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I just brewed a recipe for a biggish beer that calls for 6.6 lbs of light LME and 2.75 lbs of light DME. Given that I always mess up at least one thing when I brew, I measured out 2.75 lbs of DME and 2.75 lbs of LME. I got everything else right - the hops, specialty grains, other fermentables, etc. My only mistake was using 40% of the LME I was supposed to.

The target gravity was around 1.075 but I ended up at 1.049. Adjusting the recipe to account for my mistake, the adjusted target gravity is about 1.050, so it's OK in that regard.

My expectation for the beer is that it will taste great and will taste like I expect it to, but it will be a little lighter in color, have less alcohol, and a little less body. I'm OK with that. Is there anything else that will be off based on the mistake I made?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The hops will have a slightly higher utilization in a lower gravity wort, so you can expect a slightly hoppier beer. If you aren't basing this on a recipe you've tasted before, or aren't familiar with what (for example) 30 IBU tastes like vs 35 IBU, you probably won't notice.

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According to beer calculus, the recipe would give 18.1 IBU for a 2.5 gallon average boil, and with my omission of LME, I get 29.5 IBU for that size boil. Man, I'd get 37.2 IBU if I did a 5-gallon boil. I need to get a bigger pot. –  JackSmith Feb 23 '10 at 2:22

You summed it up pretty well, but missed a point or two.

  • The alcohol content will be lower
  • Not only will the body be lighter, it won't be as sweet
  • As such, the bitter/maltiness balance will be more towards hop bitterness
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