Using Munich/Pilsen LME

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dukes909

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Got a deal on some Munich LME from one of the big online homebrew stores; it comes in 4lb foil pouches, and it is listed as 50% Pilsen malt and 50% Munich. I bought it on a whim based on the price with no plan of what to make with it. I tried a simple brown ale with it and it turned out waay maltier, extract-ier, and darker than what I expected. Now I am wondering if the deal was because they were past their shelf life (no date on the bags); I can't even find a recipe on their website that uses it. I bought a bunch - any recommendations for using this stuff would be appreciated!! I should add that I tend to stick with pale ales, brown ales, and stouts when I homebrew.
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Omahawk

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If you wanted to do a pale ale, and subdue the color and “extractiness” of the Munich LME, you could try a mini mash with more base malt. Something like 4 lbs Munich LME and 4 lbs pils or 2-row might make a decent base for a 5-gallon pale ale.
 

IslandLizard

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LME does have a limited life span. The flavor (and color) changes with age. I'm surprised there is no date on the packages. A lot # perhaps?
Contact the store, they should know.

Although that Munich LME is intended for use in Oktoberfests, Bocks, and such beers,* it should work fine for Brown Ales, Porters, and Stouts, alas, that's a lot of Munich (very malty) for those styles. You can "dilute" the Munich content by mixing in regular Pilsen Light or Golden Light LME or DME.

Now Porters and Stouts can mask a lot of (off) flavor, more so than a Brown Ale. But if your LME tastes stale or off, it may carry forward and ruin the experience.

* I would not use outdated LME for those beers as there is very little to mask any off flavors and aromas. Only the freshest extract should be used. Or better yet, brew from fresh all-grain.

Stored well sealed and dry DME lasts much longer than LME. Many years (I've used 10-year old DME in yeast starters) vs. a few months, perhaps up to a year for LME.
 
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dukes909

dukes909

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LME does have a limited life span. The flavor (and color) changes with age. I'm surprised there is no date on the packages. A lot # perhaps?
Contact the store, they should know."
I did contact them and this was their reply:
"Unfortunately, we won't be able to obtain the expiration date for your malt extract.
We can, however, tell you that our manufacturer says it has about a two-year shelf life. We do understand that you don't know how old it was when you received it, but if you've had it on your shelf for longer than a year or a year and a half, we wouldn't recommend using it."
 
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any recommendations for using this stuff would be appreciated!!
Briess offers recipe suggestions at their web site http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/. The web site includes the ability to search by malt type. A search on Munich LME finds a number of recipes where multiple types of LME are used in the recipe.

http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/oktoberfestival-beer

http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/munich-madness-bock

http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/malt_monster_doppelbock

This recipe http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/training-wheels-ale is for an amber - so adjust the steeping grains convert it into a brown ale.
 

IslandLizard

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I did contact them and this was their reply:
"Unfortunately, we won't be able to obtain the expiration date for your malt extract.
We can, however, tell you that our manufacturer says it has about a two-year shelf life. We do understand that you don't know how old it was when you received it, but if you've had it on your shelf for longer than a year or a year and a half, we wouldn't recommend using it."
How long have you had it since the purchase?

A Brown Ale floats on maltiness, sweetness/character from crystal malts, and some chocolate malt. 50% Munich may be a little much but should still taste great. Not sure why the color got a lot darker than expected, except for the ingredients used. What else did you use in the recipe? Is there enough bitterness and hop flavor to balance?
 
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