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Old 01-23-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
Jun 2011
Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 6

Ok. I've done about 6 brews at this point, most of them hoppy IPAs.

I'm getting what I can only describe as a really big malty-caramely flavor that is masking a lot of the hops flavor and bitterness. It's not something that makes me want to throw out the batch, but it's making most of my batches taste the same. I've tried changing yeasts on similar recipes (even trying White Labs' San Diego Super Yeast), but the flavor persists.

I came across a post where Yooper said "Boiling the extract for an extended time causes some flavors similar to carmelization, and it's a bit "twangy" or extract-y." I realized that the batches I made with LME instead of DME had more of this caramel/malt flavor. I've always done late extract additions, but I'm thinking now that this could be a LME problem.

Any suggestions? I'd really like to figure out what's going on here so I can get some more complex flavors in my beers.

For reference, I made Yooper's Ruination Clone most recently, substituting out the DME for LME since my LHBS said it was similar enough and a bit cheaper. I plan on making this recipe again with 100% DME, but I'm hoping there are some other techniques that will help me get rid of this even more.


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Old 01-24-2012, 01:58 AM   #2
ron,ar's Avatar
Feb 2007
Little Rock, arkansas
Posts: 315
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I am certainly no expert, and have never moved up to all grain, but have used some grain additions. I have also made a few batches using all DME and some using all LME. My experiance has been that an all LME has more flavor problems when boiled for a longer time. I think it has to do with the evaporation of the LME. I have had better luck turning the heat down if I am doing a longer boil with LME. Bringing it up to a full rolling boil and keeping it there just opens my brew up to other problems it seems like. In fact if I am just doing a simple hopped LME recipe with DME added toward the end, I boil the LME for about 15 min after the break and add the DME for another 15 min and avoid some carmalization flavor problems. Only if I add grains do I boil LME for the whole 60 min, and thats so I can get the most out of the grains I add.
Thats just my experiance, and it may not work better for others, but you asked :^)

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Old 01-24-2012, 02:05 AM   #3
May 2010
Posts: 241
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You didn't mention if you were doing full boils. If not, that could help you. Partial boils tend to have more melanoidin/caramelization problems.

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Old 01-24-2012, 02:21 AM   #4
Mar 2010
Posts: 408
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Did you adjust the weight of the extract based on DME and LME containing different sugars per pound?

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Old 01-24-2012, 04:42 AM   #5
Jun 2011
Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 6

Sardoman: nuts, forgot to mention that. I am doing partial boils right now...I usually end up with 3.8 gallons and then top off with water. A larger pot is a great suggestion.

nanofreak: definitely did adjust the weight.

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Old 01-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
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Try what I do. I use a can of LME with 3lbs of plain DME & hops in my beers. I use half the bag of DME ina 2.5-3 gallon boil. Do the hop additions. At flame out,add the remaining DME & all the LME,stiring til dissolved & no LME can be scrapped off the bottom. Then steep for a few minutes,as the remaining heat is enough to pasteurize,which happens at 162F. You/ll get lighter colors & cleaner flavor.
Having said that,Many ales are of English origin,so they're balanced toward the malt flavor. Maybe brew it a bit drier with a yeast that balances toward the hoppy side. That should balance the malt a bit more.
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