Beer enhancer required if brewing purely from DME?

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Luxy

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Hi all,

I done some digging around and come to conclusion that general rule of thumb of making wort from DME is 100grams of DME per liter of wort. Ideally is to get the OG to 1.040~1.050ish range. When brewing with Cooper's Bootmaker Pale Ale extract kit, the recipe calls for their 1kg beer enhancer and thus my question is do you still add beer enhancer if the wort is made purely from DME(no-brand)?

I have just brewed a batch of coopers bootmaker pale ale and I am planning to brew my second beer only this time the wort will be purely made from DME. When brewing the Cooper's Bootmaker Pale Ale, I was lucky to post it process here and luckily a friendly forum member @fluketamer reminded me to add sugar (the recommended to brew with their Beer enhancer somehow gives me the thought they would improve the beer but not necessary 😅 ) and saved my brew! The beer turnout very much drinkable aside from being under-carb as the sugar added was way under what the beer bottle capacity would have called for. Anyway dinged out my plastic fermenter during my first brew itself(stir it with a metal spat) and now have to wait for my second fermenter to be received. In the meantime I have received smaller food grade plastic buckets and DMEs so while waiting for my second fermenter to arrive I am planning to use the smaller bucket with airtight lid to brew a smaller batch of beer purely from DME.

I found the recipe for beer enhancer here https://www.howtohomebrewbeers.com/2016/11/how-to-make-your-own-beer-enhancer.html and I have all 3 ingredients on hand readily to add if needed.
 
The purpose of the beer enhancer is to increase the gravity of the wort. If you build your own DME-based recipe to get the gravity you want then you don't need to use the enhancer. But I hope you realize that you will need to hop that DME if you aren't using pre-hopped LME as the base.
 
^^^

Generally true, but given the beer enhancers appear to contain sugars plus some DME the outcome ABV wise could be same/similar, but the nature of the resulting brew would be different in other regards.

An all DME could end up more malty, maybe a little darker, and maybe not as dry.
 
Btw is there a way of monitoring the wort density manually(without digital hydrometer) without pouring away too much for the hydrometer reading?
If you have a normal hydrometer and a sample tube, this approach (link) may be an option.

Another option would be to 1) decide how much beer you want after packaging, 2) scale the batch size to account for three hydrometer readings (If the wort used by the three hydrometer readings inspires you to want another bottle from the batch, scale the batch size to include the extra bottle).
 
hey luxy thanks for the shout out

"Btw is there a way of monitoring the wort density manually(without digital hydrometer) without pouring away too much"

here are your options for measuring gravity with minimal beer loss:

1 refractometer as stated above uses a few drops. however once alcohol is produced you need to account for that. and calibrate your refractometer with another hydrometer that may give you a decent idea of gravvity even with alcohol on a refractometer - cost 16 to 25 dollars
2 i spindel - 0 beer loss. one caveat is that it needs to fit in the neck of the fdermenter. 1 gallon glass carboys and traditional 5 and 6 gallon glass or narrow neck PET is not compatable. cost 55 - 65 dolalrs
3 tilt - a lot more money
4 other fermentation monitoring gyroscopic devices - also a lot of money
5 i blooper - that looked interesting it measures bubbles per minute i think through vibration sensor. but if poor seal its useless.
6 nothing at all. i made beer for years without measuring gravity. yeast plus sugar plus hops and water equals beer almost all of the time. just wait 2 weeks or 3 if worried and all the sugar should be eaten that is going to be eaten.

i left out others

heres a small similar thread

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/shorter-hydrometer.731181/#post-10343439
 
Using corn or cane sugar or honey in your extract beers will give you a lower final gravity. When using all DME, my beers usually stop at 1.020, but getting it down to 1.010 increases ABV and has a less sweet taste. It’s all about what you prefer.
I’ve never heard of “beer enhancer” before, from here it looks like something they want to sell instead of just saying “get some plain sugar from the local store”.
 
