Just wondering if folks prefer LME over DME? Anyone recommend or suggest against mixing the two?
DME is easier to weigh and use, lighter in color, and more fermentable than LME, and it stores longer. There are basically zero advantages to LME. If you must brew with extract, go with DME for everything.
If buying LME from a source that has an fast turnover, LME is a good product. I might stay away from the canned LME.
Downside of LME: storage of leftover product when you need to split a jug to hit an OG.
Downside of DME: A little moisture and it clumps up. Upside: slightly easier to store the open packages when you need only a portion of it.
Both are coming along with different products. Pilsen, wheat, light, extra light …
LME may be easier to mix. Mix the DME with cool water 1st. Then add to the boil pot to avoid clumping.
No reason you could not use a jug of LME and a little DME to fine tune the SG wanted.
A agree with Nighthawk. I tend to use both and have no issues. I read a long time ago that the DME can add some body to the ale or porter, etc… I love the Munton’s but for 2 cans the price has gotten outrageous. I tend to use the whole 6 lb. jug of LME. no leftovers that way.
Honestly I hate DME because of the clumping. You try to carefully shack it out of the bag to avoid spilling while measurering; sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle, avalanche, DME all over countertop and scale…
This is all probably user error and me being impatient but I don’t like the stuff. I rarely use either if I can avoid it.
Thanks for the input. Just wondering as I am creating some new IPA malt bills. Was thinking a mix of using some pilsen DME in the beginning of the boil (after steeping some crystal or vienna) and then adding NB’s Pilsen LME during the last 15 min with some orgranic cane sugar to make it west coast style. The LME is advertised to have some carapils mixed in to add a bit more body. Any thoughts?
Go for it - it is your brew - that is the point of doing all of this.
Both have advantages and disadvantages.
I find LME to be easier to work with (if you use the entire jug in your beer. I can’t imagine having to weigh a specific amount.). I also think that when fresh, it produces a better tasting beer.
I find the clumping of DME to be very annoying. But it is much easier to store and weigh. You can also produce a lighter wort with DME.
Thanks for everyone’s thought. I am definitely going for a lighter wort therefore making the hops stand out. One can not have a truely pale ale it you don’t have light wort. I used NB’s gold LME in the past and it comes out darker than I would like due to it caramelizing. No more IBA’s…Iwant IPA’s! I guess this entire conversation is really telling me to finally go to all grain.
No doubt DME and late additions will keep the color much lighter.
My only gripe with LME is with very high gravity beers. Needed to get a bigger brew pot for ~1.090 OG beers.
I’m looking to go all grain in the near (yeah, right) future too. In the mean time, I use both liquid and dried for various additions. I can’t say I’m not bothered by the clumping of the dried, but hey, the clumps disovle in a few minutes anyway, so who cares???
Brew on and don’t worry!
I’m surprised no one brought up price. When I was brewing extract, I used LME for the bulk of the fermentables, then added DME to make up any difference that would have required splitting a can of LME. I never went with only DME because it cost so much more. But I also tended to buy just enough ingredients to make one batch at a time too, so bulk purchasing may change that.
I would agree that DME is in most respects a superior product. It just requires more care to keep moisture out until you are ready to use it.
Last I checked you can’t get Munich DME or Rye DME. Both are available in liquid extract form. If you need wheat, amber, pilsen, or light extract, go with DME but there are some advantages to liquid extract.
Off topic, but my understanding is that you would want to boil pilsen extract extra long to purge DMS/DMS precursors. Would a 15 min addition of pilsen be something of a bad thing?
On topic, I have only about a half dozen brews under my belt, but it’s been all LME for me. Cheaper and easier to handle from what I can see. If I really wanted to make a lighter brew, I’d probably go with DME. I will be doing a wheat DME with a buddy in a couple weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to my other wheat brews.
Off topic, but my understanding is that you would want to boil pilsen extract extra long to purge DMS/DMS precursors. Would a 15 min addition of pilsen be something of a bad thing?[/quote]
I’m pretty certain that happens when the extract is made, so you don’t have to worry about it.
I think this may have answered my question but my last brew called for DME and LME at the end of the boil. In every other kit I’ve brewed I put the LME in at the beginning, so, in my haste I put it in at the start of the boil instead of the last 15 min.
I’m assuming that would only affect the color of the beer?
I’ve found that LME is definitely darker than DME at the end of the boil. One way I get around it is to only boil half of it for the full 60 minutes, and boil the last half of LME at 15 minutes left. There is absolutely no reason you can’t mix LME and DME in a boil either. Won’t hurt a thing.
Pandu – Yeah, it’s just a color thing. You can’t taste color. Don’t worry about it.
Off topic, but thanks again to Dave above… My Munich Helles just went into secondary after diacetyl rest and is currently lagering. It appears to be just the right color and tasted great flat, with no hints of butter or rhino fart sulfur smell remaining. Thanks again for helping me adjust my recipe to achieve the right color and hop balance. I know color doesn’t normally matter, but it does in my Helles damnit!!!