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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > New to brewing. . .Substitute DME for LME question.
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:05 AM   #1
jonuggs
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Default New to brewing. . .Substitute DME for LME question.

Hi everyone. New to brewing and new to these forums.

I recently inherited an enormous amount of brewing equipment from my wife's step-father. His health is . . . well, he's not doing so well and he's not going to be brewing or drinking any beer at this point. . .and, well, he's not going to be able to drink for the rest of his life no matter how long or short it may be.

Anyhoo - two weeks ago, using this inherited agglomeration of equipment I brewed an Oatmeal Stout. Certain issues notwithstanding, it has been sitting in a dark, cool closet for a week now. The airlock stopped bubbling yesterday, and a hydrometer reading was 1.020. I've been advised to let it sit for another few weeks, while monitoring the gravity, and once I've got a consistent gravity reading, prime and then bottle.

I'm eager to brew my second batch though, and made a trip to my local homebrew store to pick up ingredients today using one of their recipes that I was able to download.

My question is this: the recipe I am using calls for a 4 lb. can of light extract. The store was out of these, however, and one of the gentlemen working there advised me that I could use light Dry Malt Extract instead, but at a reduced amount.

A quick scan through these forums resulted in the suggestion that, in lieu of LME, I could use .6 lb of DME for every lb. of grain used in the recipe. I just want to clarify:

my recipe calls for 4 lb. of LME, and I'm only using 2 lb. of grain (1 lb. Crystal 40, 1 lb. of Munich). using the aforementioned conversion - should I be using 1.2 lb. DME in lieu of the 4 lb. of LME?

Any advice or corrections would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if there is any information that I need to provide in order to assist with answering my question.

Thank you, in advance, for any help.

cheers,

-Nuggsy


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Old 12-24-2011, 05:23 AM   #2
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Default dry vs liquid extract

jonuggs,

DME is more sugar and less moisture per lb, so you get more fermentables by weight for DME. Since LME is 15-20% water you need 15-20% more LME in a given recipe. It varies slightly by brand, efficiency, etc but a good thumbrule with a normal brewhouse is:

1 lb. Base malt = .75 lb. Liquid extract = .65 lb. Dry extract.


So 4 lbs of LME would be roughly 3.5 lbs of DME.

hope this helps.


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Old 12-24-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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Thanks TBar. I appreciate the info!
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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LME has 36 gravity points per lb (when dissolved in 1 gallon will give a gravity of 1.036)

DME has 45 gravity points per lb.

Therefore: 1.25 lbs LME = 1 lb DME, or 1 lb of LME = 0.8 lb DME.

4 lbs LME = 3.2 lbs DME.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #5
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Default note

Caldur's is the more accurate method. My post is a thumbrule as I don't typically measure my DME in smaller than .5 lb increments
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, what kind of beer is this?
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogwash View Post
Out of curiosity, what kind of beer is this?
My local homebrew store, Maryland Homebrew has a few recipes on their website. My wife suggested something different from my first brew, which was an Oatmeal Stout, so I went with the Honey Red Ale from the local store's site.

When I went to purchase the ingredients yesterday, they were out of 4lb. tins of the suggested LME. Everything that they had was 3.3lbs and I don't trust myself enough to purchase to cans and approximate 4lbs between the two. So I talked with one of the gentlemen there and he told me that I could substitute DME for the LME since they were out of stock. When I got home I began searching for information on how much to use.

Calder - thank you for providing more information. I'm not grasping the math, however, and was wondering how you arrived at those numbers. Is there any chance that I could get a somewhat more detailed explanation? Thanks.

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Old 12-24-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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LME to DME and DME to LME is straight forward:

LME = 1.25 X DME
DME = .8 X LME

EDIT: Technically you can get your factor through the gravity ratio; 1.045/1.036 = 1.25; 1.036/1.045 = .8

When converting grain to either you have to factor in mashing efficiency. It looks like 75% was assumed in the above equations.


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