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Liquid versus Dry malt extract..What are the differences?

Firstly, the conversion between DME and LME (by weight):
LME x .8 = DME
[LME is 80% malt extract and 20% water...]


Dry Malt Extract


  • Easy to handle. Weighing portions is simple and exact.
  • Fresh and consistent in color, which is very important to brewing your beer to the proper style guidelines
  • You'll get more fermentable sugars because it will not sink like LME and burn
  • Cons:

  • "Clumps together"...if you don't pour slowly and stir to dissolve before boiling...
  • Slightly more expensive than LME.
  • Consensus

    We prefer dry malt extract at Barley Haven. DME is simply a more consistent malt extract and a step up in quality over LME. Dried Malt Extract has longer shelf life at over 24 months, it is easier to handle for beer brewing, and DME gets more consistent results in color of brew and fermentability of sugars.


    Liquid Malt Extract


  • Marginally less expensive than DME (when calculated for weight conversions).
  • Cons:

  • Weighing portions is very difficult, due to 'sticky' nature of LME.
  • The older LME is the more inconsistent in color it will be for brewing beer..
  • Easily sinks to the bottom of your kettle and caramelizes..losing fermentable sugars
  • Read more specifics on what the wonderful people at Briess Malting Company have regarding statistics and the manufacturing process of malt extract (both liquid and dried spray malt)

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