extract taste...every time.

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BrewnWKopperKat

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Over the weekend, I listened again to the BBR podcasts mentioned in #26 - listening to things I may have missed on either off flavors or color. I didn't hear anything new.

A couple of years ago the "no boil" topics I mentioned in #68 started a trend that extract brewers (or those who want to brew a quick batch of beer) may want to consider. Some/many of those recipes add CaCl or CaS04 to an all-extract recipe ??.

@Steveruch 's recent Zymurgy recipes are also worth some thought. Has anyone else noticed that he breaks/ignores some/many of @dmtaylor 's tips & tricks (see #14)? Maybe both are right.

:mug:
 
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dmtaylor

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I learned looooooooong ago not to use LME unless I buy it fresh from a reliable source, and otherwise to only use DME. I am mostly all-grain now, but still brew an extract batch every few years, made one about 18 months ago that turned out great, following all my standard tips & tricks.

The no-boil thing is new to me, at least with respect to brewing beer. If I were going to try anything like that today or in future, I would take care to heat everything up to at least 160 F for at least 10 minutes to kill any nasties --- this is exactly how I make all my ciders and meads, which are award winners. Mead snobs sneer at the idea of heating the honey, but, what can I say, the results are fantastic, I've won a Best of Show for my mead. So I think extract brewing could be no different. I'd heat up to about 160 F for a few minutes (or longer) then it should be sanitized and good to go, no boil required. I would be extremely cautious against not heating portions at all, that is a HUGE risk in my experience. I've had a lot of batches go bad for taking any shortcuts at all similar to this. Don't do it. You can get lucky a dozen times or two, but eventually it will bite you in the ass.
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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storing [...] LME correctly
The paragraph in the link I provided also mentioned warehouses and trucks. Was the LME stored correctly at home? Was the LME stored correctly in the warehouse for a short period of time? Was the LME stored correctly during shipping to the house? to the warehouse?
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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The no-boil thing is new to me, at least with respect to brewing beer. If I were going to try anything like that today or in future, I would take care to heat everything up to at least 160 F for at least 10 minutes to kill any nasties --- this is exactly how I make all my ciders and meads, which are award winners. Mead snobs sneer at the idea of heating the honey, but, what can I say, the results are fantastic, I've won a Best of Show for my mead. So I think extract brewing could be no different. I'd heat up to about 160 F for a few minutes (or longer) then it should be sanitized and good to go, no boil required. I would be extremely cautious against not heating portions at all, that is a HUGE risk in my experience. I've had a lot of batches go bad for taking any shortcuts at all similar to this. Don't do it. You can get lucky a dozen times or two, but eventually it will bite you in the ass.
Agreed - pasteurization is my friend when brewing. I can't speak for all the recipes in those articles, many of the ones that I saw did "hop stands" (170F for 20 or 30 min).
 

MrPhyr

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The paragraph in the link I provided also mentioned warehouses and trucks. Was the LME stored correctly at home? Was the LME stored correctly in the warehouse for a short period of time? Was the LME stored correctly during shipping to the house? to the warehouse?
I think we can agree that nearly all of those factors are exacerbated when it is also in a kit.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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all of those factors are exacerbated
I'll go with all those factors can be exacerbated when it is also in a kit.

The interesting questions going forward may be how to store, evaluate, and use the ingredients to get the best beer possible.
 

Vale71

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Is it possible that the extract taste is more noticeable to some than others?
Absolutely, as with any other taste thresholds and response change from person to person, so it's possible that the OP has a higher than average sensitivity to the extract taste which is a combination of thermal loading (both spray drying as well as vacuum evaporation have that issue) as well as oxidation (i.e. freshness).
 

VikeMan

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The interesting questions going forward may be how to store, evaluate, and use the ingredients to get the best beer possible.
After all these years of brewers having issues with stale LME, I wonder why they even use it. If I were brewing extract, I'd be using DME. Is LME cheaper than DME?

