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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through August 18, 2004 * Recipe Conversion < Previous Next >

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Peter Roman
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 237
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry to ask again, but what is the best way to convert a extract recipe to AG? I have a fav recipe for a blonde ale. Very simple; 6 lb's EL DME, and 2oz cascades. What grains would I use to reproduce this? I'm downloading promash as we speak.

Thanks again,
Peter Roman

Kent Fletcher
Intermediate Member
Username: Fletch

Post Number: 446
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you look this up, there are several sources that will tell you to multiply pounds of Light Dry Malt Extract by 1.45 to convert to grain. I've seen it in more than one recipe book. But this conversion factor assumes efficiency of better than 88% with Domestic 2 Row, and better than 83% with British Pale malts.

My first year or so of brewing I used that factor (it popped right into mind when reading your question) to convert interesting sounding extract recipes, and I always wound up below the target OG. Then I did the math math.Light DME is 46 ppg, and 100% efficiency. 2 Row is 36. Take 75% of that 36, giving you 27. Experienced brewers will tell you that getting 28 is really good with 2 Row, so go with 27. Divide 46 by 27 = 1.7

So, multiply weight of Dry extract by 1.7 to get weight of US 2Row malt, with 75% efficiency. If after a couple of brews you find you get substantially better (or worse) efficiency, you can adjust the factor.

Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 1481
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 07:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you still feel it's not the same, the other issue is to account for fermentability to get the right level of sweetness. This is harder. I am moving from extract/PG to AG myself, and I find this this to be the real hard part of AG. If you are using a proved receipe and mash scheduel it's different, but my goal is to be able to write down a receipe from scratch, write down the correct mash scheduele given grain enzyme/extract data and hit the FG target on the first brew. Maybe I am too optimistic on that part, but when I have completed the beta version of the ferm model I intend to pick up the mashing model that I already started to line out.

To calculate what target fermentability you *should have* is easy, but the hard part is doable but to have enough control over your mash so you can take a certain grain bill, and invent a proper mash scheduele to produce your target fermentabilty seems complex and I doubt you can do it without a model.

I don't know but I assume that the extract manufacturers have exact control of every enzyme leve, temperature profiles, crush size, stirring rates from start to finish. Without the same control, I wonder if my AG is ever going to compete with extract when it comes to control over fermentability?

I really like extract / PG but I want to move into AG first of all because it's cheaper :-) It's not like I brew to save money, but IF I can do the same job with grains even though it make take me an extra couple hours on brew days it would be nice.


Richard Nye
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 176
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 09:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter -- Kent and Fredrik have good advice. In addition, I first decide what type of beer I'm brewing. In your case of the blonde, I'd use American 2-row. Next step is to determine how much grain to use - see Kent's post. Next step is to decide how much residual sweetness you want to determine the mash schedule (I like drier beers and would ferment the blonde at 148 - 150 for 90 minutes). Lastly, I do some fine tuning to the wort during the last 1/2 hour of the boil to hit my OG right on. I may have to add some DME if the gravity of the wort is too low, or add water (or take out wort and add water) if the gravity is too high. I can hit the OG within 1 point of target that way.

There are a lot of variables that go into efficiency, and hitting the OG is one of the most difficult things in AG to do.

Peter Roman
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 238
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm going to Rochester this weekend and will be visiting the LHBS there. I want to buy some bulk grains. I was planning on getting some 20lb sacks. If you were starting AG, what three types of malts would you start with.

Peter Roman

David S.
Username: Dsundberg

Post Number: 115
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm certainly no expert, but I always put my extract recipe in Promash, save it and then substitute the grain for the extract. Once your recipe is in there you know what your OG should be (you also know this from your extract brew) and you know the IBU's. From there you can start adjusting grain and hop amounts to compensate for the full wort boils.

Now picking the types of grain still has me stumped, but I ask questions and experiment. Sometimes I end up with something that is different, but that I like better.

You have already downloaded Promash, so you're well on your way. I would recommend purchasing it, because you'll eat up your 3 saves very quickly.

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Three Malts?

1) American/British 2 row
2) Wheat Malt
3) Belgian Pils malt

I wish my lhbs sold stuff like crystal in bulk.

Paul Erbe
Junior Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 26
Registered: 05-2001
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter - My advice is to think about the types of beers you are likely to brew. I brew a good number of UK style beers so the base malt I keep on hand is usually a 2 row Pale ale type of malt. If I did lager often enough it would probably be a Pils malt.

20lbs is an unusual size. I know that the main homebrew distributors repackage in 1, 5 and 10 lb bags. If your LHBS carries sacks it is probably 50 lbs and will be limited to 2 or 3 base malts. Most will of course order a full sack of any malt at your request.

Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 1482
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For future substitue for DME (base) I got some bags of these (weyermann)...

- pilsner malt
- wheat malt
(I bought some wienermalt too just for fun as I was curious about it, haven't tried it yet)

Ontop of that I've got a limited selection of dark grains that I use also with
the DME brews,

for caramel/sweetness
- light crystal/45L
- dark crystal/150L

for roast/coffee
- chocolate malt
- darkest black/roasted malt

If I had to choose one fave dark grain, I'd pick the dark crystal/150L, as that's the one I use the most.

My LHBS has 55 lbs sacks, which is too big for me. But he packs in 3 kg (6.6lbs) bags that I like.


Patrick C.
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 150
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, for bulk grains you can't beat North Country Malt. Support your local store if they really are local and helpful, but don't get taken. NCM is sort of close to you (in the same state, at least) so shipping shouldn't be too bad. It might even be worth a road trip to pick it up- Convince one of your buddies to go to Montreal. Convince your roomates to go and I'll drive. They have pretty much everything you need. I'd start with the Malteries Franco-Belge malts (pale ale or pils), a bag of an English Pale, and a bag of the Canadian 2 row or 6 row. And then, Weissheimer Munich. And then, Fawcett Maris Otter. And then, a few pounds of hops. And then, a bucket of star-san. And then...

(Message edited by patrickc on August 13, 2004)