"plain sugar from the local store"

beer enhancer is different than plain sugar

beer enhancer is usually maltodextrine, dme, and dextrose iirc.

there is no way that this combination will ferment out the same way as sugar.

i have brewed hme kits for as long as i can remember it has to be 30 years

i have used all sorts of combinations of dextrose, corn sugar, MD, brewers crystals, DME, etc.

each has a different fermenting profile and each def has a different effect on the end product.

however this has nothing to do with making beer from DME. beer enhancers are used in hme kits because they are usually 3-4 lbs of malt intended for 5 - 6 gallons of beer and that violates palmers general rule of 1-1.5 lbs of malt ( i dont care dme lme grain, its a general rule - but there is a diference) per gallon .
so you need to add a kilo ("kit and a kilo") of fermentables. its kilo cause kit brewing is MUCH more popular in europe and aus. coopers made in aus.

in general enhancer one is mostly dextrose . 2 has more spraymalt (i think this shows my age i dont see this term much naymore ) . 3 mostly malt

1 is for there light kits like lagers and pilsners. ( i think diy beer the american subsidary of coopers just says to use straight dextrse in the lager)
2 is for the ales and browns where you want more body
3 for the stouts where you want lots of feel body and abv that you can get with pure dme.

pure dme will work also in almost any of there kits dextroe will def work in the lagers.

making beer from un hopped dme which is typical extract brewing involves boiling hops in extract - see kats post above.

luxy - YOU NEED HOPS . it doesnt sound like you have hops . read palmers how to brew :

https://www.academia.edu/38440206/How_To_Brew_By_John_Palmer

its free and a very quick easy informsative brew .

sorry im droning im drinking a 7.4 percent cherry session melomel that i made and i prolly had too much
 
@BrewnWKopperKat thanks for the heads up😊
@DBhomebrew noted with thanks😊
@mac_1103 Ha in the journey of moving from LME to DME, did purchased 2 tubs of LME from Briess though, they turned out to be unhoped but made of specific malt I think. I bought a bunch of DME as I saw somewhere they were a better option if they are likely to be stored for a while before brewing so yea trying DME with small batches sort of experimenting all things at once , DME with yeast starter with harvested yeast from my first batch.
@fluketamer hey thanks for popping by ^_^
I pretty much bought 2 smaller version of the plastic fermenter with the lid size equal to the body
IMG_7032.JPG
so they are likely to fit any digital hydrometer in future except this one
IMG_7031.JPGwith about 11cm for the opening so all is good.

Apologies in advance for the metric systems I am about to use for a brief description I am about to explain below.
Brewed 6 litres with 470grams DME
Work out using 43 points ppg for the DME for 6 litres(1.585gallon) with 470grams (a little over 1 lb)to be 1.028,
Using avg 45.5(between 45&46ppg) for dextrose I see around online to increase the SG by further 20 points to 1.048, I added 316grams(11.15oz) of dextrose.
And finally 40ppg for Maltodextrin, I added another 20 points work out to be 180grams (6.35oz)added to the 6litres (realized only after adding that is a little too much for the small batch I brewed as all Coopers enhancer has only about 100grams of Maltodextrin which is tailored for a 23L batch! So technically I only needed 26grams for my 6L)

Splitted the 6L into 2 fermenters, one of them is purely unhopped just to satisfy my curiosity of how unhoped beer would taste like. The other 3L I boil with 21grams (0.74oz)of Hallertauer Tradition for aroma purpose since I did not see this hop under the hop section in John Palmer’s book. For each fermentor I added about 150ml of yeast starter that I prep 36 hours in advance( didn’t have the magnetic stirrer as seen in the videos from youtube but I make it a point to swirl them whenever I get the chance to with a sanitized tin foil cover over the top . I think the yeast are active because after sometime the starter solution appears to be gassy whenever I swirl them around.) The SG of the wort turned out to be 1.060 likely due to the high dosage of malto….

I was overjoyed when I saw the bubbling action in the airlock several hours after pitching the yeast.

Then comes a question, does the batch size affect the fermentation time? I did search around but I did not go too deep with it with the yeast count thing as they seem intimidating to me just by the sound of it. Only point I am able to grasp from what I have read is under pitching may result in yeast calling it quit before they completely consume all the fermentable sugar in the wort so will have to pitch new yeast from a brand new pack I suppose. However over pitching could result in a faster fermentation completion. For the under a gallon batch do I still let it sit 3 weeks in the fermenter? Any advice is welcome!
 
OK so first of all you might find some of these calculators helpful. Second, you might want to search the internet (including this site) for extract recipes for beer styles you like to get some idea of what people do for yeast and hops as well as other things like steeping grains to get different flavors and add color.

How did you measure SG, or is the 1.060 calculated? Because I'm getting 1.052 for your ingredients and volume.

How long did you boil the hops? What was the alpha acid content? Should be printed on the package. I hope the boil was short and the AA low or you could have a very bitter beer on your hands.

