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Lactose vs. Maltodextrin

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adamsavelli

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I have the Oatmeal Stout Kit (w/ malt extract) from MidwestSupplies and I'd like to add either lactose or maltodextrin to it. From what I understand maltodextrin will increase mouth feel, body and head retention, while lactose will do the same while simultaneously sweetening the brew. I'd like to sweeten the beer a little but am more concerned with body, mouthfeel and head retention. Which one would be better, or can I combine them? I'll probably bottle in four or five days.
 

david_42

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You can use them both, but an oatmeal stout should have plenty of body, etc, without MD.
 

Schlenkerla

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david_42 said:
You can use them both, but an oatmeal stout should have plenty of body, etc, without MD.
Ditto on this. Both will sweeten to some degree. You really shouldn't need it at all. The Oats should really get you the mouthfeel and head rention w/o a problem.

I sometimes think of doing this, but I wind up letting the kit stand on its own. I'd consider adding lactose if I was making a cream stout and the kit didn't have it as an ingredient.

Its funny this comes up as I plan to make cream stout tonight.
 

mdf191

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Hey Adam, its Matt. I know you already added the lactose, but just for future info...The advice you have been getting that says you should be getting good body from you Oats alone is correct. But they are probably assuming you steeped your oats with some base malts in a partial mash. (Oats do not have enough enzymes to convert themselves completely, and need a bit of base malt.) Since you didn't do partial mash you wont be getting quite the same amount of body from the Oats. So lactose was a good call!
 

bradsul

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You don't need to mash oats in order to get the unfermentable starches to create the body and head retention. You only need to mash oats if you want to get some fermentables out of them in addition to those unfermentable starches.

That said there is certainly nothing wrong with also adding some lactose to add more body and sweetness.
 
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