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Old 11-15-2006, 08:27 PM   #1
Ol' Grog
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Default LME vs. DME

In my jest to find the killer beer for my wife, beer is always good to me, I've made extracts and kept copious notes. I'm starting to narrow it down as to what she likes and they have similar things in common. When I "think" I'm close to understanding her taste buds, I'm going to design a brew for her particular taste. So far, she's like the brews that have used DME in their recipes as opposed to the ones that use only LME. Roughly 2 lbs in a 5 gallon batch. She also seems to be leaning towards Willamette hops for both bittering and finishing, with an IBU of about 20 to 25. My question: Do I have to go with a LME and a DME, or can I just use DME? The two brews she's liked the most both used 3.3 lbs of plain amber LME and 2 lbs of either plain amber or plain light DME. She really likes American Ambers the best, it seems. Also with DME's, how do you order it? Individual pounds? I mean, as soon as you open it, it starts clumping so it's not like getting a scoop of sugar from the jar.


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Old 11-15-2006, 08:40 PM   #2
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I've used Munton's DME so far and it comes in nice 3 pound bags. I've begun simply putting recipes together based on 6lbs light DME and using steeped specialty grains for color/flavor. That way, I can order up a bunch of 3 lb sacks upfront. 6lbs of DME in a 5gal batch gets you around 1.055 (acording to Qbrew that is). If you want a lower OG, you probably need to grab a few 1lb increments as well but it will be more expensive.

You could technically get the 55lb bulk and keep it in a spare sealed bucket. The clumping is only a problem in moist areas (like above your boiling brewpot)


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Old 11-15-2006, 08:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
In my jest to find the killer beer for my wife, beer is always good to me, I've made extracts and kept copious notes. I'm starting to narrow it down as to what she likes and they have similar things in common. When I "think" I'm close to understanding her taste buds, I'm going to design a brew for her particular taste. So far, she's like the brews that have used DME in their recipes as opposed to the ones that use only LME. Roughly 2 lbs in a 5 gallon batch. She also seems to be leaning towards Willamette hops for both bittering and finishing, with an IBU of about 20 to 25. My question: Do I have to go with a LME and a DME, or can I just use DME? The two brews she's liked the most both used 3.3 lbs of plain amber LME and 2 lbs of either plain amber or plain light DME. She really likes American Ambers the best, it seems. Also with DME's, how do you order it? Individual pounds? I mean, as soon as you open it, it starts clumping so it's not like getting a scoop of sugar from the jar.
Surely you can just use DME without using any LME. It will dissolve in the boil, just as the LME would. I've made a couple recipes with all DME. I think there IS a conversion however of 3lb LME = 2.75lb(??don't quote me??) DME as the DME is slightly more concentrated or whatnot.

Obviously 2lb. DME into 5 gallons (without the LME you normally add) is going to make a VERY weak beer, so you can (and surely must) brew 5 gallons up with 5lb. - 6lb. DME.

Most DME's come in packages by weight, correct. I think my LHBS carries 1lb. 2lb. or 3.5lb bags. Or maybe they are just 3lb. bags.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:45 PM   #4
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1.055, what % ABV is that? I remember reading somewhere that there is a ratio that you use when substituting DME for LME.
Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:51 PM   #5
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Thanks Silkky brew, I posted that after you had already made you comments. Is there any fermenting differences between the two? Like, does one ferment better than the other?
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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If 1.055 OG wort ferments down to 1.010 wort, you'd have ~5.75% alcohol. You may be able to go a little lower if the wifey isn't a fan of high ABV beers.

1.045-1.050 would probably be ideal. (4-5% range)
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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Are you steeping with specialty grains?
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
Thanks Silkky brew, I posted that after you had already made you comments. Is there any fermenting differences between the two? Like, does one ferment better than the other?
I've noticed no real difference in fermentation between the two and I've made brews with all LME, half LME/half DME, and all DME.

The all DME batches I've brewed MIGHT cause a slightly larger krausen from my experience, but that could be caused by any of the other ingredients and/or yeast strains as well (I've never used the same yeast on a batch yet), so to tie it to the DME is probably not accurate.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:56 PM   #9
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OG: LME and DME are essentially the same thing. LME just has water in it---and it's much messier to deal with, and it doesn't have as long of a shelf life, and it's a little cheaper typically. But other than that, you shouldn't notice too much of a difference.
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XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:00 PM   #10
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Thanks ya'll. Just scanned over a website that I've ordered from in the past, leisure-time.com, and the DME comes in either 1 or 3 lbs packages. I guess for a 5 gallon batch of all DME, I'd use 6 lbs total, right? Also, about 9 bucks for 3 pounds decent price and why do they list the DME as being "sprayed." WTF is that?
Yeah, 4 to 5 % is about her limit. An ex girlfriend use to tell me this..."Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."
Will still use grains, I think they help out the extracts a lot. Probably stick with Crystal Malt 60L, about 8 ounces for 20 minutes around 160F.



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