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Extract: dry vs liquid

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Philly_BrewGuy

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For extract brewing do you use liquid or dry ?

Which is better and why ?

When I first started I used kits which had liquid and dry extract in them. Once I started making my own recipies I started buying dry in bulk to save money. But my final gravities never go below 1.018. So I am tring liquid extract only right now.

One brewstore owner in town says that liquid vs dry makes absolutely no difference. The other brewstore owner says that dry has more unfermentables in it and therefore the gravities won't drop down as low.
 

NUCC98

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Philly_BrewGuy said:
For extract brewing do you use liquid or dry ?

Which is better and why ?

When I first started I used kits which had liquid and dry extract in them. Once I started making my own recipies I started buying dry in bulk to save money. But my final gravities never go below 1.018. So I am tring liquid extract only right now.

One brewstore owner in town says that liquid vs dry makes absolutely no difference. The other brewstore owner says that dry has more unfermentables in it and therefore the gravities won't drop down as low.
I use dry only, unless I happen to come across a kit w/ a can in it. I've never had any problems with them, personally. I mean, I'm no purist, or anything either. If you're concern is the lack of a lower gravity because they may be too sweet, I'd maybe toss in more hops or something...
 

D-brewmeister

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Philly_BrewGuy said:
But my final gravities never go below 1.018.
What are your yeast pitching (strain of yeast, dry yeast, liquid, smackpack, starter usage, aeration of wort, etc.)and fermnentation practices (temp, time)? Both of those would have a larger impact on your final gravity than the type of malt extract used. Also, if you are starting from a relatively high gravity, the normal attenuation of your yeast strain might only be expected to get the gravity down to the range of 1.018.
 

Janx

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I prefer dry. I tend to find that liquid has far more unfermentable sugar in it and off flavors. So, go figure. YMMV.
 

phuzle

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i havent been brewing long, but i've stopped using liquid just because of having to clean the containers. its a lot easier and faster to pour the powder.
 

Janx

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I just thought I'd add that dry extract definitely has as many or more fermentables as liquid. Liquid is more likely to have unfermentable sugars from caramelization.

Another downside of liquid is that it continues to darken in the can. So you will have more luck making lighter colored beer with extract. Always try to get the freshest liquid extract you can if you must use liquid. It will continue darkening in the can forever.
 

xpoc454

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Ive just started and been using brewer's best kits.
The 3 ive done so far, continental pilsner, american light and americna cream ale all had both dry and liguid.
The liguid in all three was very dark brown.

Could I use the ingredient list from the old kits, and lets say if i wanted to do another pilsner, and buy all the components and replace the liguid with the dry?

I assume you have to use more dry to replace the amount of liguid?

Do you guys weigh out your malt or do you just figure a cup weighs a certain amount?

Why would these kits like im using have a liguid extract, sounds like a lot of negatives compared to positives?

Im currently trying to figure out why these 3 beers have looked darker than i expected, the light was pretty clear but the ale and pilsner were a tea color and not clear. SO now im wondering if it could have been clearer with dry extract only? At least it couldnt hurt?

thanks
 

Brewman

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The only diff I have found is that with the liquid it burns on the bottom of my pot, the dried just floats till it desolves unlike the liquid that sinks.

Also try liquid yeast especially if you don't think you are getting a full fermentation. :)
 
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xpoc454

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Brewman said:
The only diff I have found is that with the liquid it burns on the bottom of my pot, the dried just floats till it desolves unlike the liquid that sinks.

Also try liquid yeast especially if you don't think you are getting a full fermentation. :)
My fermentation so far has been a piece of cake and right on time.
The clarity is only thing i question so far.
 

Janx

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You'll probably never get the clarity of commercial beer with extract brewing. It's not impossible with extract, but it's easier to make bright beer with all-grain. Just don't let it bother you. It doesn't affect the flavor, and as you brew more and your technique gets better, your beers will get clearer.
 

scottlo

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I have only recently gotten back into brewing. Prior to children I used mostly dry extract. Now that the kids are older and I'm brewing again, I have used only liquid extracts. Two batches with liquid, and I have had a 50-50 success, though I don't blame the ingredients, just my lack of experience.

I do agree with one of the previous posters about the tendency of liquid extracts to scorch to the bottom of the brew pot if you aren't extremely careful.
 

hawktrap74

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what is the equation to figure out liquid to dry, basically how much dry for a can of liquid(3.3lbs in a can).
 

ryser2k

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I said in another thread that I have read it's .60 lbs of DME or .75 lbs of LME for every pound of grain. I guess you can do the math from that and figure out the liquid to dry equation... it's too late for me to bust out my math skills tonight ;)
 

phuzle

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ryser2k said:
I said in another thread that I have read it's .60 lbs of DME or .75 lbs of LME for every pound of grain. I guess you can do the math from that and figure out the liquid to dry equation... it's too late for me to bust out my math skills tonight ;)
that would make 3 lbs of dry equal to 5 lbs of grain, and 3.3 lbs of liquid equal to 4.4 lbs of grain, if you're right (and my math is right). so that means dry extract gets you ~8% more sugar for the same money!
 

