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Dry Malt Extract versus crushed grain

Hi all, just starting my first all-grain beer. I was wondering the differences between dry malt extract ($10.99 for 3lbs) and the crushed grain (like the Belgian Pale Ale, $1.50/lb). Are there different volume requirements for the mash, or different potentcies?

Um, It is possible that you may just have terms/ processes confused. If you are looking how to brew allgrain then you use a base malt like Belgian pale ale and mash it to convert the starches to sugars which you then boil the wort collected from the mash with hops to create finished wort ready for yeast after chilling.

Dry malt extract is basically grain that has been mashed and thus the starch converted to sugar and then the resulting wort drained from the mash is spray dried to create an instant wort when added back to water. IE: Add one pound DME to a gallon of water you will see an approximate SG of 1.045

DME or any grain for that matter has an approximate Specific Gravity that will depend on the PPPG( Per Pound Per Gallon) for that given product. DME has a pppg of 1.045 specific gravity. The grain you mentioned has a pppg of 1.035 specific gravity. (But see below to the answer to your question)

So using DME/LME is called extract brewing due to the fact that the mashing has already been done for you. Then some will “steep” some specialty grains to simply add flavor and color. Using some DME/LME along with some mashing of base/specialty grains is called partial mashing. Using strictly base/specialty grains is all grain.

So yes their is varying potency’s only when allgrain brewing which can vary depending on the grains PPPG or the efficiencies seen in mash/sparge and volume requirements depend on your choices of methods used to mash the grains. A base grain such as you mention with a pppg of 1.035 if mashed/sparged correctly and you realize 70% of mashing & sparging efficiency in 1.25 gallon of wort collected and boiled for 60 minutes you could expect 1.025 SG in the finished one gallon of wort. I know clear as mud right. 8) I’ll try to explain how it starts to add up below.

Here is the breakdown of all grain brewing regarding potency etc… Using a gallon of finished wort as example.
If you take one pound of base grain such as mentioned @ 1.035 PPPG and mash it with 1.25 quarts of water for 60 minutes( So a mash volume of 1.25 quarts per pound of grain) and then use a little over a gallon of sparge water to collect your preboil amount of 1.25 gallons then boil for 60 minutes you can expect the following in a finished gallon of wort again depending on the efficiency you personally achieve which will vary depending on many factors. Most beginning brewers will see around 60-70% efficiency of sugar converted/drained from the mash to the kettle.
1Lb of base malt @ 1.035 PPPG mashed @ 60% mash efficiency will = 1.021 SG finished wort.
" " @ 65% " " = 1.023 " "
" " @ 70% " " = 1.025 " "
" " @ 75% " " = 1.026 " "
" " @ 80% " " = 1.028 " "
Many pros will see efficiencies of 90-98% but as you see it is really tricky to extract all sugar from a mash in the home brewing sense. As an example I will typically yield around 85% and could get more if I went to extreme lengths but this is a number I am comfortable with.
So you see if you wanted that 1 gallon of finished wort to be 1.035 and you typically get 65% efficiency you would actually have to mash 1.5 pounds instead of one pound.

Firstly let me welcome you to the forum and make it clear that I welcome your questions and participation and please don’t take this as mean or dismissive but because of the fact that your missing much in between the lines in the question as a whole tells me to direct you back to John Palmers book or Charlie P’s brewing book as they can explain the entire process in a few chapters whereas your question actually goes into way too much forum discussion which cannot be explained away in a few posts as I have tried to today as it leaves you still wondering much about missing process details of what it takes to allgrain brew. I hope I have enlightened you into the part of the process you asked about and answered your immediate question and maybe you are confusing the “steeping” part of extract brewing with allgrain brewing. But if your really trying to allgrain brew then for follow up as a whole to this question please see:

Or the book “The complete joy of homebrewing” by Charlie P.

Have a great day.

Wow, I was going to answer but it looks like whatevers above may have you covered. Based on your question it seems there could be some confusion. Or maybe just a mix up of terminology. It’s ok, there’s a lot to get straight. Just do some reading before you dive in headfirst.

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