LME vs DME: Which Is Best For Your Brewing?

LME vs DME: Which Is Best For Your Brewing?

Malt extract tends to get a bad rap. Some assume brewing with grains will automatically create better beer, which isn’t necessarily the case.

Sure you have more control over the brewing process and access to additional ingredients when undertaking the mash, but that is not to say that delicious, award-winning beers aren’t made with extract. Just take a look at past National Homebrew Competition winners.

Much of this stigma surrounding extract may stem from the fact that it is the standard entry-level brewing process. But, perhaps the beer you deemed sub-par was not due to malt extract, but rather amateur brewing processes or malt extract past its prime.

The point is, malt extract does not automatically knock a homebrew down a notch below mashed brews. In fact, many grain brewers use extracts for starter wort, to hit an undershot gravity, or compensate for fermentables in a high gravity batch.

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: CHILI!

Midschili actual2

Written by Ken Carman for The Professor

bjd-265x300 Normally I use this column to talk about competitions, judging issues and such. Well, “competition” counts here, I suppose: chili. And the 2015 Mid-State Brew Crew’s Chili Cookoff did feature a lot of beer. I even brought three of my braggots.

Art Whitaker starts meeting while weird woman longs for chili, or maybe her sexy, irresistible husband?
Art Whitaker starts meeting while weird woman longs for chili, or maybe her sexy, irresistible husband?
 I suppose my main reasoning for covering this grand affair is to suggest other clubs consider a chili event like this. And, for those competition oriented, with some tweaking this could become something that educates on the basics of judging, whether beer or chili.
 I was delighted with how well this annual affair was organized. Tom Gentry, Music City Brewer and owner of Rebel Brewing, had a small chili judging affair a few years back, but Mid State Brew Crew, out of Murfreesboro, TN really puts midsouth growleron a great shebang.
 There were 19 entries on Sunday, February 7th, 2015. Prizes were awarded for best chili, chili with the most unique ingredients and the hottest entry. I loved the variety. One had a nice deep, yet subtle, tomato sense, probably my favorite was one with a rich, meaty base that reminded me of venison. I found out Adrian Oldham was the chef and had used lamb. I use lamb in my gumbo: the most underrated meat in America, in my opinion. Another entry was a rich white bean chili, and another offered zucchini, okra, green peppers. I can’t midsouthbeersampmention them all, but there wasn’t a bad chili in the bunch.
 Murfreesboro and Rutherford Wine Lovers Network also attended and offered some samples of wine as well. This chili off was held at Let’s Make Wine, just off the historic square in Murfreesboro. Cheryl and Jack were gracious hosts for sure, and even let us lock up.
 Art Whitaker ran the meeting, and did a grand job bouncing between beer and chili sampling. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: CHILI!”

Craft Beer in the Mile-High City: Colorado’s Northern Front Range Series

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Imperceptibly but steadily the arid ranchland terrain of dry gullies and crevices rises to meet the horizon as I leave behind a limitless expanse stretching eastward as far as the eye can see. A few hours pass before I crest a small hill, and there, spread out before me in the distance is the spine of the continent soaring to majestic heights.Albert Bierstadt - SurveyorsWagonRockies (1859-WikiCommons) Tucked up against the Front Range palisades that form the entry to the Rockies, Denver and other erstwhile frontier settlements beckon with a cosmopolitan flair that belies their one-time reputation as a collection of cow towns.

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From the Bottle Collection: the Best

 Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice: tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s; OR, cover them with…

The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

 Those have been reading for a while know that in the middle of my 1,000 plus plus Bottle Collection I have a best of rack. These are not necessarily what I would call great examples of any style, just brews that fascinate my specific palate. Below you will find what’s either on the shelves now, will be once I finish my present bottle, or if I ever find the a bottle I’ve misplaced. There are a few I do think could be considered for “classics of the style” status, like Gafel. There are also a few I had a long ago and may not even be available anymore. So if I could do a side by side with an official BJCP classic of the style I might have a different opinion now.
 You might also notice my palate tends to go for complex, big, brews. If something in this list isn’t that that means I had a lot of respect for it back when I tried it.

