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Dry extract advice from HBS

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rightwingnut

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While I was in Philly visiting family, I stopped in at a local HBS. The guy was telling me that liquid extract is meant to be boiled long, to "break down the sugars", but dry is already "cooked", and not meant for long boils. (long boil will caramalize) Naturally, I was laughing on the inside, nodding on the outside. Just sounded like a bunch of BS. It is, right?
 

Janx

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Your instincts are good. It's very much BS. They're the exact same thing except there's more liquid in the liquid type, and the way they process the dry involves vacuums and high tech stuff.

But really, some big brewery just makes a mash and collects the runnings and then concentrates it in one way or another. You don't have to boil longer, and doing so wouldn't break down sugars anyway...just make more unfermentable caramelization.

As an aside, I read the other day the scientific explanation for why liquid extract continues to darken in the can, which I won't bother to bore everyone with here. Basically, in the presence of liquid, the extract will always continue to darken, so liquid is less appropriate for long storage than dry, and you want to be careful to get the freshest liquid extract you can.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I just prefer dry. I think it's more flexible and gives you a cleaner base flavor to build on. Cheers! :D
 

uglygoat

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dry seems to taste better to me as well. the canned stuff, like all canned foods imho, always seems to taste like the can.... ;)
 

Hatzie

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I've used both, but towards the end of my extract brewing I prefered DME. Now the only thing I use it for is starters.
 

phuzle

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i prefer dry. i dont really notice any difference in taste, but the easyness of the powder is all i really care about.
 

Swervo Maneuver

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Some say liquid is less processed and therefore preferable.
I dunno.
Does DME suffer with age? What precautions might one need to take with a large open package?

Another thing: I can get 33# of liquid Muntons @ my HBS for about $60.
The only DME portion larger than about 3# is 55# for $165 DME is danged expensive.
 

Janx

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DME does not suffer with age...at least not for a loooong time. Liquid continues to darken because the malt sugars in the presence of water are constantly darkening. It also has more unfermentable sugars. Whether one is more or less processed doesn't seem relevant if the processing is beneficial. Malted barley is more processed than unmalted, but I'll still stick with malted.

DME is more stable, and therefore preferable, since you can't be sure how old the liquid at the HBS is.

Studies have shown that *many* liquid extracts contain a high percentage of non-malt sugars. Like cane sugar. Maybe that's why it's cheaper? It's almost certainly why so many people who make extract beer complain about sweetness and cidery flavors.

I have always thought dry tasted much better and cleaner, and you can control the color better. I really don't see any advantage to liquid. It suprises me that it's still around. It's probably just easier and more profitable for companies to make, because it isn't better for homebrewers.
 

homebrewer_99

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Swervo Maneuver said:
Some say liquid is less processed and therefore preferable.
I dunno.
Does DME suffer with age? What precautions might one need to take with a large open package?

Another thing: I can get 33# of liquid Muntons @ my HBS for about $60.
The only DME portion larger than about 3# is 55# for $165 DME is danged expensive.
How much DME does that equate to? IMO you're paying a lot for water (weight).

I use the Midwest supply store on-line and only pay $120 for 55# of DME.

I still have some 3# bags of DME that are over 6 years old. They look/feel like I purchased them yesterday.
 

ryser2k

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rightwingnut said:
While I was in Philly visiting family, I stopped in at a local HBS. The guy was telling me that liquid extract is meant to be boiled long, to "break down the sugars", but dry is already "cooked", and not meant for long boils. (long boil will caramalize) Naturally, I was laughing on the inside, nodding on the outside. Just sounded like a bunch of BS. It is, right?
What store in Philly? I'm heading down there in a few weeks for a Phils game, and I'm always up for visiting homebrew shops...
 
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rightwingnut

rightwingnut

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Barry's Homebrew Outlet. Corner of Front and Snyder in south Philly. Very small, no whole hops, and don't trust the guy's advice. ;)
 

homebrewer_99

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I used to live a short distance from there, 5th and Mifflin. I still have relatives at 2nd and Siegel. That whole neighborhood has changed.

I'll be in York, PA on Monday for a couple of weeks. I may/not visit relatives in Cherry Hill, NJ next weekend.
 

JEM Australia

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In Australia, we can get dry malt extract that the manufacturer claims is spray dried (Muntons from the UK). The other stuff is heated and vacuumed until crystalisation I think.

I thought this was better because it had less heating but then I thought of oxidation, which might be bad??

It seems Muntons in the UK supplies a lot of malt to Aussie homebrewers so it is probably best to use dry because it stores longer without deterioration.
 

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