Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

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baldguy80
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Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by baldguy80 »

Just finished getting a pre-hopped kit into my carboy, but I substituted 1kg of liquid malt extract for the dextrose. (Still doing this homebrew thing by baby steps!) I got ready to take a hydrometer reading before I added the yeast, but the hydrometer kit sat for maybe 5 minutes on the counter before I took the reading. The reading was 1.010 (@ 24°C) when I finally got to it. But can that be correct? Doesn't that seem really low?? Or should I have added dextrose to the mix?? It's completely possible I screwed up my reading; I was distracted with kids and other things when I took the reading, but I don't really think I rushed things..
baldguy80 is waiting impatiently for it to be done...

Doc_Drive
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by Doc_Drive »

Did you stir?

Also, what did you hope to have achieved by that? A dried beer? Dextrose ferments down a lot further than DME or LME (which have unfermentable sugars/chemicals in them).

It will most likely be a higher alc, fairly watery beer? I'm speaking purely on speculation here as I have never brewed a batch with extract...

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baldguy80
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by baldguy80 »

Yep, I stirred. Well, it was more "swirling" than "stirring".

What I was going for, was a fuller bodied beer. I read that dextrose only adds alcohol and not much else to beer, and that to improve a kit, add extract instead. Bad info? Did I misinterpret what I was supposed to be adding instead of dextrose?
baldguy80 is waiting impatiently for it to be done...

Doc_Drive
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by Doc_Drive »

Do did it right, so you substituted 1 kg LME for 1 kg dextrose?

You're correct, dextrose will make the beer very thin bodied as it is fully fermentable.
When I've made starters with LME in the past, I saw that you really had to work it in, it is so high in gravity that it just sinks.

Also, LME is not pure sugar, right? Did the kit recipe call for 1 kg dextrose?

A number that I've found for LME is 78-80 Brix, with 39 to 40 Brix being fermentable sugar (Maltose).
So if you add 1 kg of LME, you add 400 g of fermentables and about 800 grams of total solids (all inclusive, including the fermentables) and 200 g (=mL) of water.

So if you look at 20 L, you add 1 kg LME you're probably at 20.2 L.
80/20.2 = ~4 brix, so in theory you should be at about 1.016 with half of it fermentable, so you FG should come out to about 1.008. Now that can vary from LME to LME (don't know which LME you used).

I'm by no means an expert in extract brewing, but what else did you put in aside from the LME/DME in it?

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SmokeyMcB
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by SmokeyMcB »

you should be good, alcohol level will be slightly lower because all the LME is not completely fermentable like the sugar would have been. I'm guessing you started with something like a Coopers no boil pre-hopped kit and swapped out the extra sugar the instructions said to add, using the extra LME instead? If so, your beer will have much better body than if you had used sugar.

I'm also guessing that your hydro sample was flawed because your swirl didn't mix the LME and pre-hopped extract into the top up water very well. At that point, adding oxygen is welcomed, you can beat the hell outta it. The swirl is used when transfering into a bottling bucket and batch priming finished beer to bottle carbonate.
If you blame life, you blame who give it. So don't blame life, blame the way how you live it!

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baldguy80
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by baldguy80 »

You're right, I took a Brew Canada kit and substituted LME for the 1 kg of dextrose the can called for. (It was actually 1.2kg of LME, not the 1kg I originally thought.) And that was all I put in!

I'll remember to "beat the heck outta it" next time, as Smokey suggested, and THEN take a hydrometer reading. I just swirled it around for a short period of time to make sure there were no visible "layers" of material and nothing sitting on the bottom of the carboy.

Now that I've pooched my original hydro reading, is there any way to estimate the ABV? Just curious now, of course...

As well, if I use LME as a substitute for dextrose in the future, should I be adding a little dextrose back to maintain the potential alcohol content?
baldguy80 is waiting impatiently for it to be done...

Mr_Tastyfish
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Re: Liquid Malt Extract Substitution

Post by Mr_Tastyfish »

When I made extract kits, I had the same trouble getting accurate hydrometer readings. Same reason, the heavy wort concentrate just doesn't want to mix well with the top-up water in the carboy. I eventually just stopped measuring the O.G. since I really didn't care what the final alchohol content was anyway.

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