Priming with DME

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pkiller001

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I've made my last three recipes from "Beer Captured." Their flavors have been great, but instead of using priming sugar they called for boiling 1 and 1/4C DME and using that to prime instead. The first brew was an imperial stout, and it still hasn't carbed entirely. I figured that, since it's a high alcohol beer, and since it's like 18 degrees in Philly right now, that was to be expected. The second beer that I used the DME instead of sugar for was a rye beer. It's also taking a long time to carbonate, even though it's significantly less alcoholic. I'm about to bottle the next one (an Ommegang clone), and I was wondering if this DME business is worth it. I've read that the sugar used to carbonate doesn't make a big difference if flavor, is there any reason to use DME at all, since it seems to be carbonating so much more slowly than the sugar that came in my first kits? Or is it simply because it's so much more cold now than in September when I first started brewing.
 

Nurmey

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IMO there is no reason to use DME to prime and it takes a couple weeks longer to carbonate than dextrose. For the tiny amount you use, you are not gaining any flavor.
 

Kayos

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My first few beers were undercarbed until I started using this.

I noticed it called for a lot more priming sugar than I had used before. From then on, my beer has been carbed just right! As far as DME...no need unless you are going for the German beer purity law.
 

avidhomebrewer

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DME isn't 100% fermentable like dextrose is; that is why you need to use more to achieve the same level of carbonation. As Nurmey says, you won't gain any additional flavors by using DME vs. dextrose. I used to use DME, but now that dextrose is so much cheaper and easier to use, I've been using dextrose for about 3 years now with no flavor differences.
 

Edcculus

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I've used both. DME works fine, but like others said, it takes longer. I like dextrose better. It has been more consistent for me.
 
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pkiller001

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Thanks for the replys/help everyone.
Any thoughts about how to speed up the process for the rye beer? I don't mind waiting for the imperial stout, since it's supposed to be ready around March anyways, but I was hoping to have the rye beer ready for friends coming for New Years.
And as a corollary: is there any harm in waiting so long for the carbonation to complete? The recipe says the beer will be ready to drink several weeks after carbonation, but if it takes so long to carbonate, won't it be good to go as soon as it's adequately carbed?
 

Tripod

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Has anyone had any luck using plain ol' table sugar? Will it affect the flavor, etc? I'm really just curious here. I've been using DME and it works but slowly - like other have mentioned. I solve it by just brewing more so I forget about the carbing batch until it has had plenty of time to do its thing. :)

-Tripod
 

Edcculus

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Has anyone had any luck using plain ol' table sugar? Will it affect the flavor, etc? I'm really just curious here. I've been using DME and it works but slowly - like other have mentioned. I solve it by just brewing more so I forget about the carbing batch until it has had plenty of time to do its thing. :)

-Tripod
Table sugar is sucrose. Sucrose = glucose + fructose

Priming sugar is dextrose. Dextrose = glucose

sucrose is obviously a disaccharide while dextrose is a monosaccharide. Therefore, dextrose is easier for yeast to metabolize.

This is also the reason DME (a mixture of maltose and maltroise) is less fermentable. Maltose is a disaccharide of glucose molecules. Maltroise is a trisaccharide of glucose made by the alpha amalayse reaction in the original starches of the malted grain.

I'm not a chemist by any means. This is just info I've picked up by listening to podcasts, reading wikipedia and being obsessed with brewing.
 

Tripod

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Table sugar is sucrose. Sucrose = glucose + fructose

Priming sugar is dextrose. Dextrose = glucose

sucrose is obviously a disaccharide while dextrose is a monosaccharide. Therefore, dextrose is easier for yeast to metabolize.

This is also the reason DME (a mixture of maltose and maltroise) is less fermentable. Maltose is a disaccharide of glucose molecules. Maltroise is a trisaccharide of glucose made by the alpha amalayse reaction in the original starches of the malted grain.

I'm not a chemist by any means. This is just info I've picked up by listening to podcasts, reading wikipedia and being obsessed with brewing.
Thanks, Edcculus, for the info on this. So, the "nutshell" lesson is: more fermentable = better for carbing? Is that right?

That would make sense for quickening the process. I've had good luck with DME but I am able to be patient and leave it alone so it is not an issue for me. But I like to experiment so I think the next batch will be primed with dextrose so I can compare...