What yeast strain did you use? ISTM that it's going to be pretty hard to underpitch such a small batch, and overpitching really isn't a concern unless you're trying to get a lot of yeast expression. Yeast work on their own schedule, not ours. They have to clean up after themselves once they finish fermenting. Three weeks is arbitrary; you can make good beer fermenting shorter or longer than that. But I wouldn't rush it just because you're doing small batches.
 
@mac_1103 the 1.060SG is taken from a manual hydrometer

By calculation taking DME ppg to be 43points, 470 grams(1.03617 lb) x 43 x 6 liters(1.585 gallons) =28.11 that is how I get the SG with only DME to be 1.028
45.5ppg for dextrose to me means 453.592gram(1 lb) will change 3.78541 liters(1 gallon) by 45.5 points in terms of grams/liter would be 119.826 grams to increase 1 litres of water density by 45.5points
I then go on working out 119.826/45.5 =2.633grams of dextrose per liter to increase the density by 1 point thus if I want to increase the SG with only DME from 1.028 to 1.048 I would need to add 2.633grams x 20 points x 6 liters = 316 grams(11.15oz) of dextrose using the same method for the maltodextrin as well.

From what I have read from How to brew, I strongly believe the Hallertauer Tradition I have bought belongs to aroma hops varieties as the other 3 I bought along with it all belongs to the aroma hop varieties listed in the book( East Kent, Saaz and Cascade) did also notice two Hallertauers in the list but they are not Tradition so I just assume it to be the aroma type. I boil them for a good 15 min (long boil is only for bittering hops from what I have understand from the book) then filtered them when transferring the wort into the fermenter. The AA for the hop is 4~7%

I have use Kveik Voss as I have not invested much in home brew so no temp control fermentation for me yet but the guy at my local brew store told me this yeast works in a large temperature range which is what I needed here in asia. He also told me that the same yeast can be used for all beer types be it pilsner, lager or stout(this I have yet to find out for myself 😄)

For now I can still see the bubbling in the air lock so I think the yeast are doing ok. The ambient temperature where the fermenters are kept is around 30 degree C.
 
" I boil them for a good 15 min (long boil is only for bittering hops"

the longer you boil hops ( any hops bittering or aroma) the more bitter flavor you will extract from them (up to a point)

the point of bittering you wort is to balance out the cloyingly sweet nature of malt sugar.

you actually will extract a fair amount of bitterness from those "aroma" hops

learn to use brewersfriend. its free and easy.

your recipe is off. you have 30 percent dextrose which is a lot ( but not out of the realm of possiblyity )
and i have no idea what all that MD will do to that beer. prolly make it thick like syrupy and possibly sweet. i dont know if it will be palatable. it will prolly need a lot of conditioning to "clean" up all that dextrose .

in brewers friend your beer comes out to 33 ibus with the 15 min boil which is actually fairly bitter. even though you didnt use any "bittering hops"

my best advice would prolly be to follow a tried and true known recipe.
there are plenty of very good extract recipes on this site
 
you actually will extract a fair amount of bitterness from those "aroma" hops
This^
learn to use brewersfriend. its free and easy.
and this^. The link is in my post above.
in brewers friend your beer comes out to 33 ibus with the 15 min boil which is actually fairly bitter. even though you didnt use any "bittering hops"
For 3 liters (split batch) I get 66 IBU for 21 grams of 5% AA at 15 minutes. The extra matlodextrin will increase the final gravity and should offset some of that bitterness.
my best advice would prolly be to follow a tried and true known recipe.
there are plenty of very good extract recipes on this site
Even if you don't want to use someone else's recipes, you should read a bunch to get a feel for how and why different ingredients are used.
 
" I get 66 IBU for 21 grams of 5% AA at 15 minutes."

thanks i put in 6 liters i forgot it was split

thats super bitter
 
im thinking he should just combine the two batches since the batch without hops is not really what i would call beer ( and i doubt it will taste like beer) i have had very underhopped beer (unintentionally) - its not good.

stouts with little hops get there bitterness from roasted grains so you dont taste the low hoppiness.

sours (which can have little to no hops) taste like $hit so it also doesnt matter as much in that brewing style - lol
 
@mac_1103 from the calculation website I am getting 1.057 for 3 liters with the Hallertauer tradition and 83.28 IBU(worst case scenario 7% AA). Is there something that I have missed out here?
1709370249678.png

Just realized that the DME I used is actually dark type. I went on to dissolve 10grams in to 100ml of water and take a hydrometer reading and gotten 1.030.
 