For "fun," I looked up Pilsner DME and LME prices/specs on MoreBeer.
DME: $13.99 for 3 pounds (~ $4.66 per pound), 45 PPG
LME: $10.99 for 3 pounds (~ $3.66 per pound), 35 PPG

DME:
($4.66 / pound) ÷ 45 PPG = 10.4 cents per point per gallon

LME:
($3.66 / pound) ÷ 35 PPG = 10.5 cents per point per gallon
 

Vale71

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After all these years of brewers having issues with stale LME, I wonder why they even use it.
1 - LME has suffered less heat stress than DME so that, for example, lighter-colored beers are possible
2 - it's easier to handle as it's not hygroscopic like DME, which means it does not turn into a sticky mess a couple of minutes after you've measured it out
3 - it's easier to add to boiling water without having a boil-over every time

BTW DME goes stale too, it's not immune to aging and oxidation.
 

dmtaylor

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1 - LME has suffered less heat stress than DME so that, for example, lighter-colored beers are possible
2 - it's easier to handle as it's not hygroscopic like DME, which means it does not turn into a sticky mess a couple of minutes after you've measured it out
3 - it's easier to add to boiling water without having a boil-over every time

BTW DME goes stale too, it's not immune to aging and oxidation.
I couldn't disagree more.

1 - DME can be produced extremely light in color, and holds that light color for many years. LME, not so much.
2 - LME is always a sticky mess to deal with. DME isn't a sticky mess if you know how to use it and store it right.
3 - LME sinks to the bottom of the kettle and can burn. DME doesn't do that as much. The remedy of course for either LME or DME is to always remove the kettle from the heat prior to adding it. Either one can boil over if not watched like a hawk once bringing it back to the boil, almost the same as an all-grain wort for that matter but I do find that extract foams even more than all-grain does. But lower the heat for 5 minutes until the hot break settles, then you can crank it up again.

DME lasts for many many years without going stale. It might rock up a bit but who cares. LME lasts only for a few minutes it seems before it goes stale. Kind of like how a new car loses half its value the second you drive it off the dealer's lot.

That's my experience.
 

VikeMan

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1 - LME has suffered less heat stress than DME so that, for example, lighter-colored beers are possible
I agree in theory, but I've never seen LME, even "fresh-ish" LME that wasn't darker than it should have been. I'm guessing it's because the perfect supply chain doesn't exist. I'm sad when someone hands me an LME hefeweizen or "pale" ale.

2 - it's easier to handle as it's not hygroscopic like DME, which means it does not turn into a sticky mess a couple of minutes after you've measured it out
I found DME easier to handle. Certainly easier to separate from its container. With DME, it didn't (doesn't...I still use it for starters) become sticky until it was being dumped into the steamy kettle. I imagine that MMV depending on humidity.

3 - it's easier to add to boiling water without having a boil-over every time
I didn't experience that. But ok.

BTW DME goes stale too, it's not immune to aging and oxidation.
It's not immune, but I keep my DME (for starters) in sealed containers, from which the air has been "squeezed" out. I don't notice much darkening over time like I've seen with LME.

All that said, it's been many years since I've brewed a beer with any kind of manufactured extract. Truthfully, I consider both types of extract to be flawed products, compared with a good all grain wort.
 

GrogNerd

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After all these years of brewers having issues with stale LME, I wonder why they even use it. If I were brewing extract, I'd be using DME. Is LME cheaper than DME?

For "fun," I looked up Pilsner DME and LME prices/specs on MoreBeer.
DME: $13.99 for 3 pounds (~ $4.66 per pound), 45 PPG
LME: $10.99 for 3 pounds (~ $3.66 per pound), 35 PPG

DME:
($4.66 / pound) ÷ 45 PPG = 10.4 cents per point per gallon

LME:
($3.66 / pound) ÷ 35 PPG = 10.5 cents per point per gallon
you did include PPG, so good comparison.

my LHBS has this handy-dandy chart

lazy chart for converting.jpg
 

Brews and Blues

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Thoughts from an extract brewer;
I think it would be interesting to buy a beer "Kit" in a box and then also buy the exact same as individual ingredients. Then check for dates on said products, brew side by side, might tell us a lot, maybe nothing. That said, I'm sure the big outfits know how DME, hops etc ages. They probably do the best they can to insure even the box kits don't gather too much dust. Some places even claim they make their kits only when ordered.
I haven't seen anyone on HBT that claims to works at (or did) one of these places. Probably is but they don't dare say that they do, the "incoming rounds" would be huge I'm sure.
Also I smoke so I'm sure I miss some flavors that non smokers would call glaring faults.
I know that there is little actual substance in this post Some times I just rattle on,,,
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
That is an interesting idea.

