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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Corn Sugar vs. Dextrose
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Corn Sugar vs. Dextrose

Hi,

I have been told on this site that I should be adding aprox 2 lbs of corn sugar to the wort mix. FYI - I am making my first batch which is a hopped, no-boil kit, Coopers Lager. I c all my local Home brew shop an they said I can use Dextrose instead and that I can get it from them. Just curious on the differences.

Also, I have an airlock, I am using a food grade pail on my first batch and its a 23 litre batch and should have about 3-4 inches of headroom. Will an airlock suffice or should I use a blow off for the first few days? If so do I switch to the airlock after the activity has slowed?

Thanks

Dave

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Old 02-05-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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I think your kit instructs you to add 2 pounds of corn sugar, but we don't necessarily think it's a good idea. It's probably better to use only 1 pound of corn sugar and replace the other pound with dry malt extract, or even replace both pounds with the DME.

There is NO difference between "corn sugar" and "dextrose". Dextrose is the chemical name for corn sugar.

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:18 PM   #3
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What she said- corn sugar is dextrose

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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OK thanks, is there any specific kind of DME I should use with this lager kit?

Anyone want to chime in on my airlock vs. blow-off question ?

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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Light/pale DME would be best and most neutral. BTW, did your homeshop say to use Maltodextrine (not dextrose)? At least that's different (though not preferred over DME).

3-4 inches sounds like enough for an airlock. Is it a 7.9 US gallon pail for 6 US gallon (23 liter) beer? If it's a 6.5 gallon pail, then that's a little tight, and I'd go with blowoff.

EDIT: just to clarify, don't add 2 lbs. of maltodextrin.

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Old 02-05-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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OK thanks...just to clarify.

DME = Dry Malt Extract which I will use in place of actual sugar or combination of 1/2 sugar 1/2 DME, theory being the sugars in the DME will support fermentation as opposed to actual sugar ?

Well the pail has instructions...it says for 23 L batch fill to second ring which is about 3-4 inches from top...so yes I will use a blow-off. Does it need to be on the entire time or should I switch to airlock after a few days?

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Old 02-05-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DSeibel View Post
OK thanks...just to clarify.

DME = Dry Malt Extract which I will use in place of actual sugar or combination of 1/2 sugar 1/2 DME, theory being the sugars in the DME will support fermentation as opposed to actual sugar ?

Well the pail has instructions...it says for 23 L batch fill to second ring which is about 3-4 inches from top...so yes I will use a blow-off. Does it need to be on the entire time or should I switch to airlock after a few days?
Well, the technique will be right, but the "theory" there is incorrect. Sugar is 100% fermentable. Malt is less so. So, the malt extract will give you some flavor and body. The sugar will give you fermentables. I don't normally use sugar in brewing, but those kits don't have enough malt extract to make the beer. That's why they instruct you to add sugar- to add alcohol. The DME will give you both flavor and body instead of just the fermentables.

I use an airlock, as I rarely fill my fermenter too high. But you can start with a blow off tube and either leave it on the whole time, or switch it out when fermentation slows down. Having the blow off tube on is really just a giant airlock.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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OK...confused. Your telling me to use DME instead of sugar even though kits dont normally have enough fermentable sugar. Or are you saying by adding DME I will be "topping up" the amount of fermentables provided in the kit while also adding flavour and body. Perhaps in this case I will do as the kit says with 1KG of sugar and later experiment with DME when I am buying not kit ingrediants.

Thanks !

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Old 02-05-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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OK...confused. Your telling me to use DME instead of sugar even though kits dont normally have enough fermentable sugar. Or are you saying by adding DME I will be "topping up" the amount of fermentables provided in the kit while also adding flavour and body. Perhaps in this case I will do as the kit says with 1KG of sugar and later experiment with DME when I am buying not kit ingrediants.

Thanks !
Yes, to the second! By adding DME, you are adding fermentables that will provide body and flavor.

Simple sugar is fermentable, but is known to thin and dry a beer. Because it's fully fermentable, the beer doesn't have the "body" and residual unfermentables that adding malt extract does. A beer with 2 pounds of malt extract and 2 pounds of sugar generally will not taste very good. Not horrible, but not very good. Adding less sugar but still having enough fermentables for a decent alcohol content will give you a good beer.

I guess an analogy would be something like this. You want to make spaghetti sauce to feed 10. You only have enough "real" ingredients (your canned hopped LME) for 5. But you want to feed ten! You can add some tomato juice (the sugar), or more tomato sauce (the DME). The sauce made with the added juice won't be horrible. It just won't be the best sauce you can make. You can add some more tomato sauce (but without the seasoning [hops]) and have a pretty decent spaghetti sauce. Still not ideal, but not too bad.

If I were making the kit you have, I'd use no more than 1 pound of sugar. However, it's your beer and you can do whichever you want. That's the beauty of homebrewing- you can make your beer however you like it.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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Sorry to wake this thread up, but your spaghetti sauce analogy is really awesome and helpful.

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