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Munton's LME

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JuanKenobi

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I recently moved and with the move I decided that I needed to get a REAL pipeline going to avoid the VERY high price of beer where I now live. So, I decided to order some bulk extract. My everyday brews are usually pretty simple (bitters, stouts, browns). So, 33lb. Munton's LME is the cheapest extract through my usual supplier. At the same time I bought a stout kit because it was on sale and I know it to be a good beer.

I started with the stout the day after I moved in (drinking it now, good as I remember) and my OG reading was higher than expected. This was right before I joined HBT so I wasn't really aware of the mixing issues that often occur with partial boils. OK no big deal, moving on.

So, now I'm starting my next batch and I've been lurking around HBT for a few days learning a ton of new stuff. This batch was a Cali. Common. I had bought the ingredients with the intention of brewing with a friend who's interested in learning. Well, with the move and everything we never got to it, so I figured I should use the stuff since it was just getting old. I used DME and the biggest boil I could (with a 22qt. brew pot), and again the OG is higher than expected. Obviously it's the hydrometer, right?

I go on to calibrate the hydrometer with every test I can find, and I do it against an old hydrometer I've had sitting around for years. Turns out they are both off a bit in distilled water, but the offset seems to stay the same regardless of the SG of the test liquid. Good news, because now the OG of the Common is right on. The stout must have been a mixing problem.

Next batch is an ordinary bitter with the LME, 4 gallon boil, topped up to 5.5 gal in primary. OG comes in high again even considering hydrometer calibration. Oh well still using top up water, next time I'll take OG after some vigorous aeration.

After reading a lot about extract (well, everything really) here on HBT I realized that the bulk LME probably wasn't the best way to go. Oh well, that just means I need to use it up. I decided to do an ESB based on the same basic recipe as the ordinary bitter but bigger to use the LME faster. Long story short I did everything I could to make sure that my wort was properly mixed. I stirred it with a slotted spoon like crazy and then shook the crap out of it to aerate all before taking OG reading. The reading came in 9 points higher than Beersmith said it should be. Now some of this could be because I'm not being super-precise about measuring the LME from the bulk container (I just use an old 3.3lb can), but .009 high seems like too much for a couple oz. discrepancy.

Has anyone ever had this problem with Munton's LME. Maybe its contribution is higher than other LMEs? I know with extracts the predicted OG should hit every time, but I think I've got enough experience to at least question the extract before I write it off as a mixing problem. Especially since I hit within a point when I used DME for the common.

Oh, and so far I've been hitting FGs almost perfectly. Also, the stout base extract was also Munton's LME.
 

cuinrearview

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If you're finishing up where you should be every time then it's still a mixing issue or maybe you're not adjusting for temp?
 
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JuanKenobi

JuanKenobi

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I don't adjust for temp, but I do everything at room temp in my house which is about 64 - 66* My max pitching temp is 68* Adjusting would just add a point or so and that only drives the reading up. I'm not worried about it as I am hitting finish temps (or close to it). Last batch was a couple points high. It's a non-issue. I just thought it was weird that I hit gravity with DME, but not with LME and it was all Munton's LME. Didn't know if any more experienced extract brewers ever noticed something similar. I have read through various searches that a lot of members don't like LME, Munton's especially. Also I am annoyed that I have bought 3 hydrometers and none of them are accurate in distilled water. I hate having to adjust. Oh well, the beer comes out good anyway. I just found a really good deal on big SS pots so I'll be moving up to full boils soon.
 
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