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Old 09-04-2008, 01:23 AM   #1
goplayoutside
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Hello to all --

I brew with extract and specialty grains, and I want to convert my old recipes to get all my fermentables from light DME for two reasons:

1) That way I am not stuck using whatever amber or dark LME the local LHBS has on hand and never knowing what's in it (I am hoping this will help my brews to be more consistent in the future).

2)I also always get residual sweetness with LME so won't be using it any more.

I already know how to covert between LME and DME. Here is my question:

What specialty grains should I use, and in what amounts, to replicate amber or dark extract if I am starting with light DME? I am aware that there is room for creativity here but I am looking for the experienced word on what to do I do if my recipe calls for Amber or Dark extract. Beersmith just coverts all extracts to pale malt.

Thanks for your help!


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Old 09-04-2008, 01:28 AM   #2
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Well depending on the recipe you can just use Crystal 30-80 for what darkness you want. If you want black color there are a variety of malts that can be used but each imparts a different taste whether roasty or bitter. Everything has a taste to it so just getting a color is difficult but the Crystal malts are the best way for a little tweaking


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Old 09-04-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goplayoutside View Post
What specialty grains should I use, and in what amounts, to replicate amber or dark extract if I am starting with light DME? I am aware that there is room for creativity here but I am looking for the experienced word on what to do I do if my recipe calls for Amber or Dark extract.
Oy. What a question!

The short answer is, "You can't exactly duplicate it."

I don't know of a single extract producer that releases their recipe as public information. You might be able to get what type of ingredient is included - for example, Briess Gold has a proportion of CaraPils - but you'll never know how much.

You've got a lot of work ahead of you. You're going to have to do a lot of reading on ingredients, styles, the benchmark beers for styles and proven recipes.

For example, I knew I could make a decent stout with dark extract, a little more dark specialty grains, and hops. It took experience and reading to find out that Dry Irish Stout was pale malt, flaked barley and roasted barley in certain percentages. From there it was simple to make Dry Irish Stout with light extract.

We could probably help if you listed the recipe(s) you'd like to convert.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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Tough one to answer...exactly.

I always recommend using Extra Light DME as a base. From there you can add grains for coloring and flavor.

You should brew up a couple of recommended recipes and tweak a second batch to your liking...
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:23 PM   #5
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I always use extra light DME for base, then I use ProMash and the book Designing Great Beers to determine what specialty grains are appropriate for the style and how much I should be using.

My own opinion is that you don't really want to replicate the LME you were using, you want to make a good beer. The reason I use and all extra light DME base is that it gives me the most control over my extract brews because I am deciding all the specialty grains that I will use.

As for an amber ale, I'd recommend just adding some crystal malt, use brewing software to pick the one that will give you the color you want.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:06 PM   #6
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Very roughly:

1/2 lb. of C80L for amber

1/2 lb. of C120L plus 4 oz. of chocolate for dark.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:25 AM   #7
goplayoutside
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Thanks for the help, folks. I'll keep at it. I have brewed a couple good batches that I was hoping to replicate using ingredients I can control (the reason for my original post). I'm aware that an exact match may be tough (and that there's more to getting a great batch of beer than just a recipe), and realize that basically what I will be doing is trying to develop my process and recipes together to the point where I can consistently make good beer.

If anyone wants to toss a little more help my way, here's a recipe I like for a mild-- any advice on the switch to all XLDME and specialty grains would be awesome (I am thinking maybe just up the chocolate malt a little? A little roasy-ness never killed anyone). This is a recipe for a 5gal batch.

Specialty Grains
0.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain
0.25 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain
Boil Ingredients
60 min 0.50 lb Munton's Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM)
60 min 1.00 lb Munton's Amber Dry Extract (12.5 SRM)
60 min 3.30 lb 1 Can John Bull Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM)
60 min 1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (60 min)
15 min 0.10 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min)
15 min 4.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 15.0 min)
10 min 0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (10 min)

Thanks again to all!
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
Bob
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Easy. Swap Light DME for the Amber, and add ~0.25 lb 55-60L Crystal to your grains. I'd keep the John Bull Pale LME, though, if you like a full-bodied Mild (like me). Muntons extracts typically ferment quite dry, and JB extracts ferment full-bodied. If you swap the JB extract for Muntons DME, you may find the recipe too thin.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:41 PM   #9
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...adding to Bob's comments...the substitution of the DMEs for Extra Light DME is easy, 3.3 lbs of LME is about 2.5 lbs of DME.

If you think the brew will be thin, as mentioned by Bob, then you can add 1-2 oz of Malto Dextrin to thicken the brew.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
goplayoutside
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
I'd keep the John Bull Pale LME, though, if you like a full-bodied Mild (like me). Muntons extracts typically ferment quite dry, and JB extracts ferment full-bodied.
Anyone know a good source of JB pale syrup? I might get a bunch of it.

I think I read that it's discontinued. If this is confirmed, maybe someone should start a thread on what specialty grains to add to other extracts (Munton's extra light DME, for example) to replicate the characteristics of the JB syrups.

Thoughts?


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