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LaVie Boheme, Pale DME and tips for brewing lagers at 2:30 AM

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Good Morning ForumBrewers! This recipe calls for DME which I have not had any experience with, so I followed the instructions to the letter (brought half the pack to a boil/hot break, boiled Saaz hops for an additional 10 min., flame-out and stirred in the remaining DME, then added the GBCPilsner HME. From a brewing standpoint, what exactly is happening here? Why not just use the old familiar Softpack instead? Why boil only half the DME? This is also the first recipe I've done that calls for an actual hop boil, rather than just tossing it in prior to HME. So maybe too many questions and not enough sleep, but my experience on the forum tells me that if you don't ask, you do not learn!

PS. Can I also brew ales at 2:30 AM?

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DME is just dried out LME.  Some prefer it because of the "why pay for water" aspect.

You are adding only half in the beginning and the rest at the end to increase you hops utilization.

Wort utilizes hops better than plain water but at some point too much wortigoodness starts to decrease your hops utilization.

(See following chart posted by Rick or Josh.)

 

What temp are you fermenting this at and with what yeast?

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In this case, since the DME and LME costs the same (you need more LME than DME but they are equivalent from Mr. Beer due to sizes), there is no real advantage to the DME beyond what Squeegeethree mentioned (hops utilization), but many don't buy into that either.  

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DME is just dried out LME.  Some prefer it because of the "why pay for water" aspect.

You are adding only half in the beginning and the rest at the end to increase you hops utilization.

Wort utilizes hops better than plain water but at some point too much wortigoodness starts to decrease your hops utilization.

(See following chart posted by Rick or Josh.)

 

What temp are you fermenting this at and with what yeast?

This lager went into the 56 degree cooler and uses Saflager S-23. Hops utilization? I've heard the term, but have not yet studied this aspect of brewing -- thanks for the lead.

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Well, I am really enjoying my first one!  La Vie Boheme pours beautifully and the Saaz really adds interest, both with taste and aroma.  I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone contemplating brewing a lager!

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