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Old 12-13-2007, 07:07 PM   #1

Yesterday I went to the mail box and found the newest copy of BYO (Jan-Feb). Started reading thru the readers mail and found they used my emailed question.

Reason to celebrate!!!

I was asking about how they formulate PM's. They will call out a recipe like this.
For this example just the fermentables, because that's my issue.

3.0 lbs - 2 Row
1/2 lbs 60L Crystal Malt
1/2 lbs Carapils

2lbs 5.3oz Lt LME
.6lbs Lt DME
I'm like WTF!!! Who will attempt to weigh out the LME & DME. The DME isn't so bad.

If you are formulating a recipe why wouldn't you go with 3.3lbs of LME, or increments of 1 & 3 of DME, and then reduce the amount of 2-row to get the gravity/color right? Malt extract is mostly sold in package qty and grains are bulk packaged to exact order qty.

The people who sell kits manage to figure this out. I can do it too in Promash.

Their answer was BS "We do to this to make good quality beer." They go on to say you can't go to whole amounts of specialty grains and hops. Duh!! I wasn't talking about anything other than DME & LME!!

The people who do the conversions are AG'rs (nothing wrong with that) but they don't think of how to make it easy for people who do anything less.

Look at the PM recipes and Extract w/ grain recipes you can tell they came from AG because the only thing in whole amounts are the base grains. (2-Row or 6-Row)

I'm just annoyed they don't realize this. Maybe they don't care?

If you saw this or agree please comment. Thanks!!

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Old 12-13-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
Kevin Dean
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Jul 2007
Frederick, MD
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Excellent! Now, if only Wired would publish me...
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:18 PM   #3
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May 2006
Adams, MA
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I don't read BYO regularly (and I usually don't pay much attention to partial mash versions of receipes), but I see exactly what you're saying and it makes all the sense in the world. Start with a "whole number" amount of extract (especially with LME, since you can more-easily measure out DME and save the extra), make up the difference with the base grain to get to the target gravity.

Sounds like they just didn't understand what you were asking....
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Jul 2006
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I understand what you're saying, and I agree completely with your argument when it comes to LME. However, I've measured very specific amounts of DME on multiple occasions for varying reasons. When I brewed extract, I kept quite a bit of the stuff on hand, so measuring an "odd" quantity down to a tenth of an ounce wasn't really that big of a deal.

Congrats on getting published...bummer that the answer to your question seems a little bogus. Care to post the entire text?
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
Aug 2007
West Virginia
Posts: 85

First, let me qualify this by saying that I am a relative noob and have zero PMs or AGs under my belt. Also, I have never read BYO. I understand your issue with this and it makes sense. However, what I figure they are doing is starting with their choice of PM grist and giving you the LME/DME additions they required to get to their target OG. Thus, the recipe takes into account their brewhouse efficiency. Granted, the LME/DME amounts aren't very practical, or the easiest/most convenient to measure by the average homebrewer. If this is the case, it would be nice if they indicated that in the recipe instructions and only used DME for convenience. It would make it a lot more user friendly to the average homebrewer if they stated the basic grain bill for the PM and instructed you to add DME to hit an SG of They should provide their efficiency and LME/DME additions for a reference. Am I way off base here?

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Old 12-13-2007, 07:53 PM   #6
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Oct 2007
Seattle, Washington
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I have to buck the trend here, and say that I don't have a problem with their answer. My biggest concern is the final quality of the beer, and if that is what was calculated to give me the best recipe possible, then that is what I will follow.

Regarding DME, I buy it in 1# and 3# bags from my LHBS, and if I only need part of one of those, I can always save the rest, or turn it into "starter wort". I just keep a digital kitchen scale with my brewing stuff, and I can measure out extract, hops, etc, just how I want it.

Regarding LME, I buy in bulk from my LHBS, so they weigh me out exactly how much I want, and there is no problem there either. I guess if the only way that you can get it at your LHBS is in pre-packaged cans, then you would have a problem, but all of the shops around me carry it in bulk, and weigh it out for you when you buy it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #7
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Seems fairly stupid to have pounds and ounces of LME and fractional pounds of DME. Round the LME down to the pound (or can as the case might be) and adjust the DME up.

That recipe would work with anything from 1-3 pounds of 2-row, so there really isn't any excuse to not adjust the 2-row.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:29 PM   #8
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Apr 2007
Posts: 580

I agree with you Shlenkerla, it should just be rounded. I am a PM'er and I have to scale the extract recipes up or scale the AGs down. I never measure the DME out to the fractional oz (I don't have a scale) I usually scale the recipe to get it so that I have an even amount in pounds of DME. Do people really measure out the LME? My LHBS only sells it in the 3 or 3.5 .lbs cans, but I don't use it anymore anyway...

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Old 12-13-2007, 09:42 PM   #9
Beer Drenched Executioner
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Jul 2007
Hoover, Alabama USA, Alabama
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You've got a pretty good point.

Congrats on getting published too, thats pretty cool.

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Old 12-13-2007, 10:20 PM   #10
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Mar 2007
Scaggsville, MD
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They beat the bush around the question all the time. They should just come out and say, "We use X software to formulate the recipes. Then we use its conversion tool and don't really care about the results." I would never use a PM or even an extract recipe from them because I doubt they test them.

You should follow up with a question on how to measure out 5.2 oz of LME.

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