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5 buckets of liquid malt extract

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  • 5 buckets of liquid malt extract

    Like a lot of guys, I like to keep some extract in case a brew needs a gravity adjustment. With 5 buckets or 250lbs of Golden Light LME, I'm wondering if I could brew something and then add some steeped grains to it. For a 12.3 or 1.050 beer, it calls for 42.3lbs per bbl. My brewhouse is 5bbl. I know there are successful extract breweries around and it can be done. What if I used this for the base of something like a stout and then supplemented it with the dark malts. There was an article I read somewhere that said steeping the grains for about 45-minutes at 145F and then combining with the LME was a good option for using LME. Has anyone done this? I want to use this before it starts getting warm.

  • #2
    Totally doable and enjoyable

    Back in the 80s and 90s there were handfuls of brewpubs that brewed just the way you described. Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland, CA was one of them. They brewed with malt extract as the base and then either steeped specialty grains or did a mini mash on the side to be added. The only brewpub that still brews their beers with malt extract that I know of is the Buffalo Brewpub in Buffalo, NY. They brew with LME for their house beers.

    I personally think that malt extract has positives for smaller brewpubs:
    It saves the cost of a mash tun and hot liquor tank
    In doing so it frees up square footage to then have more seats to sell more beer to more customers
    It shaves off a couple hours of the brew day (reducing labor costs) because you don’t have to mash, vorlauf, sparge, lauter, and clean a mash tun out
    Don’t have to deal with getting rid of spent grain
    The quality and variety of malt extracts today are very good and diverse:

    When adding malt extract to the kettle have the kettle water hot but not boiling. Don’t have your burner or electric elements on when adding the extract. Do a whirlpool on the kettle to mix in the extract then fire up the kettle when the LME or DME is dissolved.

    Malt extract beers can be good. You are just picking up the brew day after lautering into the kettle when working with LME/DME.

    I really think that extract beers got a bad reputation back in the day because brewpubs that used this method typically didn’t have trained brewers making the beer and thus had poor sanitation, cleaning, and transferring techniques leading to many below standard extract based beers being served to customers.
    Last edited by Catfish002; 02-01-2020, 08:44 AM.


    • #3
      Personally I'd add enough base malt (~1/3 of the grist) to mash the specialty malts. You're paying for them, so you might as well get some extract out.
      Sent from my Microsoft Bob

      Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own. |


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I do have a 3 piece brewhouse all double-walled and insulated. But, a short brew day for certain beers could make a lot of sense. I even thought about mixing in the LME via my grant, but it is probably much simpler to pour it into the kettle and use whirlpool to mix it. I am also a little water restricted and that is another reason to try this. It may not happen for another month, but once I try it, I'll report back here.


        • #5
          Yes please report your results after you brew and start pouring your extract based beer.