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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > How are LME and DME different?
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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Basically, you add the bulk of your malt and/or aroma hops at the end of the boil when you turn off your heat source. This will help to keep the LME from darkening as it already been "cooked" and will darken farther if boiled for a full 60 min.


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Old 11-19-2012, 02:12 AM   #12
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DME is superior in every way to LME except for one thing -- variety. You can find more LME flavors than DME. But DME doesn't get crappy, doesn't mold, and keeps longer. It's cheaper if you buy it in bulk. I bought a 50 lb sack of it for about $2.25 a pound. It measures nicely, stores nicely, and is easy to work with.

LME seems to have its origin obscured by the retailer more too. There's so many private label or repacked LME types out there you never know if what you're getting is the same today as it was two months ago.

With DME you can usually find out who made it since there's not too many people making it. I'm partial to the Briess DME since it seems to ferment more fully than other types. With LME, just because the retailer slaps a label on it, who knows who really made it unless you buy a branded type like Muntons or Briess LME for instance.


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Old 11-19-2012, 05:36 AM   #13
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Any way to tell that your LME is old (or, I guess, no longer fresh)? Got mine out of the large barrels that they use at my LHBS. I assume that refrigerating it will keep it fresh longer?
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:43 AM   #14
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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?
When you turn off the heat = flame out.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by highgravitybacon View Post
DME is superior in every way to LME except for one thing -- variety. You can find more LME flavors than DME. But DME doesn't get crappy, doesn't mold, and keeps longer. It's cheaper if you buy it in bulk. I bought a 50 lb sack of it for about $2.25 a pound. It measures nicely, stores nicely, and is easy to work with.
I don't really agree with this. You're correct about DME being easier to work with if you buy it in bulk. I would imagine measuring and storing bulk LME would be a huge PITA.

But if you're working with fresh LME I think it produces better-tasting beer. But like many things it is a matter of preference.


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Originally Posted by highgravitybacon View Post
LME seems to have its origin obscured by the retailer more too. There's so many private label or repacked LME types out there you never know if what you're getting is the same today as it was two months ago.

With DME you can usually find out who made it since there's not too many people making it. I'm partial to the Briess DME since it seems to ferment more fully than other types. With LME, just because the retailer slaps a label on it, who knows who really made it unless you buy a branded type like Muntons or Briess LME for instance.
Many of the online retailers sell repackaged Briess LME. Some advertise it as such (like Midwest), others don't (Northern Brewer). But one thing that you can be pretty confident about is the freshness of the extract that you buy from them. They sell a lot of extract, so you know the stuff you get from them hasn't been sitting on a shelf for months.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jmadway View Post
Any way to tell that your LME is old (or, I guess, no longer fresh)? Got mine out of the large barrels that they use at my LHBS. I assume that refrigerating it will keep it fresh longer?
If you have extra light extract that looks exceptionally dark, then it is probably old.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #17
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The main thing I look for in extract --that I can control with some background knowledge on the maltster-- is:

How close are the ppg/L ratings of this extract when compared to its 2-row or Pilsener malt equivalent?

Whether brewing a lager or an ale, I always want to be using something as close as possible to these base malts.

By knowing the ppg/L ratings of the extract, it helps me to ensure pureness of the product, that is to know (with a decent amount of certainty) that it isn't being stuffed with fillers, cara- malts, or added sugars.

This type of extract is always unhopped, Extra Light DME or Pilsener DME.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:49 PM   #18
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I like to use 1.5lb of plain DME in my partial boils. It doesn't darken like LME does. I do whatever hop schedule the recipe has,then add the other 1.5lb of DME & all LME at flame out. I get lighter colors & no twang.
I also think that DME gives some more complexity to an LME beer. Like using Munton's DME (English) with Cooper's cans. Australian beer is basically English in origin from colonial times. So I felt that the flavors of UK DME would compliment the Australian LME cans. Then whatever hops the style calls for. Many American beers use malts from other countries in there beers to get certain flavors. So I look at it from that perspective.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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You know, it occurs to me that the DME needed a LOT of stiring and a bit of a boil to get dissolved. It really wasn't fun compared to LME, so I'm wondering if maybe the problem with bitterness was I burned some in the bottom of the pot when boiling. There was no indication of a burn (ie black stuff stuck to it). but it may be more likely that any other cause....That DME stuff stuck to everything....
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #20
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That's the down side to DME,it's hydroscopic. Sucks moisture like a dry sponge. I use a plastic paddle & pour it slowly while stirring. Still have to dunk the open end of the bag a lil. Or like one guy said,pour it into a lil steel bowl & add it that way. Gotta dunk bowl.
And mine doesn't burn on the bottom either. It just clumps on top so I use the paddle to break it up while stiring. I try to pourit in slowly,which helps a little,but not much.


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