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Old 12-08-2008, 11:37 PM   #1
JMU_Alumn08
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Ok so what are the pros and cons associated with liquid malt and dry malt extract? Also, it seems to make sense to use actual malted grains and boil them to create a "pre-boil tea" before adding the extract. How beneficial is this and is there a general rule of thumb for how much actual malted grains to use with extracts?

 
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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As long as the extract is fresh you shouldn't see much difference between liquid or dry. Never boil your grains though, you should steep them but you never want to go above about 160. I generally steep my grains at 155 for 20-30min depending. When choosing grains I don't really try to match them to the malt, more than the style of beer that I want in the end.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:52 PM   #3
JMU_Alumn08
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excellent. on top of the extract called for, how much grains (I guess in weight) should you use? I'm assuming too much would screw up your gravity..

 
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMU_Alumn08 View Post
excellent. on top of the extract called for, how much grains (I guess in weight) should you use? I'm assuming too much would screw up your gravity..
I generally shoot for 1-1.5# of grains per batch.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:31 AM   #5
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Freshness is indeed key. If you have doubts that your supplier moves alot of extract, go with the dry. Liquid doesn't stay fresh for as long.

 
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:56 AM   #6
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At my LHBS, dry is more expensive (about $10 more per batch).

 
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:17 AM   #7
Eves
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DME is generally more expensive. But then again it takes slightly less DME to equal the same amount of gravity from LME. Also, unlsss you're brewing a ton quickly DME is probably better to handle when in bulk (50+#s). I mean think about having to handle syrup for numerous brews. I think in there are generally more variations of available of LME than DME.

So ultimately it depends on what you're brewing and what is available to you.

 
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:20 AM   #8
JMU_Alumn08
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yea the two main concerns for me are freshness/quality of taste and an accurate color. from what I have gathered, it might be a toss up? but to get accurate color with LME I might have to start adding it late. is this not an issue with DME?

 
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #9
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I prefer the DME for a couple of reasons.

I like the fact that it is more stable on the shelf and I don't always get to brew when I want.

It's easier to deal with; no worry about turning off the heat when adding, less sticky mess, no digging with spatula to get it all out.

Maybe it's my imagination, but I think that since I've switched to DME, my beers have tasted better. Or maybe I'm just getting better at brewing?

Also I think that if you want a lighter colored beer, the DME can go a bit lighter than LME.

 
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMU_Alumn08 View Post
excellent. on top of the extract called for, how much grains (I guess in weight) should you use? I'm assuming too much would screw up your gravity..
That depends - if you're just steeping specialty grains you won't get a large amount of gravity points from them, mostly flavors and colors. Typically steeping recipes call for up to 1-1.5 lbs but it depends on the recipe.

If you're doing a partial mash with base grains as well as specialty grains, then you reduce the amount of extract proportional to the amount of grains you're mashing (and their expected gravity contribution). The ratio I use is 1 lb of grain = .75 lbs LME or .6 lbs DME. As an example, if you have an extract recipe that calls for 6 lbs of LME and you decide to mash 2 lbs of base malt along with your specialty grains, you reduce the LME amount by 1.5 lbs (2 x .75 = 1.5). I usually shoot for a 4-5 lb grain mash because that's what my 2 gallon cooler can handle.

As to the liquid vs dry debate, I prefer bulk liquid extract because it's cheaper and I find it more convenient, I bring my own container and they dispense whatever amount I want for the recipe I'm doing. No measuring for me - all I have to do is dump it into the kettle. They sell a lot of it so I know it's fresh. I'm lucky to have a great LHBS only a couple of miles from me - if I had to order it online or store it though, I'd use dry extract instead - I've not been impressed with canned liquid extract.
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