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Old 11-18-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
Husher
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OK, I asked a similar question some time back and I just came up with the snappy comeback.

Basically I had noticed beers brewed with DME were really bitter when compared to LME.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/whys...y-beer-341360/

Everyone in that thread suggested it was something other than the extract. So here's a question: If they're the same, why do some recipes call for a combination of LME and DME? If they're exactly the same, why not just reference one or the other in a recipe?

Oh, and I already know that one has water in it so there's some math to be done when trying to sub one for another. I accept that, but the TASTE is different. At least for the two batches I used DME for. They took much longer to age and were never very good. Bitter. One might assume different brands, but barley is barley right?

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:39 AM   #2
bobbrews
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Why do some recipes call for a combination of LME and DME?

Because they are designed by companies who produce both products in bulk, and want to get rid of both equally. LME has a shorter shelf life so they can't afford for that product to linger. Thus when you buy kits, you get both versions of extracts... usually more of the LME.

Most kits (and their instructions) range from mediocre to horrible in my opinion. These companies want to rid their old (and possible stale) supply to the naive new brewer who doesn't know any better. It's just business. And Coopers is awful. If you want a good IPA recipe with extract, send me a private message.

LME and DME each have their advantages and disadvantages. But I still believe DME to be superior as a seasoned homebrewer. You will have to find that out for yourself. But it is definitely not the DME that is making your beers more bitter or worse. In closing, all extract is not created equal. Find a good maltster that does not load their extract with crystal, carapils, sugar, or other fillers.

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:42 AM   #3
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I am less of a cynic than Bob , so I'll say "Why both in recipes?"

Well...........LME is cheaper so I like to use that. But it often comes in cans that are 3.3 pounds. So, if you need 4 pounds, you'll have to make up the difference with DME. Or, in some cases, LME comes in great varieties like Munich malt, rye extract, etc. So use that for the specialty grains, and then use DME for the rest.

But as far as "more bitter" beers? No, it's not the extract. Either it's your water, your imagination, or something else. Sugar for sugar, they are the same.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:43 AM   #4
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Total cynic - Guilty.

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 AM   #5
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Fine fine fine. I'm still never buying DME again.

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husher View Post
Fine fine fine. I'm still never buying DME again.
Of course that is your choice. I said something similar- that I'd never buy canned LME due to the poor quality (darkening of the wort, and the "canned" taste). But I still use DME on occasion, and wouldn't hesitate (and still use it for starters) and I've been making good beer for 15+ years. So I doubt DME is your issue.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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Is it possible the LME I'm using has past it's prime? My Home Brew shop has what looks like a 25 gallon barrel, from which they'll fill whatever amount you want if you bring your own container. If they have bad turnover, is it possible that the stuff I buy is stale and less potent/bitter/whatever than the DME equivalent?

This is just gonna bug me until I figure it out. I don't think it's a contamination issue, and if it was it'd be pretty obvious by now given the stuff's been bottled for 9 months.

And I've compared the same brew kit with DME and LME, and obviously you know which one I prefer.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:16 AM   #8
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Personally I would use both LME and DME. The only real drawbacks of LME are it goes bad faster and is very difficult to measure and weigh out. DME costs about $3-5 more a batch with 5lb DME vs 6lb LME.(provided you are not buying bulk DME) Most recipes I make use 6lb LME as a base and DME to get to the desired gravity. I use DME for starters as well. I would use all LME for my recipes but like I sated it is not at all easy to measure out. Partial quantities of LME also do not store well.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husher View Post
Is it possible the LME I'm using has past it's prime? My Home Brew shop has what looks like a 25 gallon barrel, from which they'll fill whatever amount you want if you bring your own container. If they have bad turnover, is it possible that the stuff I buy is stale and less potent/bitter/whatever than the DME equivalent?

This is just gonna bug me until I figure it out. I don't think it's a contamination issue, and if it was it'd be pretty obvious by now given the stuff's been bottled for 9 months.

And I've compared the same brew kit with DME and LME, and obviously you know which one I prefer.
It's possible, but they use nitrogen (or is it argon?) to dispense so it helps keep it fresh so I wouldn't write off the LME necessarily.

Use the bulk of LME at flame out, and it won't darken.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:54 AM   #10
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Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by "at flame out"? Is this something exclusive to propane cookers, or is there an equivalent to it for a stove?

 
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