I have been brewing kits for a bit now. I think from here, i am going to start piecing these things together myself to ensure freshness. I have never had an issue with that twang in my beer. I use RO water every time. Maybe I got lucky that I have just gotten fresh kits? Either way, you can look a lot of these directions from the kits up anyway and then piece your own kit together to ensure freshness.
 

GrogNerd

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except at the LHBSs around here don't have 'pre-made' kits. if someone orders a kit, they're assembled on the spot from ingredients in current inventory.

not sure about online stores, but they can't be any different. don't think they have this many Two-Hearted kits, that many 60 Minute kits ready to be shipped
 

Snuffy

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except at the LHBSs around here don't have 'pre-made' kits. if someone orders a kit, they're assembled on the spot from ingredients in current inventory.
not sure about online stores, but they can't be any different. don't think they have this many Two-Hearted kits, that many 60 Minute kits ready to be shipped
I’m not so sure. Try getting NB to build you something non standard. The only online hbs I’ve ever had build something custom was one out of GA called Aardvark. They’ve been gone for years.
 

Saunassa

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One of my favourite pale ale kits is from Steves brew shop. it comes from the recipe that they brewed on basic brewing video on youtube. only has a 15 minute boil and uses specialty grain, lme and dme. it was the first beer I ever brewed. it is also where i found i could not use more then 1/3 well water to brew. i have made it since multiple times using distilled and also spring water and it came out good. i have since created an all grain 60 minute boil recipe based off of it but still brew his extract kit when i just 'have' to brew and it is -10F outside.
a big plus of the 3 gallon kit is I can make it on the kitchen stove and I can use the big stock pot. My wife does not complain about the water dripping off the hood or the smell of the malt and hops.
When I brew all grain and have the wort boiling during the 45min before i start to add the hops i could swear that my wife can smell whatever nastiness is boiled off even though it is in the garage.
 

Snuffy

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One of my favourite pale ale kits is from Steves brew shop. it comes from the recipe that they brewed on basic brewing video on youtube. only has a 15 minute boil and uses specialty grain, lme and dme. it was the first beer I ever brewed. it is also where i found i could not use more then 1/3 well water to brew. i have made it since multiple times using distilled and also spring water and it came out good. i have since created an all grain 60 minute boil recipe based off of it but still brew his extract kit when i just 'have' to brew and it is -10F outside.
a big plus of the 3 gallon kit is I can make it on the kitchen stove and I can use the big stock pot. My wife does not complain about the water dripping off the hood or the smell of the malt and hops.
When I brew all grain and have the wort boiling during the 45min before i start to add the hops i could swear that my wife can smell whatever nastiness is boiled off even though it is in the garage.
Must be nice. Mine starts griping as soon as I tell her it's brew day. She starts closing doors and stuffing towels under them. I have to brew in the downstairs laundry room with the interior door closed and the outside door open with a fan running. Regardless of outdoor conditions.
But then she buys me brew gear for presents. Go figure.
My only LHBS is called Alabrew. The Lagunitas IPA clone I buy from them is one of my favorites. I think my water works best for IPAs or something. Also, his ingredients are probably fresher since he works on a smaller scale than the internet stores. Got a Franziskaner clone kit from there once that was all DME. My first time brewing with DME. Pretty darn close to the original.
 

Saunassa

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The smell of the steeping grains is like malt-o-meal hot cereal which she loves. The saving grace I think is only having 15 minutes of boil time and that's when hops are added. Not enough to stink the house up, her words.
 
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