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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: nomadicvagabond on January 24, 2010, 05:08:24 AM

Title: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: nomadicvagabond on January 24, 2010, 05:08:24 AM
I'm wondering what everyone thinks about the pro's and con's of liquid and dry extract.  I currently use mostly liquid because I figured since it goes through less dehydration it may be changed less by the process than dry extract.  I've never read anything to this effect, it's more of an assumption.  However, I find that dry easier to work with.  So, if they both produce beers of the same quality, I'd rather make the switch over to dry more often.

I've only used dry a couple of times and one of them ended up with a bad fermentation (temp got way too high) so I don't feel like I can really make a fair comparison.  Does anyone have more experience with both and can attest to the similarities and differences in the final products?


Thanks!
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: a10t2 on January 24, 2010, 05:52:43 AM
Liquid: less expensive, attenuates better (mostly).
Dry: easier to handle, longer shelf life (especially at room temperature).
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2010, 01:34:41 PM
Liquid yeast also tends to be darker that light DME. If you really want top brew a very pale beer DME is your best alternative. If you have any qualms about its attenuation simply sub 2 - 5% of the extract with sugar.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: makemehoppy on January 24, 2010, 01:58:02 PM
Liquid: less expensive, attenuates better (mostly).
Dry: easier to handle, longer shelf life (especially at room temperature).
I'm not sure I agree. LME is cheaper by the pound, but you need less DME for the same recipe. I also found DME had a better shelf life. I found the LME would darken much faster.
I found dry easier to use and easier to measure, but it left a small sticky cloud no matter how carefully I tried to handle it.

I would certainly recommend to try both and use the one that works best for you.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: a10t2 on January 24, 2010, 04:11:25 PM
I'm not sure I agree. LME is cheaper by the pound, but you need less DME for the same recipe.

I think if you do the math you'll find LME is actually cheaper per gravity unit.

I found dry easier to use and easier to measure, but it left a small sticky cloud no matter how carefully I tried to handle it.

Definitely; you end up with little bits of DME sticking to everything.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: dontblake on January 24, 2010, 04:17:44 PM
When I do extract batches, I tend to use liquid.  Seems to be easier to use (no clumping, getting DME over everything, etc).   My trick is to do the following:
Steep specialty grains as the brew water heats up.
When it gets to about 150ish, back the flame down
Get another stock pot and pour some of the hot liquor into it, add your LME to soften/mix
By the time you've mixed all your LME and cleaned out the container, your specialty grains are about done, so pull em out and rinse a bit.
Add the LME to the main kettle and kick that flame up

Whenever I tried using DME, I would just get a clumpy disaster.  That being said, I do keep DME on hand at all times to adjust pre-boil gravity, make starters, use in bread, etc
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: denny on January 24, 2010, 05:51:52 PM
I switched over to DME only quite a while back.  It keeps better than LME, and I'm more concewrned with quality than ease of use.  Which is not to say that it's all that difficult to use.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: beerrat on January 27, 2010, 02:41:20 AM
I've switched to DME only due to stability shelf life.  I could not be sure how well the temperature were maintained at my local homebrew shop (or my basement for that matter).


I mix the DME into the hot water with a whick - a little at a time.. no issues..  I find it just as long to squeeze the liquid from the potch, or scrapping from the can.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: euge on February 11, 2010, 06:50:34 AM
The LHBS owner claims Dry extract to be "more fermentable"... I've found Breiss DME appears to attenuate a few points lower than their LME.

Supposedly DME keeps better and is resistant to oxidation, but the wort darkening with old/stale DME does happen. Handling the dry can be tricky and messy, but even warmed up LME has it's own particular handling characteristics.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: troy@uk on February 26, 2010, 01:00:54 PM
I use both, many times in the same batch. I like LME because it is easier to do a late addition, where the DME is hard to add once the steam starts to rise.  I like DME because I can get odd measurments without any waist, I can save the leftovers for later use in a starter or to prime with.
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: mikebiewer on March 19, 2010, 04:35:42 PM
I'm thinking of switching completely over to DME once I start formulating my own recipes.

The main reason for that choice is for the longer shelf life and the ability to control color a bit more.

Other than that, I have no reasons!
Title: Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
Post by: dougdever on April 22, 2010, 02:23:55 AM
I switched over to DME only quite a while back.  It keeps better than LME, and I'm more concewrned with quality than ease of use.  Which is not to say that it's all that difficult to use.

Interestingly, I made the opposite switch - from DME to LME.  What I did for LME was to start ordering from a homebrew shop that I knew goes through a lot of it and I order no more than 2 weeks before I plan on brewing.  Which is fine if you are ok with "just in time" delivery.  But sort of limits one from buying in bulk. 

Although I was intrigued to see the article in the recent Zymurgy where the author used cans of 10 year old LME.  No thanks!    :D