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pucker up.

this reminds me of ballast point tongue buckler
ibu 108


this is a good video on extract brewing from start to finish .

also the reason you are coming up with 88 ibus which would be insanely bitter is that you put 28.4 liters as the boil size. which would extract more bittereness out of the hops than if you just boiled the 3 liters which it sounds liek you did. thats not important rightnow for you. you are prolly clsoer to 60 ibus which still too bitter . you still have to learn how to do basic extract brewing . i would do that before experimenting with anything.

also like mac said you probably used pellet hops not leaf.

i think at this point you can try to save this beer - not easy maybe combine them , and add more dme . or just dump it and start over.

try 1 to 1.5 lbs of extract per gallon of water. leave out the MD and dextrose. add an ounce of medium to low AA hops hops per 5-6 gallons of beer at the start of a 60 minute boil. add another half to one ounce of low AA acid aroma hops towards the end ( 5-10 min) of the boil. ( better yet at flame out to get more flavor). chill that as fast as you can and then pitch 1 pack of dried yeast per 5-6 gallons of wort. try to maintain your fermentation temperature as much as possible.

thats your best chance at making decent beer

good luck
 
@mac_1103 I googled the bitterness chart and yeah normal beer turn out to be in the range of 20~50. And I missed out switching the hops from whole to pellets( they were in pellets form )

In view of the mess happened I will try to blend them (thinking of pouring one from the tap into the other fermenter via the airlock opening).
1709435671268.png

If I were to combine them i get the above from the calculator, seems just nice for a beer?

Also I am planning for another brew with the input below, would appreciate if anyone can help to spot any mistake if any, thanks in advance~!!!
1709435839670.png
 
thinking of pouring one from the tap into the other fermenter via the airlock opening
Just mix them together when it's time to bottle or keg.

As for the next brew, I (once again) strongly suggest that you look at a bunch of recipes for a style of beer that you like instead of just guessing about what will happen if you throw a few ingredients together.
 
hey luxy you keep putting in 28 liters as the boil size that cant be right.
also the problems with your " recipe" are several
1 you are using dark malt extract whcih is used for porters and stouts generally. although as the link posted by kopper ket shows you are better off using light malt and steeping grains for color and flavor.
2 boiling beer for only 20 mins instead of the traditional hour is actually a little more advanced than 1 hour boiling.
3 as a very general rule beer is 1.040 to 1.050 but yours is 1.031 which will only give you 3.24 percent. again brewing low alcohol beers is actually more advanced than normal 4-6 percent beer
4 halertau hops are a noble german lager hop for what you would think of as a golden lager.
5 corn sugar is used in mostly amercian lagers to thin them out.
6 you are using ale yeast without temperature control.

so you are kind of making a black warm fermented psuedolager with ale yeast.

i dont brew to style see my thread:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/i-dont-brew-to-style.730310/
but this is just too much of a hodge podge of ingredients. it will make beer, water sugar yeast hops makes beer . it is unlikey to taste like what you are used to as beer.

first determine what beer you like to drink (you prolly going to have a decent amount of it ) and brew something similar thats not too difficult.
dont start with lagers saisons , neipas sours.
dark beers are MUCH easier to make than light beers especially extract. they hide a lot of off flavors
stout or porter with LIGHT dme and steeping grains like chocolate roasted black etc and a simple one addition hop like kent or something with nottingham or so5 will make a good stout prolly.

if you must have a golden colored beer like the massed produced ones a lightly hopped american pale ale is your best bet.

aside from a relatively "safe" recipe,
sanitation
fresh ingredients
good healthy decent yeast pitch ,dry or reused (but stored well)
and ANY FORM OF TEMPERATURE CONTROL ! (research swamp coolers on this sight)

this all made my beer much much better
good luck
 
Hey fluke,

Sorry i kept forgetting to put auto check for the volume on the calculator. As for keep using dark malt extract for the recipe, I am all guilty for it 😅 I have both dark and light DME and by chance I started with the dark one hence I idea was to finish them first not knowing they are better suited for potter/stout, my bad.

As for boiling the wort for only 20 min, well I started with beer extract kits which I didn't even boil, therefore boiling the wort for at least 60 mins appears only required for AG to me....😅 My assumption is DME = extract brewing....

