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I am about to start my third batch and wanted to play around a bit.  While the kits that don't include lme pouches seem to brew fine,  all the recipes that add fruit or other spices call for them.  I guess I am wondering  what the result is in omitting the lme.  Only because I am still a rookie and not looking to add another 12 bucks to my next batch as it will likely be a disaster anyway! 

I plan to use them in the future, but I am unsure what their necessity is in the process.  Thanks for reading! 

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There is no necessity.  And not every recipe calls for them.  They add ABV and body, and some taste (depending on the LME).  They don't cost $12 so I don't know where you are getting that figure.

 

As far as disaster batches, if you follow the 3-4 rule (3 weeks fermenting with wort temp at 65 or so, followed by 4 weeks carbonating and conditioning in bottles at 70 or higher), then 3 days in the fridge, and follow the directions, you will have good 3.1% beer.  LME pack makes it 4.2%.

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LME will add body to the beer and make it taste better in my humble opinion. It will also raise the ABV.  I add a pound of LME to just about all of my batches you can pick it up at your local home brew shop for around $3.00 a pound if you have one by you.

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Mr. Beer recommends the LME Softpacks in recipes for improved body/flavor and head retention.  Also, more malt = more alcohol so that can be a factor as well.  When crafting your own recipe, they are also handy for adjusting color and taste of the finished beer.  If you omit them from a Mr. Beer recipe, expect a call from MRB JoshR who will expect a full explanation of why you chose not to use them.;)    

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Welcome to the forums! :)  Just out of curiosity, which recipes have you brewed already and which one are you making as your third?

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I did the American Light that came with the kit.  In the process of enjoying the first 2 bottles of that batch.  Did the American Porter next but that won't be ready to bottle. For another week.  

 

I did 2 bottles with table sugar rather than  Carbo drops for comparison and the first light was barely carbonated,  but the table sugar one is fine. 

 

Next up I think is the Irish Stout.  Want to play with it a bit,  but was unsure about the lme.  Sounds like it can improve a beer,  but isn't paramount.   I want to add complexity and price as I go along if that makes sense?  Revisit old recipes with new technique as I learn.  

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Also, I went to. My local brew shop and asked about lmes. They said they had no ideaidea what I talking about and they don't stock much MR. BEER but had a ton of other stuff they could sell me... 

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If a brew shop doesn't know what LME is (liquid malt extract), you should leave and never come back.  LME is sold under many many brands including bulk from big drums.  

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5 hours ago, Bittrblue said:

Also, I went to. My local brew shop and asked about lmes. They said they had no ideaidea what I talking about and they don't stock much MR. BEER but had a ton of other stuff they could sell me... 

Just ask for an LME, don't mention MrB. I run a MrB friendly shop, but I am in the minority. I agree with RickBeer, if they claim to know nothing of an LME leave and don't go back. However we only carry 3.3# cans, so that'd be enough for like 6 brews using MrB amounts (their LMEs are a little over 8oz) so that'd work out to $2.50 per batch. Oh yeah + tax.

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6 hours ago, Bittrblue said:

Also, I went to. My local brew shop and asked about lmes. They said they had no ideaidea what I talking about and they don't stock much MR. BEER but had a ton of other stuff they could sell me... 

I asked for LME today and they had no clue what i meant. Then i said liquid malt extract and then they understood. Still only briess 3.3s. And five gallon jugs

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7 hours ago, Bittrblue said:

Also, I went to. My local brew shop and asked about lmes. They said they had no ideaidea what I talking about and they don't stock much MR. BEER but had a ton of other stuff they could sell me... 

sounds like the LHBS where I live, no Mr. Beer products, but they do have Coopers and Muntons LME???

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That lme thing is really weird.  My local guy has no clue what hme is, but definitely knows what lme is.  

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15 hours ago, Bittrblue said:

I did the American Light that came with the kit.  In the process of enjoying the first 2 bottles of that batch.  Did the American Porter next but that won't be ready to bottle. For another week.  

 

I did 2 bottles with table sugar rather than  Carbo drops for comparison and the first light was barely carbonated,  but the table sugar one is fine. 