JEM Australia

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I have a reference that says the following:

1 unit of dry malt extract = 1.2 units of liquid malt extract
1 unit of dry malt extract = 1.45 units of grain

Obviously the grain conversion depends on your mashing and sparging equipment and general skills.

I've done some experimenting with liquid malt extract recently with a few different yeasts and seem to always get the same particular off flavour. Therefore I've convinced myself that it is the liquid malt. I now use dry and besides it's easier to measure and handle.
 

CavA3R4

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years ago I used to use the dry malt extract because of price.
now I use liquid extracts as they don't have the tendency of wanting to BOIL over right away like the DME's do.
 

Kiln

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You'll probably never get the clarity of commercial beer with extract brewing. It's not impossible with extract, but it's easier to make bright beer with all-grain. Just don't let it bother you. It doesn't affect the flavor, and as you brew more and your technique gets better, your beers will get clearer.
I have always heard serving beer at a certain temperature is more flavorful. I recently just cranked the fridge to 30* F and left my secondary carboy for 2 weeks and boom. Clear. The 30*F and a little time, wow. It's agreeable that it's not a big deal to me but hey it's nice to see.
 

Kiln

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I have always liked DME better. I also like to add some corn sugar no more than 15 or 20% to the grist and that lowers the FG to a more crisp finish. "Did you eat your corn boy? You done good to eat your corn mmmm hmmmm."
 

stodds

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years ago I used to use the dry malt extract because of price.
now I use liquid extracts as they don't have the tendency of wanting to BOIL over right away like the DME's do.
Wow. 13 years later! :)
 

snarf7

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I have always heard serving beer at a certain temperature is more flavorful. I recently just cranked the fridge to 30* F and left my secondary carboy for 2 weeks and boom. Clear. The 30*F and a little time, wow. It's agreeable that it's not a big deal to me but hey it's nice to see.
Really? Why is that, do you know? Was it a lager you were brewing?
 

Kiln

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Really? Why is that, do you know? Was it a lager you were brewing?
? Do I know what? It was fermented with wlp001 at 70 f . Racked
and it's lagering still.
 

Apimyces

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Are you paying shipping or is it included? LME is cheaper. But yea, also heavier. If shipping is free that's not a concern though.
 

Soulshine2

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For extract brewing do you use liquid or dry ?

Which is better and why ?

When I first started I used kits which had liquid and dry extract in them. Once I started making my own recipies I started buying dry in bulk to save money. But my final gravities never go below 1.018. So I am tring liquid extract only right now.

One brewstore owner in town says that liquid vs dry makes absolutely no difference. The other brewstore owner says that dry has more unfermentables in it and therefore the gravities won't drop down as low.
Let me start by saying I have only used extract in my first attempts at making beer. I have used AG for the rest. BUT, I have a Dunkelweizen kit that I ordered without realizing that it is in fact an extract kit. So, for that I'm going to jump back into it only briefly...Maybe it will expand my brewing ideas at the same time ,who knows ,right? I may try to do a PM .
Either way , take my comment with a grain of salt.
From what I have read ,both DME and LME are or can be equally important to the home brewer, each having its own merits . LME comes in cans ,right? But, once you open one , they dont store well and you pretty much have to use it up or it will go rancid .Unless, you plan on brewing again in sufficient time ,then you can use it up. On the other hand, DME is very easy to store once opened and unused, as long as it is kept out of sunlight, dry and cool , it'll last you a while remaining pretty much unchanged.
So, lets say your can of LME comes packaged as a 3 lb can...Your recipe calls for oh lets say 4.5 pounds. Instead of opening the second can and eventually tossing half of a can of LME in the trash , just use the first can of LME, and supplement with DME to make up the balance of the ingredient or even if only to adjust your SG .
 

Apimyces

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3lb of LME will give about 5.0% ABV in 2 gallons. Unless you want to brew less than that, doesn't seem like one should be wasting.

That said, yea, if you intend to follow a specific recipe, you could end up with the hassle of surpluses. But if you brew at least 5 gals, with at most a handful of adjuncts, should be fairly easy to tweak recipes to end up without leftovers. But hey, I've never followed a recipe, so...
 

ncbrewer

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LME comes in cans ,right? But, once you open one , they dont store well and you pretty much have to use it up or it will go rancid
It also darkens in a sealed can. I try to use all mine within three months, and I brew the paler beers first.
 
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