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Old 12-02-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
reno316
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Default Avoiding the clump

Hi, all:

Moved from CO to Indiana (family needs) and had a couple brew kits from my HB store in Denver. Because of the move and the delay before I could brew again, the owner at the brew store in CO suggested I use Dry Malt Extract instead of the liquid normally included in the kit.

How do I avoid the clumping of the DME when I add it to the wort?

Here's the process I used:
1. Steep grains in 3 gallons of 155 degree water for 30 minutes, using a mesh bag to hold the grains.
2. Remove the bag, let drip, and discard.
3. Add the DME to the water.
4. Get large, hard, clumps of DME.

I managed to get the clumps to go away with a LOT of stirring with a sanitized wire whisk, and other than some mild foam and a raging case of tendinitis in that elbow, it seems I'm good to go.

But there HAS to be a way to avoid those clumps.

Thanks,

-- Jeff

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Old 12-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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-Bring your steeped water to a boil (minus grains of course).
-Pull pot off of heat.
-While stirring with one hand, pour DME steadily into whirlpool with the other.

That's how I always did it. It always worked really well, maybe some small clumps (maybe). Only ever started getting clumps towards the end of adding DME (as the sugar concentrations went up).

HTH!

Edit:
I have a friend who uses a painter mixer and a drill, on high-ish speed. He says that he can get all of his sugar added and mixed in within 30 seconds using this method. I've always been too scared to try (fast spinning, near-boiling liquid = ouch)

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Old 12-02-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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Right on, I'll give that a try with the next batch (I still have one more kit from CO that has DME.)

Appreciate the input, stpug.

Cheers,

-- Jeff

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Old 12-03-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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I use a large stainless whisk once the flame is off.

bosco

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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You can add your dme to a gallon of room temp water, preboil. It dissolves the sugars, and eliminates having a sticky bag/clumps from the steam. And, no added foam during addition.
It worked well for me, last brewday. Water volumes can be adjusted to fit your needs.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadsticker View Post
You can add your dme to a gallon of room temp water, preboil. It dissolves the sugars, and eliminates having a sticky bag/clumps from the steam. And, no added foam during addition.
It worked well for me, last brewday. Water volumes can be adjusted to fit your needs.
OK, so put water in the pot, then add the DME? Or put the DME in a pot and add water? Or does it matter?

And I considered sanitizing the beaters from my power hand mixer (the one my wife uses to mash potatoes or whip cream for pies), but wasn't sure if that would add too much air to the liquid. Am I off-base on that concern?

Thanks all for the replies. I am indebted.

-- Jeff
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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I've had the best results adding dme to water, mixing with a large clean spoon. Then, add to your brewpot. Just remember to account for the water/dme mix water to your boil. Say, you're going for a 2 1/2 gallon partial boil. Steep in 2 gallons of water. Add dme to 1/2 gallon of water. At the end of the steep, bring to boil, add dme/water, for a total 2 1/2 gallon boil. It will actually be a bit more than that with the dme added, but the water volume would remain the same.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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No need to sanitize here... the boil will take care of all of that. Just use clean spoon, or whatever tool you use. Just wasting sanitizer at this point
Cheers

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #9
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I usually steep my grains as you indicated and as soon I have removed the grain I crank tye burner and start adding the DME before it gets to boil... usually have a good amount of time to play with the wort and remove the clumps long before the boil started. That is just the way I used to do it. (I do AG now)

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:54 AM   #10
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There probably isn't much difference, either way, as long as it boils.

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