Difference Between Dextrose And Maltodextrin

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OK, I'm confused and too lazy to research this.
What is the difference between these two?
What are they made from and whats the best one to prime with.
Ive heard dextrose is corn sugar but I'm sure the pack I have at home says it comes from wheat??

Good point Johnno,
can anyone tell me if there is a great deal of difference using maltodextrin that derived from corn as to wheat??
Maltodextrin is very complex and not readily fermentable. It is used to increase the level of dextrins in the beer which increases body & improves head retention.

Dextrose (whether derived from corn, wheat or any other grain) is a form of sugar and is fully fermentable. It will increase alcohol without increasing the body.
As far as i know dextrose is made from wheat startch and maltodextrin from corn starch....
They can be made from any source of starch. I presume Americans call dextrose corn sugar because they source theirs principally from corn. That our maltodextrin is derived from wheat makes sense given it's made here.
Both seem to have their own associated benefits, better head, etc.

If bulk priming with say 180gms/23L, could you do 90gms dextrose and 90gms maltodextrin to combine those benefits?
Both are made the same way with any convenient cheap starch source and enzymes. Md is used in the food industry (look at the list of contents on a packet of dried soup mix)

I do not believe md has any place in brewing and I have not used dextrose in years.

Jovial Monk
(who sells both :) )
I started a wiki page on this topic but never really got to finishing it.

brewiki fermentables

However it does cover dextrose and maltodextrin. Essentially md is a polymer of dextrose and has low fermentability. On the reference above there a few links with more info.

As for what it is made of, the OP's were on the money, cheap, readily available starch.
Just for fun, thought I'd chuck in some facts.

Malto Dextrin.. Affectionally known as Corn Syrup ia available in many different forms. Malto dextrins are dried starch hydrolysis products with a dextrose equivalent or D.E lower than 20.

Crystalline D-Glucose is also called dextrose and has a D.E. rating of 100. However, dried glucose syrups are also dried starch hydrolysis products that have a DE greater than 20.

(these are European Union definitions. The US ones are similar)

BOTH Dextrose (in the US, Corn Sugar) as we know it AND Corn Syrup are available from Wheat starch OR Maize starch. Corn Syrup or Matodextrin is also available from potato. In fact we can specify the source when ordering it!

Both are available with different DE ratings, For example we generally supply 30 DE Maltodextrin to the homebrew market however, we can get DE as low as 5 for low alcohol and high head retention beers. Matodextrin from any source is also called Burton Body Brew, and Burton Brewers have been using it in varying forms for years. In fact, long enough for it to be called a traditional ingredient.

Hope this helps.
Nice one Dave. You see so much confusing stuff on this.

So is DE rating a similar thing to percent fermentable?

This is a HUGE subject. But, for our purposes YES!

Here is the standard blurb from Roquette and should explain why.

"The commonly used yeasts assimilate simple sugars such as D-glucose and maltose, and polymers up to tetrasaccharides. However, their enzymes do not enable them to hydrolyse larger molecules than these.

In industries dependent on fermentation, such as baking or brewing, it is beneficial to use glucose syrups with a high D-glucose, maltose or maltotriose content, owing to their greater fermentability. Conversely, low D.E. glucose syrups can be used for the production of low alcohol beers."

So if we are to use standard dextrose powder as supplied by most HB shops it will contain 94 - 95% D-Glucose with the balance being maltose. (although you can get it with fructose)

Standard Malto dextrin or Corn Syrup is DE 20 - 30 so assume 20-30 % fermentable.

Hope this helps,
Helps indeed. Thanks, Dave.
Glad to be of service. Thanks to Roquette!

I must admit, it's a bit of a concern when "Professionals" in this craft claim knowlege and yet have demonstrated time and time again that they lack it!

The question was raised. We in the industry have the capacity and the responsibility to conduct quick research regarding specific issues when we don't know (for me, that's often)

There are too many dissapointed home brewers out there for my liking, generally because they adopt advice, information or process that is flawed. Information is easy to get and easy to dispense, we just need to ensure that what WE pass on as truth's is correct!

I am planning on using Dry Enzyme in a brew very soon and I thought that if I put in.. lets say 250 gram of Maltodextrin it would help 'thicken up' the brew a little... well atleast some of what the Dry Enzyme takes out..

Am I right or not?
Or should I put in more Maltodextrin.. say 500 grams

jovial monk,on your post on this subject you said md has no place in brewing and hav,nt used dextrose in years. can you tell me,us why as i find this bewildering and as per this forum your reasons would be informative to say the least cheers, spog.
Malto dextrin if used in significant quantity puts a taste on your palate like you have just been licking brown paper. Maybe I am more sensitive to this off-taste than others

More philosophically, beer is made from malt which is a natural product and makes a nutritious beverage. While I do sometimes use cane sugar or honey, that is in a beer where I have used malt to get to an OG of 1100 or over, I use sugar to add the last few points (to 1125 say) to stop the resulting beer being thick like Golden Syrup :)

For priming I prefer wheat malt extract, the proteins from that aid in head retention
I suggest you try to brew some all malt or near all malt beers and see how you like those

Jovial Monk

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