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Old 02-05-2007, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default Priming: Sugar vs DME vs ???

I went to local HBS, presumably to pick up some sugar to prime the Blue Moon clone (*fingers crossed*) I've got in the primary right now. He mentioned that for it to truly be original, it should be primed with DME, or really,... and then he started using all "brewer-speak" and I lost what he was saying. SWMBO was with me, so I did not have time to linger and coax what he meant out in English that this ex-jarhead could understand. Do most people just use sugar? Or DME? or whatever he was talking about?

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Old 02-05-2007, 11:59 PM   #2
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Some people use DME, some use corn sugar. I suppose some have used honey or something as well. In the past, I've used both DME and corn (priming) sugar, and truly have never noticed a difference. I'd say go ahead and use the priming sugar if you have it- it's a bit faster then the DME.

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Old 02-06-2007, 12:00 AM   #3
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You can use 1 1/4 cup dried malt extract instead of 3/4 cup priming sugar... pretty simple...

I mix it up and use both (edit: not at the same time; sometimes i use sugar, sometimes i use DME, not a mixture of the two)...

I think what he meant by 'truly original' was that it would be all-malt if you prime with DME, as opposed to 'sugar'. Although there isn't a huge difference between the two that I can tell...

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Old 02-06-2007, 11:47 AM   #4
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Or maybe what he meant by "truly original" was that he gets a better profit on the DME (j/k I don't know truthfully what he was talking about)

Like the Yooper Mistress says, I truly doubt you would ever be able to tell the difference. I use Corn Sugar to prime with, although if I were trying a traditional Lager I might experiment with Krausening; the method of adding unfermented wort to prime.

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Old 02-06-2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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The beer snob in me tells me to use DME

Beer is Water, Malt, Hops and yeast.
So the DME fits with that.
But Corn sugar ferements easier and quicker so I think most seem to use it and are happy.

I am a beer snob and an EAC so I use DME.

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Old 02-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #6
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I think Orfy hit the nail on the head. If it's important to you to brew according to the Reinheitsgebot (beer = water, malt, hops, yeast ONLY), then prime with DME. If it's more important to you to save a few bucks, then use corn sugar.

Some people claim that DME produces smaller, more pleasant looking bubbles, but I have used both and don't think I can tell the difference.

I generally use corn sugar.

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Old 02-06-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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I've got my fingers crossed. I just primed with DME for the first time the other day. I'm trying to find a warm place in my house (was -14 yesterday morning here) (not in the house, you understand-- that was the outside temp-- despite SWMBO's complaints, it actually is a little warmer than that in here)

Note to beer snobs (myself included): there has been discussion here in the past about how LME is not necessarily pure malt extract. Lots of it has lots of dextrose in it. So, if you use LME (as I do) you may not really be following the hallowed beer laws anyway.

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Old 02-06-2007, 03:44 PM   #8
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I suppose I missed the discussion but according to the ingredients listed on the cans of LME that I actually read, all they have is water and malt extract. Are the threads still around?

PS - since I place a value on tiny, long lasting bubbles in my brew's head, not to mention compliance with tradition, I will try DME to prime my next bactch.

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Old 02-06-2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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Yes LME and DME are both Malt, LME has just not had all the water removed.
Hence you need to use more LME for priming. Plus it's easier to have an opened pack of DME in store than LME.

There's no reason you can't prime with LME, it's just a pita!

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Old 02-06-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
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DME will give you more sediment, cost more, require more product, take longer to carb, and is harder to work with and keep fresh.

That being said, some still say their bubbles are smaller more crisp w/DME.

Priming with corn sugar causes the yeast to start making CO2 (and little alcohol) right away (google "Crabtree Effect"), instead of first reproducing. Thus the lesser sediment and carb time.

Still, I'd say to try both and find out for yourself. Just know either WILL WORK!
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