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Malt Extract Vs Dme Vs Dextrose

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wbosher

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Hi guys,

I'm sure this has been asked before, but a search brought up hundreds of irrelevant hits and life is just too short...

Anyway, I'm about to put down a brew which calls for 1kg of dextrose. I want to know if can I substitute this with a 1.5kg can of liquid malt extract, or will I still need to add a little dex for fermentability?

Similar question for 1kg of DME, will I still need dex?
 

Blitzer

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It always talks about mouth feel, personally I hate the watery side of beers and have had some great malty (thicker) beers that are not necessarily stouts or porters.

So how do you get the mouthfeel? I mean would adding like 3kg of dried malt extract kill a beer (or just make it unbelievably alcoholic)? How do you thicken it up to stay away from a watery beer?
 

Nick JD

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DME (especially the "confectionary" grade - think Maltezers or Milo) has a lot of unfermentables in it. If you make a batch of beer with 100% DME it can finish well into the 1.020s and be cloyingly thick and sweet.

Watering it's thickness down with dextrose is the best way to get a beer that most resembles beer made directly from barley without the drying step.

I reckon that non-beer malt extract is probably mashed as high as possible - if you're making lollies why mash at 60C for 3 hours? You'd want max extraction fast as possible, and that points towards hot mashes and gooey malt.
 

Impy

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It always talks about mouth feel, personally I hate the watery side of beers and have had some great malty (thicker) beers that are not necessarily stouts or porters.

So how do you get the mouthfeel? I mean would adding like 3kg of dried malt extract kill a beer (or just make it unbelievably alcoholic)? How do you thicken it up to stay away from a watery beer?
Speciality (steeping) grains, or maltose. Maltose is almost completely unfermentable so it adds a thicker mouthfeel and it's not particularly sweet (compared to other sugars). Steeping grains (like crystal malt) also add a richer malty flavour and some unfermentable sugars that contribute to mouthfeel.

To be honest there isn't much you need to do to get a better mouthfeel than commercial beers. Most easy drinking popular beers add a portion of 100% fermentable sugar to their recipe to increase fermentability and lighten the mouthfeel. So if you add only plain DME or LME with no dextrose or table sugar in your recipe you'll have a better mouthfeel than most commercial beers.
 

wbosher

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Speciality (steeping) grains, or maltose. Maltose is almost completely unfermentable so it adds a thicker mouthfeel and it's not particularly sweet (compared to other sugars). Steeping grains (like crystal malt) also add a richer malty flavour and some unfermentable sugars that contribute to mouthfeel.

To be honest there isn't much you need to do to get a better mouthfeel than commercial beers. Most easy drinking popular beers add a portion of 100% fermentable sugar to their recipe to increase fermentability and lighten the mouthfeel. So if you add only plain DME or LME with no dextrose or table sugar in your recipe you'll have a better mouthfeel than most commercial beers.
So adding a 1.5kg liquid malt instead of 1kg of dex, will still require some dex to increase fermentability as well as "mouthfeel", or will the LME be enough in itself?
 

Nick JD

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Maltose is almost completely unfermentable so it adds a thicker mouthfeel and it's not particularly sweet (compared to other sugars).
You might wanna google that.
 

pcmfisher

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By adding 1.5kg liquid malt you will end up with a fg of about 1.014-15 ish.
If you add 1kg dex instead you will end up at about 1.006ish creating more alcohol as more sugars are converted.

1.006 will be fairly dry, thin and tasteless. 1.015 will be sweeter with lots more body.

If you ask me, 1.015 is too sweet for an average brew (if there is such a thing), unless you have a higher OG and/or increase the bitterness to balance it out. But many people like sweet beers.

For me 500-700g dry malt and 400-600g dextrose gives a fg of 1.012ish. Thats dry malt I'm talking, a little harder to add 3/4 of a can of liquid malt and store the rest.
 

wbosher

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For me 500-700g dry malt and 400-600g dextrose gives a fg of 1.012ish. Thats dry malt I'm talking, a little harder to add 3/4 of a can of liquid malt and store the rest.

So in general, 500 DME and 500 dex is a pretty good balance?
 

wyane

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Some folks might cringe but 100-200g of maltodextrin will add some body and ensure a nice head for your ales
 

yum beer

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I find that a box of Coopers BE2 plus a box of LDM will give a nice balance of mouthfeel and alcohol without being too sweet,
a bit of dex to kep the sweetness down, a bit of maltodextrin to add body and some malt for flavour.

Plus time in the bottle.
 

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