What’s the difference between LME (liquid malt extract) and DME (dried malt extract)? Both LME and DME undergo similar processes. Each are created into wort through a typical mash and then dehydrated. LME is dehydrated to about 20% water, whereas DME is dehydrated to 2% water. The question of, “which one is better” is not an easy one, it all depends on what you’re looking for and how it’s going to be used. LME typically gives off more pleasant flavors in beer when compared to DME, while DME provides better consistency in color. When using large amounts of extract, LME is typically used because its ability to dissolve in boiling temperatures, whereas DME can clump up and become a hassle to liquefy. Those in favor of DME, enjoy its longer shelf life (even works when expired) while LME tends to experience slight hiccups over time; darkening and giving off “extract twang” flavors. Both extracts have their pros and cons depending on what the brewer is trying to achieve. It’s up to the brewer to decide which of the two extracts is “better” for their brew.

Below is an ESTIMATED conversion chart between LME, DME, and grain in US Pounds (lbs).

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