I’m fairly new to brewing and am using extract kits from northern brewer. I’ve read a lot of articles about LME vs DME but can’t find anyone talking about using them together. Many of the extract kits come with both. Is there advantages to this? Say I were creating my own recipe. Would it be something to consider?
LME comes in more varieties.
DME lasts longer in storage.
DME is also easier to measure out small amounts- say you need 1.2 lb.
So which to use depends on what your recipe is.
For example, if you plan on making an Oktoberfest, then the Munich LME would be a good choice. Same deal if you want to make a Rye IPA- then the Rye LME would be what you’d want.
But if you’re making an regular IPA, or cream ale or Irish Red or whatever, then regular light DME would be your base extract.
Pound for pound DME will yield more gravity points than LME because the LME is approximately 20% water.
A beer brewed with all Pilsen DME will be lighter in color than the same beer brewed with all Pilsen LME. This is due to the Maillard reaction. When a sugar is heated the color becomes darker. LME has already been heated. It will be a darker color than the DME.
There’s more. This is just some of the basic differences and the reasons for their use.
Before you start doing your own extract recipy. Stick to the one recipy. That came with your kit. You learn lots about the effect using. Lme and dme together. One thing i did learn. Add 1/2 the dme beginning of the boil and the other1/2half about 20 on the end of your boil time. Due to the color of the dme. Mailard effect. One thing help as well due full boil. Start with 5.5 gall water. And boil 1 gal water separte. To steep your specialty grains. Helps lots with flav and your brew dont become so dark. One you done steeping add the wort to your 5.5 gall other water. Than start your planned beer brew. Do to boil of you end up with 5.5 gal wort so no need to add more water
For most kits, it seems like LME makes up the bulk of the fermentables, Because it’s marginally cheaper, but it only comes in a couple sizes. DME comes in more, and smaller size choices.
So imagine you’re making a recipe, Depending on the style, you have a range of fermentables sugar that’s supposed to be there at the beginning; we measure that as the Original Gravity or OG. So you want your OG to be within a particular range. The problem is, one bottle of LME isn’t enough to get there, but 2 bottles would be too much. So they get a bag or two of DME to hit the target without overshooting.
Ironically, I think it’s much easier to make all grain recipes.
Thats one of the reasons i did move to all grain. Feel more control. Creating recipy. And fun calculating. Grain bill milling. Hops selection. And do like the color how all grain comes out
Thanks for the input. Makes more sense now.