-Tripod
 

Schlenkerla

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Has anyone had any luck using plain ol' table sugar? Will it affect the flavor, etc? I'm really just curious here. I've been using DME and it works but slowly - like other have mentioned. I solve it by just brewing more so I forget about the carbing batch until it has had plenty of time to do its thing. :)

-Tripod
Plain old table sugar works and it works quite well. I used for about year and a half until a friend gave me 50lbs of pharmaceutical grade dextrose.

All of my homebrew buddies were surprised to find out about my secret about table sugar because they had this misconception about table sugar being bad or causing a cider taste. At priming rates it will NOT give off this flavor. If you try to substitute cane sugar for a base malt then yes it will. I believe that the original gravity from sugar (dextrose or cane) should be less than 20% of the total. For example out of 5lbs; 4lbs malt and no more than 1 lb sugar. (I don't advocate using sugar over malt for the base gravity.) There are exceptions in certain cases though...

Look these two links below. This info should help a bunch.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - What Sugar Should I Prime With?

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Priming Solutions

Save this link to your browser favorites. How to Brew - By John Palmer

One very important point is to weigh your sugar in oz or grams. It much more accurate than measuring 3/4 cups and what not.
 

Malticulous

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If you want it to carbonate up faster raise the temperature of the bottles over 70f for a few days after bottling.
 

Shonuff

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If you want it to carbonate up faster raise the temperature of the bottles over 70f for a few days after bottling.
Trying to get your beer to naturally carbonate in as short a time as possible is something I wouldn't recommend. It's not a race. Let your beer age. It'll only get better.

Is your signature necessary?
 

Schlenkerla

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If you want it to carbonate up faster raise the temperature of the bottles over 70f for a few days after bottling.

Conroe - I looked at your sig, saw the photos too. Your beer looked pretty cloudy to me. I never shake my beers because I want to drink clean and clear beer whenever possible. Not to mention, I don't need the extra gas in my intestines from drinking a glut of yeast. Talk about beer farts!!! :cross:

The only time I did the shake-thing was when I added sugar directly to the bottle and it settled on the bottom. Even then I waited for the beer to clear before popping one open.

I agree with Shonuff, do you have an axe to grind with Revy?
 

Tripod

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Plain old table sugar works and it works quite well. I used for about year and a half until a friend gave me 50lbs of pharmaceutical grade dextrose.

All of my homebrew buddies were surprised to find out about my secret about table sugar because they had this misconception about table sugar being bad or causing a cider taste. At priming rates it will NOT give off this flavor. If you try to substitute cane sugar for a base malt then yes it will. I believe that the original gravity from sugar (dextrose or cane) should be less than 20% of the total. For example out of 5lbs; 4lbs malt and no more than 1 lb sugar. (I don't advocate using sugar over malt for the base gravity.) There are exceptions in certain cases though...

...One very important point is to weigh your sugar in oz or grams. It much more accurate than measuring 3/4 cups and what not.
Beautiful, Thank you Schlenkerla!!

I have read "How To Brew" but it never hurts to go back and look again...I think I pick up something new each time! :)

I learned the hard way to actually measure the weight of the DME I had been using. Priviously, I had just blindly scooped up the recommended 1-1/4 cup of DME before realizing that packed DME will weigh differently than loose DME of the same volume.

I have had excellent results with DME because I am able to simply forget about the carbing brews so waiting is not an issue for me. But DME is a lot more expensive than table sugar so I thought I would at least experiment with it and see if I can get the total cost of each batch down a little where I can.

Thanks, ALL for the input on this subject!

-Tripod
 

Malticulous

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Conroe - I looked at your sig, saw the photos too. Your beer looked pretty cloudy to me. I never shake my beers because I want to drink clean and clear beer whenever possible. Not to mention, I don't need the extra gas in my intestines from drinking a glut of yeast. Talk about beer farts!!! :cross:

The only time I did the shake-thing was when I added sugar directly to the bottle and it settled on the bottom. Even then I waited for the beer to clear before popping one open.

I agree with Shonuff, do you have an axe to grind with Revy?
Perhaps you could post in my thread and I'd be happy to replay. It's too off-topic here. :p

I used DME once to prime many years ago. Now I think I'm happy with C&H.
 
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