - I can only mash about 3.5 lbs of grain, so I formulate my recipe as an all grain batch, see how much specialty grain I need, and mash that with enough base malt to reach 3.5 lbs. I then take the "left over" base malt and convert it to DME (or LME). For example, say a recipe calls for 8 lbs of pale ale base malt, 0.5 of crystal 40L, and 0.5 chocolate malt. I mash the 1 lb of specialty grains with 2.5 pounds of pale ale malt and then convert the remaining 5.5 lbs of pale ale malt to 3.3 lbs DME (or 4.125 lb LME).

I believe most wheat extracts are actually a 50:50 mix of base malt:wheat, which you can easily duplicate in your own mash.


Last edited by JLem; 11-02-2009 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
jescholler
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The extract manufacturers don't usually give information about the grains used to make their extracts. That makes it pretty hard to duplicate their extract on your own.

Fortunately for you, you will have more flexibility in your recipe when you go to PM/AG because you will be able to choose the malts that go into your beer. With extracts, you get whatever the extract maker puts in it.

The types of grain you use will depend on the style you are brewing and your preferences. Each style has it's own characteristics that it gets from the malts. Generally you would choose the malts that give the required character for a style. A good resource to help you get a recipe once you have a style picked out is The Jamil Show:
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show

He has a podcast dedicated to each BJCP style. A couple of good books you could read to help you formulate recipes are Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels or Brewing Classic Styles by John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff.

Once you have your malts picked out you'll probably want some sort of recipe calculation program to calculate the specifics of your recipe (OG, SRM, IBU, etc.). A couple of your options are www.recipator.com (free), Beersmith, Promash, and Beer Tools. I used Recipator for a while and liked it a lot. Other people have used the other programs, and everyone has their own preference. Many of the programs have free trials to so you can try them out.

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
cryptonic84
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so lets say i wanted to make something that called for amber extract. i would just use regular base grains and then through in a half pound of this and that to make it amberish?

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Bottled: Smoked Porter {e}(9/17/09), Black Cherry Ale {e} (10/9/09), Raspberry Heffeweissen {e} (10/17/09)
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Basically, yes. If I had to guess, Amber extract probably contains some type of a mix of base malt (2-row) and Caramel/Crystal (40-60L) and/or Munich malt. I find the best thing to do is to look at a bunch of all-grain recipes for the style you are looking to brew and determine from them which grains to use.

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