For the beers I have experienced so far are Tiger, Heineken, Carlsberg and some other common names and their alcohol is more or less 3.75% so my idea of beer is about there and thus the recipe is always adjusted so that the ABV is close to that 3.75% instead of 4-5%. I have once tried a beer that is 13% and that is the only time I ever disliked a beer so I impression is the higher the ABV the worse it taste somehow.... as for types of beers they seems about the same (maybe the bitterness level is the only more apparent different I can make out) to me apart from their pricing🤣 so you would understand I did not pay much attention to beer type in the first place.

About the ale yeast, I did some research on brewing and aware of the few types of temperature control equipment available though I never hear of swap coolers. But when the shop retailer told me I could use Kveik Voss for every kind of beer I want and brew them in here in Singapore at 30 or so degree C, that was like a miracle(because to brew beer where I live is almost impossible without temp control except for Saison I think) for me because to do a temperature control fermentation(of what I have researched) would cost me dearly.

I think for for now I am very happy to drink my own whatever it is (first batch) abeit they are somewhat under carb ( I even yearned for it when I was thirsty while travelling out of the house) as long as they dont taste buttery due to diacetyl (though I may not know even if what I am drinking contains them) or with bubble gum flavor something that signal the beer is off and I get tipsy after 1 liter 😀 I am even more happy now that I manage to kick off fermentation of my second & third batch using the yeast I harvested from the first batch🤩
brewed with light DME and Hallertauer Traditional(as it is the only one that seems to have lost its vacuum seal among 3 others I have purchased so I aimed to finished it first before trying others).

Peace out~~~
 
boiling the wort for at least 60 mins appears only required for AG to me
As already mentioned, shortening the boil is actually a fairly advanced thing and 60 minute boils are not just for all grain. The length of the boil affects hop utilization and therefore bitterness and aroma.
the shop retailer told me I could use Kveik Voss for every kind of beer I want and brew them in here in Singapore at 30 or so degree C, that was like a miracle(because to brew beer where I live is almost impossible without temp control except for Saison I think) for me because to do a temperature control fermentation(of what I have researched) would cost me dearly.
If you brew everything with kveik then all your beers will be kveik beers. Lots of people love it. Lots of other people hate it. A bucket of water, an old tee shirt, and a fan will not cost you dearly.
 
Unless you're talking about the light versions, these beers are all 5% ABV.
You are absolutely right, I don't really know why my brain is registering 3.75% ABV as an average for most of the beer I experienced. I happened to have an empty Tiger bottle close by when I read this reply and I was so surprised when I saw the 5% ABV myself🫨
As already mentioned, shortening the boil is actually a fairly advanced thing and 60 minute boils are not just for all grain. The length of the boil affects hop utilization and therefore bitterness and aroma.

If you brew everything with kveik then all your beers will be kveik beers. Lots of people love it. Lots of other people hate it. A bucket of water, an old tee shirt, and a fan will not cost you dearly.
Yea I guess I will have to stick to kveik for the time being. By means of "A bucket of water, an old tee shirt, and a fan will not cost you dearly." I am assuming you are referring to what fluketamer said in his earlier replied about "Swamp cooler" thing? I have a look up the internet and what I get in theory is the cooling is done through evaporation of water with the use of fan to produce the cooling effect. Down here in Singapore, the humidity can get very high and the living quarter has not only limited out door space, doing the swamp cooling indoor is likely gonna cause mold issues for the place I am living I feel🫠

https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/759873/carlsberg-clone

You can brew this with ~7 lbs of light DME instead of the LME listed. Since you have access to a brew shop you should be able to get the steeping grains.
Thank you and all the advices you have patiently given!😄
 
cooling is done through evaporation of water with the use of fan to produce the cooling effect. Down here in Singapore, the humidity can get very high and the living quarter has not only limited out door space, doing the swamp cooling indoor is likely gonna cause mold issues for the place I am living I feel
Yes, a swamp cooler is an evaporative cooler. And yes they work better in dry environments. But unless you don't have any way to ventilate the space where you ferment the amount of humidity a small swamp cooler produces should not cause mold issues.
 
Hi @mac_1103
thanks for the affirmation of the swamp cooler thing, will consider them if a better well ventilated place for fermentation pops up in future. One question about bottling, are those fizzy drink PET bottle reusable for bottling beer for secondary fermentation? Usually they comes with a one time seal that breaks upon first opening, does the one time seal effects the air tightness of the PET bottle? My guess is they do not so long as after bottling the fermented wort the lid is tightly shut until they are ready to drink. Please correct me if I am wrong about this PET bottle thing.

Thanks in advance~!
 
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