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Old 11-03-2009, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default why do people say use light extract and control color with grain?

I'm making a stout. The recipe calls for 6.66lbs dark LME, 2 lbs dark DME, 1 lbs crystal 60L, 0.5 lbs black patent, 0.5 lbs roasted barley. (though I'll probably just use all LME, unless there's a reason why to go both...)

I've read a ton of posts on here saying that people should use the lightest extract they can... but why? What difference does it make?

In my case, if I used pale LME/DME, that would change my SRM (according to Beer Alchemy) from 58 to 35 (bringing it back into style range I guess). But if I do that, what do I need to adjust in the steeping grains?

Thanks

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Old 11-03-2009, 03:40 AM   #2
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1) DME is nice because it is light (cheaper shipping) and lasts longer (good for saving for starters, etc). LME is nice because it is cheap and LHBS will weigh it up in and increments you like. The conversation factor is not exactly 1:1, however.

2)The reason people don't like the darker extracts is because there is no way of knowing what they used to darken it. The light extracts are essentially just 2row.

3) If you want to get the SRM back up, I would probably add a little more black patent.

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:13 AM   #3
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When you are controling your recipies there is really no 100% way of telling how much of what kind of malt in your LME/DME. So if you use extra light or light you are pretty much just getting pale/pilsner 2 row and then controling your flavors/color with your speciality grains. When/If you make the jump to AG your recipe's can be converted easily so you can make the same brew you loved in extract in AG! Though if color is all you are looking for some black patent or roasted barley will bring it up for you.

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:21 AM   #4
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Got it. But if I'm following someone else's recipe, will I lose some complexity/taste by switching to lighter extracts? Any suggestions on what to add?

Oh and Chocolate banana bread ale? Woah...yum.

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:48 AM   #5
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If you use a different "dark extract" you WILL make a different beer. If you alway use the same stuff nothing is "wrong" with it. When you try all-grain or can't get the same extract your recipes are gone (different.)

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:28 AM   #6
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If you are not using the same brand of extract it will be a different beer no matter what you do. Your best bet is to keep with the versatility of the light DME/LME to have more control over your beer, though with that being said if you are not comfortable with it you can use whatever. You will still make beer and it will probably be pretty good. For many brewers it's being able to repeat that one time they made an awesome brew. This is why people spend (time building or money) so much on their rigs it's consistency. Being able to control exactly what is going into your beer is just another way to maintain this.

Yes Chocolate banana bread ale. Find a Young's Double Chocolate Stout and a Wells Banana Bread Ale, pour like a black and tan. I want to combine this into one beer!! Still working on the recipe though. I am thinking of using a porter or a brown as a base. The question is how to get a good banana bread flavor.....

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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All you have to do to find out what is in the DME that your LHBS has in stock, is ask. I contacted Briess and they were very clear as to what went into the DME that I have in the store, from the pilsner to the dark. Ask... If your LHBS owner dosen't know.. I would question them as to why, and see if they will find out for you.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:52 AM   #8
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To make iit taste better, and more complex...

When I am formulating any extract with grain recipes I ALWAYS base it around Extralight DME, then I get all my flavor and color complexity from my steeping (or partial mashing) grains. That way you get to use more and varied grains.

For example, let's say you are making an amber ale....If you based it around amber extract, you have very little room to get complexity from roasted or crystalized grains.....you run the risk of muddying the flavor and ending up too dark for your recipe.....

Staying with my Amber example...The Srm range for that style is SRM: 10 – 17 so if your base extract already puts you into 14 srms, you son't have much room to move around it....you may be able to sneak in a pound of crystal 30 let's say in it.

So that's going to be 'it" for any depth or even fresness of flavor in the beer...you are limited by, or stuck with, whatever the maltser decided the darker blend of extract should taste like.

But if your Extralight DME has a color of 5 SRMs, you can really get into the recipe and play around with different combinations of grains until you get into the right color and Og range for the style.

It's kind of like making model airplanes....remember the "snap together" types that you started out with? You had maybe 8 pieces; 2 body halves two front wings, 2 rear wings and maybe 2 pieces for a cockpit, or two pieces for landing gear...

But if you got one of those 500 piece b52 bomber kits....you had a much more complex final product.

It's the same with beer...you'll have more depth/complexity of flavor that way.

And you have more control of your recipe. It almost becomes like AG recipe creation in that you start with a base malt (the 2row) as a foundation and build from there.

That's why I don't agree with those folks who say extract brewing is just like openning a can of soup and calling it dinner. Yeah if all you do is open 1 can of extract. But if you start with a an extreemly light base beer, you are striving to create a complex and yet balanced recipe with the steeping or mashing grains.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #9
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Myreplies for later.

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