A great windfall...but now what?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Ward Chillington, Mar 24, 2018.

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  1. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, nubie here! I have only about 4 batches under my belt and still in need of a decent boil kettle instead of stealing the wife's soup pot but that's not what I'm here about.

    While looking around on Craig's List for a kettle today, I happened on a too good to be true deal from a guy who was giving up on the hobby and was letting a bunch of equipment go for the price of a batch of grain. After I got home with the goods I started going through things and one of the 5 gallon pails in the deal was full of unopened bags of DME, hops, some orange peel, paradise seeds, some yeast and boil bags . The extract looks OK, not lumpy at all. The hops and yeast I'm sure are headed to the compost pile but what about the DME? What's the shelf life on the stuff?

    Ward
     
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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    first welcome to the site and for the dme as long as its not mildewed or moldy is fine hard, clumped or powdered
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    great score! im not sure on the shelf life of DME but your going to boil it anyways is my thought so itll ve still good for starters if nothing else.
     
  4. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    As far as I am aware dme is good practically forever. There is so little moisture in it that it won't spoil as long as it is sealed up.
     
  5. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the replies and advice.

    So it looks like I have plenty of DME to use for yeast starter at the least. Since getting into this venture, I have not had any interest in extract brewing but now that I have like 5 pounds of DME to play with, who's got a decent recipe for a porter or dark ale that I can experiment with this stuff?

    Any suggestions?
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just take any recipe and replace the 2 row with dme
     
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  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Uh you might want to give the hops a sniff and try a starter on the yeast if there are any interesting variants.

    Can't hurt. Free stuff is experimental stuff.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Hops smell like feet or well-aged Parmesan, dump them. Likewise if they smell like garlic or onion. That's oxidized hop smell. Of course, some very old beer styles used aged hops so I can't definitively say dump. Agree on the yeast: Make a starter before you use them. If the packets are sealed, I doubt any nasties have gotten in there but the yeast could be non-viable after long storage.
    To keep the recipe at the same strength, use 0.6 pounds of DME for each pound of 2-row (or any other base grain) in the recipe. And DME is really apocalypse food: Keep it dry and it'll keep longer than Twinkies!
     
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  9. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Cook with it. Use in place of sugar
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, it isn't extremely sweet but it does have a very good flavor.
     
  11. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    As others have said, the DME, if kept cool and dry, should be fine for a long time. Hops can be gauged by sight and smell. Green will fade to gray, and as Nosy says, if they smell like his feet, dump them. The onion garlic thing works if you don't know what his feet smell like. Testing the yeast in a starter can be done with free DME, so that's easy. Or seems to be. Nice find.
     
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  12. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Great advice and thanks.

    One of the things that I was thinking about taking advantage of with the DME was the "don't need to boil as much" aspect of DME. One of the guys that I bought some of my first hardware from told me not to worry about not having a big brew pot..."just add water to the carboy". Well as someone who was looking at doing only all grain, that made no sense....all I could imagine was watered down wort. So now, with the extract I can get past the 3 and a half gallon limit I have and make a 5 gallon batch. Maybe a pilsner? I got the cold basement for it.
     
  13. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    OK, so I went with Charlie Papazian's Propensity Pilsner and crossed the 1st and 4th edition versions.

    I had a couple of boneheaded moments where I forgot to add the honey until about 20 minutes into the boil and I had to add some filtered but not "sterile" water ( not boiled and cooled ) to finish off my 5 gallons....and there's my questions. What, if any, of these boneheaded actions are going to have what impact on the brew?

    I used Saflager 34/70 because the starter that I made the night before with some of the DME and a packet of White Labs WLP 800 failed miserably. It didn't proof at all! So right now my big mouth is bubbling away with my plans to secondary next weekend.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    The honey doesn't matter if you added it later instead of at the beginning of the boil. It will still add the sugar into the wort.
    As for adding water to fill to 5 gallons, as long as it was good clean water you'll be fine. If it is drinkable, there should be few if any bacteria in it and your yeast will out compete it.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I’ve brewed that beer more than once. Like he said in the first edition, it does taste something like Pilsner Urquell.
     
  16. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    What yeast did you use Jeff?
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I thought maybe that Czech Pils yeast, but my recipe says S-23, and I don’t have notes that I used something else. I’m all but sure I used the S-23, dry pitched.
     
  18. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    OK, so some 3 weeks later here's where we are. I bought up the carboy into the kitchen a day ahead of bottling. The color was far from the dark gold yellow I expected and that was the 3 pounds of DME that wasn't the light stuff so no big deal there. The FG got down an additional point and settled in 1009 so the ABV landed at 6.6 and the best part so far is the taste and smell! It was like my first recall of beer in my mind's nose. That malty sweetness, almost fruity...I'm jazzed...3 more weeks to go!
     
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  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    6 weeks for a batch? Seems long. Or do you mean bottle conditioning now?
     
  20. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yes, bottle conditioning for 3 weeks...the batch was in the basement lagering for 3 weeks
     
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