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Old 03-09-2012, 07:48 PM   #21
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I'm about to brew a Scottish Export 80/- and that calculator says to use 0.5 oz of corn sugar for 5 gallons. I didn't realize they were that low carbonation. It almost seems wrong.

What is really strange is that if I use the calculator at Northern brewer I get about 3.5 oz of corn sugar for 5 gallons.

That would be about right for a draught version, but for bottled, you want to up the carbonation to about 2 - 2.5 volumes CO2


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Old 10-07-2012, 12:02 AM   #22
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i switched over to DME a few months ago and really like the results. 9 times out of ten, corn sugar worked fine for me, but sometimes with lighter brews, i noticed the bottled versions seemed to lack something. i started using extra light DME, and have been really pleased with how my bottled brews turn out, if for nothing else the head is more dense, like that of my legged brews. in lighter beers, i no longer notice the lack of body/mouthfeel that i sometimes got when using corn sugar. one thing, DME will take a tad longer to ferment out that CS, so give the bottles an extra week or so to carb up.
I've been curious about alternatives to corn sugar, specifically whether DME produces a smoother, more solid head and better lacing. I had a cask conditioned Marsten Pedigree Bitter at a local pub last weekend, and I loved that faint yet silky smooth carbonation. I wonder how they condition their cask beers.


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Old 10-07-2012, 12:19 AM   #23
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I've been curious about alternatives to corn sugar, specifically whether DME produces a smoother, more solid head and better lacing. I had a cask conditioned Marsten Pedigree Bitter at a local pub last weekend, and I loved that faint yet silky smooth carbonation. I wonder how they condition their cask beers.
Well, I'd say that there's a lot more that makes a cask brew what it is than just the priming sugar, but from what I gather the common priming sugars would be either wort (which is what DME would be) or the simple sugars like we use in home brewing; dextrose, sucrose, etc. Casked beers are a thing of beauty, a local pub here in town usually has their IPA on cask and I try to stop in for one whenever I'm in that area. I'd love to be able to replicate that in a bottled beer. DME definitely adds character to a bottled beer, but it's not a guaranteed improvement, when used in the right beer though it's great!
Obviously, it's been awhile since I posted one this thread about DME, so I've used it a lot more. It definitely does give a smoother carb and tends to give the beer a denser head. I usually get great retention regardless of priming sugar or force carbing, so I can't say if DME helps with that. Also, it does lend to the overall malt flavor of a beer, and I don't think it's the best choice for hops forward styles like IPA, or beers that should be quite dry like cream ale or light lager unless you're considering the added maltiness when creating the recipe.
Really, if you're curious, try out some different sugars. I'm still playing around with priming different beers with different sugars. I mainly use DME, dextrose or a blend of the two, but I recently bottled a Burton ale with light brown sugar.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #24
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Great feedback. I started brewing in March, and using BeerSmith's carb calculator has been pretty reliable for all 10 of my IPA series so far. I know there's a lot more to cask conditioning than the sugar, but I wondered if DME contributed additional dimension and creaminess. I also appreciate your thoughts on DME in IPAs.

If I'm conditioning 4 weeks using corn sugar, how much longer will DME take?

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:27 AM   #25
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Great feedback. I started brewing in March, and using BeerSmith's carb calculator has been pretty reliable for all 10 of my IPA series so far. I know there's a lot more to cask conditioning than the sugar, but I wondered if DME contributed additional dimension and creaminess. I also appreciate your thoughts on DME in IPAs.

If I'm conditioning 4 weeks using corn sugar, how much longer will DME take?
Ya know, I haven't noticed a real increase in time, maybe a week or so. A bit longer in a bigger beer. I'd say my avg. time is 4-6 weeks, depending on the gravity. What I've noticed is that it doesn't really take longer to carb up, it's that it needs a bit of extra time to condition after carbing. Probably due to the extract contributing flavor and not just co2 (?).
IPAs and pales are my thing too.... It will add depth to the beer, and you'll definitely notice it in IPA. It will lower the perceived bitterness a bit, what I try do is just make sure I make my IPAs plenty hoppy, and it doesn't detract from the beer. I use BeerSmith too, and basically what I do is if I want say 50 IBU from the bittering hops, I plug in an amount to get ~52-53, maybe 55. Probably not important, but it makes me feel better and I've never really thought the DME hurt the bitterness of the beer if I consider it while making a recipe. If I'm going for really crisp, I use corn sugar, or table sugar. But if it's a brew that I want a bit more feel to, I'll use DME or a blend (usually a ~50/50 for IPA).
Give it a try, from the sound of it, you'll probably find that it adds something to some of your brews.


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