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Briwis

Using Bulk LME

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So my LHBS carries bulk extract and I've been thinking about giving it a shot once my current supply of MrB extracts are gone and looking for some opinions of others who have tried this route before.

It's bound to save me money over MrB as the per pound price is less and no shipping.

But since it's not hopped how much more time would I need to allow for hop boils? I've been doing hop boils with MrB but for no longer than 20 minutes.

I also figure with Qbrew by my side I should be able to make pretty much what ever I want.

Just trying to figure out if it's worth it or not.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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It depends. A traditional bittering hop addition is at 60 minutes. But depending on what you are making and your hop choices you can do 45, or 30, or even 20 minute boils with good results. But it depends very much on what you are trying to make if you can get away with it. The short 20/30 minute boils work best in more hop forward beers, where you are using a high AA hop to get a lot of flavor and enough bitterness out of the shorter boil. OR in a low bitterness beer that you want some of the hops flavor in you can do it with a lower AA hop. But that's a matter of does it give you the style of beer you want?

What do you like to drink?

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As to worth it, I prefer Dried Malt Extract, much easier in my opinion to store. Lots do use LME and love it, I would not have any problems with using it if I could not find the DME I needed for a batch. It's pretty much the same stuff, cept water is already added.

As to how long to do hop boils, depends on what your after. My go to times are: 60 - 70 for bittering, 25 to 30 for taste, 10 to 0 for aroma. When u start doing hop boils, try to work it up to what you like, malty, balanced, bitter, combo of the above, etc. Do some reading on it then go for it, it's not hard and you can definately tweak any recipe to your taste.

Yea, it is worth it is what I'm trying to say, just take baby steps so you don't get disapointed with the results at first.

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I first waded into the LME/DME pool by trying some of the suggestions in this thread - Schooling with the Nong and Friends-beginning brew

I still do the occasional MrB recipe, usually when there is a sale (Like now!), but I now primarily do extracts from my LHBS and just did my first AG BIAB this past weekend.

There is so much help available on this forum that you can't go wrong taking the next step in your brewing evolution.

Best of luck!

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I've been adding bulk LME to my Mr. Beer batches for a while, usually a pound. I have made my last two batches using extract recipes with LME, hops, and other additions and they came out great.

My LHBS sells it for $2.50 per pound in your own container and will measure exactly what I need. I buy 2 batches at once and store the LME in the frig for 3 weeks with no problem.

Warm the container to make it easier to pour by putting it in the sink or a large pot with warm water. Then, add it to hot water in your brewing pot, but not boiling and do it off the stove while you stir. That way you won't scorch it. Then back on the stove to bring to a boil.

I find that if I rinse the container with some of the hot water I can get all of it out except for maybe an ounce.

I use light LME for everything but wheat beers and steep grains to add color and flavor. Last 2 batches were $27 - $32.50 per 5 gallons so it is cheaper than using HME, also takes longer.

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Here's a chart I go by to come up with times for hop(s) boils:
[attachment=14352]hopboilchart_2013-07-24.jpg[/attachment]

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"Sparrow" post=388851 said:

I first waded into the LME/DME pool by trying some of the suggestions in this thread - Schooling with the Nong and Friends-beginning brew

I still do the occasional MrB recipe, usually when there is a sale (Like now!), but I now primarily do extracts from my LHBS and just did my first AG BIAB this past weekend.

There is so much help available on this forum that you can't go wrong taking the next step in your brewing evolution.

Best of luck!

That is exactly what I would suggest. For getting used to how your brewing process might change using the tried and true easy recipes on Dag's thread would be a great way to start.

Once you get used to it you can select recipes that explore different ingredients. After that you're off to the races. :cheers:

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I would also suggest that , if you don't already have it, get qbrew to help you set up your recipes.

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I just thought of something else that might help.

When you choose your first recipe if you can, print it out.
I would go over all the instructions and before you get any ingredients make sure you have all the equipment you will need.
Take lots of notes before, during and after (tasting the beer when done).
Do a mental walk through and ask any questions before you start your brew day.
Have your ingredients measured and set out so they are ready to go.
These things should make your first brew day go much smoother and reduce brew day stress.

Oh and log into the forum on brew day in case you help... I've done that... it helps. :laugh:

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Here's one other tip that would've helped me when I moved from HME's to LME/DME:

Make sure your pot is big enough. I used a small pot for Mr. Beer recipes and it worked great, but when I did my first 2.5 gallon batch with 3 lbs of LME, I realized my pot wasn't big enough for the water and LME. I had to go out and buy a 5 gallon brewing pot and a big spoon to stir with. Those were the only additional pieces of equipment I needed to buy.

I do 2.5 gallons boils in that pot. I probably wouldn't go any higher in volume without a bigger pot.

I top off with water to create 5 gallons and split them between 2 LBKs.

One thing moving away from Mr. Beer kits will do for you, is to brew 5 gallons of beer rather that 2.5. You'll probably be looking at a 3-4 hour brew day regardless of whether you brew 2.5 gallons or 5 gallons.

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Also, I know a lot of people here are fans of QBrew, but I'd very highly recommend BrewToad. It's all web-based, there are thousands of recipes in their database, and it's just a much more elegant solution than the other brew tools that are available.

It's totally free and, while not an app, their website works beautifully on mobile.

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All:

Thanks for the advice. I think it's something I'm gonna try. That way I can try and make pretty much what I want and not be tied to a specific extract.

I'm also gonna check out brewtoad.

And in light of the recent sale also pick up some discounted recipe's.

Happy Brewing

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Tinkering with qbrew is fun but if you are going to graduate to 5 gallon batches definitely pick up two books: "Clone brews" and it's sequel "Beer Captured." I do nearly all of my brewing from these two excellent recipe books these days.

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I use LME for the most part as my LHBS will weigh out exactly what I need and not in increments of pounds. I keep DME on hand for doing MrB batches on those days I want to whip up something easy peasy and dont want to drive to the store to pick up only a pound or if I miscalculated my gravity and need to touch it up a bit.

Most people add just enough extract to bring the wort to 1.040 which I understand is pretty idea for hops utilization and add the rest at or near flameout. This prevents the colour from darkening. For the most part I just dump it all in as I could care less if the colour is purple as long as the taste comes out like I was intending.

One caveat on bulk is that some stores sell more than others so you never know how fresh it might be. I am lucky in that mine uses quite a bit and is more than happy to let me go in back and check the date stamp.

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"Da Yooper" post=389157 said:

For the most part I just dump it all in as I could care less if the colour is purple as long as the taste comes out like I was intending.

I didn't know Barney was on this forum...

I love how AHB measures whatever I want.

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I've been buying bulk and using it for bumping up HME and for making batches from scratch and no complaints. If you keep it in a sealed container in your fridge it will keep a long time.

Left over 3.3lb Briess containers or other 1L sized food safe air tight containers are a perfect base for a Mr. B sized batch. I pay $5 for a container full, add a couple bucks for hops, a buck for some specialty grains and some washed yeast and it makes for some frugal yet tasty brews :)

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