 

Next up I think is the Irish Stout.  Want to play with it a bit,  but was unsure about the lme.  Sounds like it can improve a beer,  but isn't paramount.   I want to add complexity and price as I go along if that makes sense?  Revisit old recipes with new technique as I learn.  imageproxy.php?img=&key=c4b820ad04ea323f

Makes perfect sense to me! :)

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Hey everyone, thanks for all the answers. I did run into another question today and since I am new, I did not want to start another topic. New people always start new topics!

 

I've run into a temperature issue. My porter is in the keg, and I had it down stairs. Even with the AC it has been above 76 degrees. Usually 78. The basement is the same. The only room in the house cooler is our bedroom, which is at 65. Completely missing the 68-76 spot I have seen suggested. I guess the big question is this: Once I bottle and carbonate, I'd rather go cooler and have carbonation take longer, than go warmer and get off flavors. During the time in the keg, does the same hold true? How would you suggest I adjust the timing of each stage? Thank you.

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the off flavors happen typically in fermentation, not carbonation...I carb at room temp., the room I carb in stays pretty much in the 80s during the summer (that's with the ac on) 

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Right.  If room temp during fermentation was 78 (room temp, not wort temp), then at peak fermentation your wort temp likely was mid 80s and that is way too high.

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Wow - so many basic issues in this thread. To BittrBlue; the carb drops are just fermentable sugar. Cheap, white table sugar works. Get the MB sugar scoop to measure it. I generally add either LME or DME 1/2 to a full pound, for a basic recipe. As mentioned, adds body, flavor, perhaps some color too. I like my beers malty so I skip the additional hops. As far as your temperature in the high 70's (ambient air temperature) - that is a problem. Cool that down! Your beer may have some funky flavors. Let it condition a LONG time( I would say 6 months or more). Hope for the best. Lastly, the Irish Stout with a pack of LME is excellent. Let this one ferment a lot cooler (low to mid 60s) for the full three weeks. I used about half the MB recommended sugar, and let them condition 2 months (still have a couple around 6 months later). Really a great beer - friends cannot believe I made it. Don't expect a Guinness - but it is dark (black), great body, creamy head and really flavorful . 

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On 7/22/2016 at 0:51 PM, Bittrblue said:

Also, I went to. My local brew shop and asked about lmes. They said they had no ideaidea what I talking about and they don't stock much MR. BEER but had a ton of other stuff they could sell me... 

 

On 7/22/2016 at 6:57 PM, Creeps McLane said:

I asked for LME today and they had no clue what i meant. Then i said liquid malt extract and then they understood. Still only briess 3.3s. And five gallon jugs

 

On 7/23/2016 at 4:07 AM, AnthonyC said:

That lme thing is really weird.  My local guy has no clue what hme is, but definitely knows what lme is.  

 

Who is hiring these people?!? :lol: This is pretty basic stuff one should know. Especially since LME is one of the most sold items of any homebrew shop. @Jim Johnson should pay those guys a visit and show them how it's done. B)

 

Welcome to the community, @Bittrblue! To answer your original question, when adding non-malt adjuncts such as cans of fruit and the heavy syrup they're packed in, you want to add more malt to balance it out so it doesn't taste too cidery from the added sugar in those cans of fruit. This is why most of the fruit recipes have an extra LME. Non-malt adjuncts (fruit, cane sugar, corn sugar, honey, etc) should always stay below a certain percentage of the recipe (depending on recipe). 

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On Monday, July 25, 2016 at 8:29 PM, Bittrblue said:

I've run into a temperature issue. My porter is in the keg, and I had it down stairs. Even with the AC it has been above 76 degrees. Usually 78. The basement is the same. The only room in the house cooler is our bedroom, which is at 65.

I am also a relative newbie, but my favorite is the American Porter. With the American Porter kit, missing the temperature mark has already given you off flavors, but don't despair. I keep mine in the LBK for a minimum of two weeks before I bottle. The off flavors will noticeably subside after 3 weeks. The longer you can wait to let it mellow, the better it will taste. After 3 weeks, my Porter/Stout loving friends have all given thumbs up. To compensate for the higher temperatures, I use a cooler and ice packs to cool things down. Stay with it or the cooler will let the temps really climb.

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