Ken’s Best of Shelf Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection: the Best”


Courtesy rockonbeer.com

Written by Brandon Jones for Embracethefunk.com

This is a tricky post for me to write, but being that I have a background in TV News I do think this is a story that professional brewers and home brewers need to be aware of.

Is WLP644 Brettanomyces Trois actually Brettanoymces? This is a question that was raised in a discussion group I am a part of for wild yeast and bacteria brewers. It’s a discussion that I have pretty much stayed out of, but have watched unfold with much interest. I am going to post this entry as a basic timeline overview of the events so far. I feel like it is in the best interest of brewing if there is a page that had all the info accurately listed from the beginning. Hopefully this will curb “the telephone game” effect as more people research and discuss.  I won’t be making any comments on to use or not to use this strain. It is not my place in this story. I am only providing this information so you can make an informed decision.

The background: Continue reading “BrettaNOmyces?”

Patersbier: The Lawnmower Beer of Trappist Monks

This might surprise you, but the monks who toil away making your favorite Belgian dark strongs and tripels aren’t typically quaffing their high-gravity creations. With strict schedules of religious observance, brewing and other daily tasks, the monks need to keep an even keel.

Instead, they brew a special light ale called patersbier (“Father’s Beer” in Dutch) to drink for sustenance, while leaving them fully capable to take on the day’s endeavors. If monk’s mowed their monastery yard (do they?), this would be the Belgian equivalent of a lawnmower beer.

Patersbier is also known as enkel, meaning “single” in Dutch. The style likely came about when monks did an additional sparge of a mash to extract leftover sugars. Once collected, it is brewed as its own beer and turned into a highly sessionable beer. This long-practiced brewing technique is known as parti-gyle.

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More on Barrels

Quick reference to common cask sizes (Note: not to scale, authors own illustration)

If there is one thing that we all go a bit crazy for, it’s oak matured booze. Even if you’re not a big spirit lover, odds are good you’ve indulged frequently on other such oaked products like balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire or Tabasco sauces. For those who have discovered the world of a well-aged whisky, tequila, brandy, rum or fortified wine, it’s an appreciation easily bought by a bottle carrying buzz terms like extra añejo, solera, single barrel, cask strength, sherry finish or paradise. But what do we really understand about the influence of the oak barrel?

Anyone who has ever attended a whisky masterclass might have had further terms like vanillin, tannin, lignin, lactone, alligator char, conditioning – and something about ‘greedy angels’ – all thrown at them by an overtly gregarious brand ambassador. It’s a language few understand and while the science may be more than a little confusing, the results are anything but. As age statements are being removed more and more from bottles of Scotch [see: The Oak Conundrum], understanding oak selection and cask finish is becoming more and more important.

Despite archeological evidence placing the art of the ‘cooper’ as far back as 100BC, the wooden cask has evolved little over the last two millennia. The ‘why’ lies not in the latency of technology but rather its modern rebirth as the best tea bag in the world.

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Cigar City vs. AB: An Open Letter to Joey Redner

PGA Note- according to brewer Wayne Wambles they are “not selling.”


Dear Joey,

In helping run LetsPour.com for three years, I had a lot of opportunity to experience CCBC’s beers and to talk with you and your staff about how to get Cigar City out to all the millions of people who wanted some. I found my dealings with everyone there to be refreshingly direct and BS-free and, of course, the beers were just to die for. For my birthday in 2010, my boss flew to Tampa and brought me back a case of assorted CCBC stuff, which remains one of the top three gifts I’ve ever received. All of that is why I’m writing you today.

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Bill allows beer tasting for 18-year-old students

Bill Ketron

MURFREESBORO – An 18-year-old will be able to taste but not swallow beer in a college beer manufacturing class if a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron becomes law.

“You cannot consume it,” Ketron said during a phone interview.

The Republican senator from Murfreesboro is also known for his legislation that will enable grocery stores to sell wine if municipal referendums pass, such as voters in Murfreesboro and Smyrna approving them in November.

In addition to Ketron’s support, state Rep. Steve McManus, a Republican from Cordova in the Memphis area, is also sponsoring the legislation pertaining to beer tasting.

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