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Old 07-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
Aschecte
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Default Why lme & dme?

OK so here's the dumb question of the day but I'm really curious and clueless about this. Why when looking at many recipes it calls for both Lme and Dme in the same recipe ie:

6.6lbs light Lme
2lbs light Dme
1oz ..... hops
etc
etc.....

Why not just use one or the other soley? is there a taste reason ,a ease of use reason?? I personally always just use Dme exclusively and after reading so many recipes feel I am missing a bigger picture. PLease if someone could clarify this for me I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.



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Old 07-15-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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A lot of the kits put together by the shops mix dme and lme to hit particular numbers. So, for example, Northern Brewer sells their lme in 6.6lb containers. If they want more than 6.6lb and less than 13.2lb, they will often supplement either with 1lb containers of lme or 1lb packets of dme. There are sometimes slight differences in taste, but I don't suspect most kit designers are mixing and matching for this reason.



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Old 07-15-2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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I find very little difference in taste (just ran a wheat with liquid and one with only dry). The only difference in taste comes from freshness (and brand, type of extract).

What I don't understand is why LME is cheaper than DME. Liquid is heaver and doesn't keep as well. DME is easier to ship and store, so the drying process must be very expensive.

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Old 07-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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LME is easier to work with and basically is a truly inferior product because you don't know what sugars are actually contained in the extract. DME is harder to use because it sucks in water the second it gets into contact with it so storage and use are harder but you can get very specific numbers with DME to fill out the sugar profile. You don't have th problem of using sugar in 3.3lb increments. If you are doing any home brewing using extract, I would seriously recommend only using DME.

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Old 07-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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I seem to remember hearing that LME is significantly cheaper to produce than DME.

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Old 07-15-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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so if I'm understanding correctly it seems it mainly a convienence issue not a flavor profile one. I personally am still at a point of extract brewing ( 1st partial mash coming this weekend ) and have used one kit ever and it mixed lme and dme all of the others I have done are my own creations and I have always used dme and thought maybe I was doing it wrong as I wasn't mixing the 2 ( though they always tasted great to me ). well soon enough it's partial mash for a few times then off to all grain land I go. Thanks all for the input.

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Old 07-15-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
A lot of the kits put together by the shops mix dme and lme to hit particular numbers. So, for example, Northern Brewer sells their lme in 6.6lb containers. If they want more than 6.6lb and less than 13.2lb, they will often supplement either with 1lb containers of lme or 1lb packets of dme. There are sometimes slight differences in taste, but I don't suspect most kit designers are mixing and matching for this reason.

+1 If you've ever tried to split up a container of LME, you'll know why using DME to get to the proper gravity is a lot easier. LME at room temperature is like super sticky glue.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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I find I get lighter color with half the DME in the boil to do hop additions. Then add the remaining DME at the end with one of cooper's OS cans, The Original Series has some bittering only. So it has to go in at the end. I use Munton's plain DME's to add that biscuity to toasty malt flavors,depending on which one I use.
I just happen to like the English flavors of Munton's with the Aussie Cooper's LME. I can make different styles by changing what canned LME I mix with plain DME,& hops. So I can get different colors & flavors than either one by itself.
Each can lends itself to different styles,depending on which DME I add. Not to mention hops/schedule. Sounds strange,but it's been fun so far.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
I seem to remember hearing that LME is significantly cheaper to produce than DME.
You are completely correct. LME is much easier to produce because it's about 30% water. DME is 0% water, and absorbs water at a truly alarming rate (there is a special term for it but I can't remember what it is. Literally if you leave it out on a humid day you have malt glue). The further you go down the chain of modification, the more expensive the ingredient. Barley itself is very cheap, modified to liquid is expensive, modified to DME is very expensive. Also it needs to happen under a vacuum, in a totally dry env, etc.

Quote:
so if I'm understanding correctly it seems it mainly a convienence issue not a flavor profile one.
Not quite. the DME you are getting 100% malt of some variety, with LME that number could be as low at 40% or as high as 80%. You don't know what the malster did to the liquid, perhaps they thinned it with glucose or sucrose, perhaps they even could have used HFCF, you just don't know. This is actually what you get by going all grain, besides a cheaper bill, you actually know exactly what is going into your beer. If you have to use extract, use light or extra light DME. If you are just starting out, using LME is okay, but once you get a few batches under your belt, switch to DME and partial mash.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #10
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More like 20% water on the LME. That's what the brew tech at cooper's said. I just feel that DME doesn't darken as easily as LME. But different LME/DME combos can give many different flavor profiles. It's just not the only reason to my way of thinking. Even when/if plain LME is used,DME seems to not darken as easily to me. Seems to perform better in the boil.


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