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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Whats the deal with Dark LME?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #1
Lucky137
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Default Whats the deal with Dark LME?

I'm in the process of converting an AG porter recipe to a partial mash, and am hoping to use LME as my extract portion of the partial. Should I not use Dark LME? Intuitively, this seems to make the most sense (dark beer would use dark extract), but a quick search of the forums resulted about a dozen threads saying "I accidentally bought Dark LME, what can I do with it??" to which there are many responses of "not much!"

So what should I use? Is it OK to just use Light LME with a partial mash porter recipe? And why is Dark LME so stigmatized (and why is it still produced if it has such little use)?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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I'm really new at this stuff...just brewed my second batch. It was Midwest's Cream Stout kit and it used Dark LME. I haven't come across the "dark LME stigma" that you mention, but it's possible. Hell what do I know...but the cream stout kit seems to be a favorite amongst extract brewers around here/midwest's reviews.

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
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I think it's because they see "dark LME" & think it's only good for brewing stout,that they generally don't drink. Much less understand. It's fine if you use some imagination understanding of what works together & what doesn't. But a can of dark LME & a bag of plain amber DME would be nice. Maybe with some demerara sugar for it's light brown sugar laced with honey flavors. & English or German hops.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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Well, the issue with dark (and amber) LME and DME is in creating recipes.

What's in the dark LME? Well, no one really knows and the manufacturer isn't saying. Certainly some crystal malt. But how much?

So, how do you know how much to use in your recipe if you don't know how much you already have? You could end up with a cloyingly sweet dark colored beer. Or not. It's hard to say.

With light LME or DME, YOU control what's in the beer. Just like with all-grain brewing. We don't have "dark two-row" to make the base grain. We have pale two-row, and then we add crystal malt, roast barley, etc, to make up the recipe.

I think people should do the same with extract brewing. Make up the recipe just as you would for an all-grain batch. Just use extract for the base malt. Then you know what you have!

To make any AG a partial mash beer (or extract beer, depending on ingredients), simply sub .6 pounds light DME for two-row base grain. Keep the crystal malt and other specialty grains the same. It works!

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Yooper's dead on...again!

You may like the beer just fine using dark LME, but it's easier to adjust the recipe with the light stuff and through your mashing/steeping grains. I'm making a partial mash porter on Sunday that uses six pounds of light DME and about five pounds of grain that is a combination of base malts and character grains. I've made it before and it turned out great the first time.

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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That's basically what I do yooper. I take a particular Cooper's can as a base for it's color & part of the flavors. Then add plain DME & appropriate hops for the style I want to end up with. I'm starting to get pretty good at it. I've been using 3lb of plain DME per 1 cooper's can (3.5 to 3.75lb). But with my APA/IPA base recipe,I'm seeing that for the IPA at least,one more pound of DME will be needed to boost the malt a little more above the hops.
I know it sounds like mixing & matching hoping it works. But it's not. I just get this stuff popping into my head by my muse when I'm thinking up new ales in my mind by color,taste,etc I want. I always was good with color combos when I was painting cars. So this is an extension of that I guess.
So black "dark malt" & amber malt gives a very dark brown brew with a ruby cast to it against the light. The flavor was a creamy toasty sort of thing.
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