Author Topic: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract  (Read 17213 times)

Offline yvanchartrand

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Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« on: March 27, 2011, 07:59:09 PM »
Hello every one,

What is the difference between using corn sugar versus dry malt extract for beer carbonation. So i have used only corn sugar but would like to give dry malt a try, if I do what kind of dry malt should I use? Will DME carbonate at the same rate?

Thanks for your help,

Yvan the Terrible

Offline cheffriz

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 06:36:30 AM »
Currently i have only used corn sugar, however I am planning to use Light DME on my next batch, an oktoberfest, and i will post my impressions.
On Deck: Rauchbier, Pumpkin Ale
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Secondary Oktoberfest
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Offline sbbish

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 09:46:18 AM »
I have always used DME (light or extra light), so I can't tell you if there's a comparison difference between DME and corn sugar. However, DME and corn sugar do NOT carbonate at the same rate. Use the tool in BeerSmith to find the appropriate amount of DME to use to reach your desired level of carbonation.

Offline yvanchartrand

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 07:24:24 PM »
Thanks for your feedback, would there be a difference in taste using DME vs corn sugar?

Offline sbbish

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 09:10:57 PM »
Thanks for your feedback, would there be a difference in taste using DME vs corn sugar?

As I said, I've never done a comparison, so I don't know for sure. I've been told that you wouldn't be able to tell a difference between the two. However, I generally feel that the higher quality ingredients you use when brewing, the better end result. I feel that DME is a higher quality ingredient than corn sugar, so that's why I use it. That's all just my opinion, though.

Offline shane

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 05:14:17 PM »
 I've regularly used both methods. I really have not noticed a difference, other than the faster conditioning of the corn sugar. Of the books I've read they say that corn sugar will add almost no additional flavor to the beer which is ideal, and the dme will lend some flavor which ain't bad either. The same reason the big three use corn and rice for less body, but the purists say beer is WATER, GRAIN, YEAST,and HOPS. We homebrewers fortunately don't live by these rules.
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline shane

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 05:19:38 PM »
  General rule is 3/4 cup corn sugar= 1/4 cup light dme
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline sbbish

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 10:06:31 PM »
  General rule is 3/4 cup corn sugar= 1/4 cup light dme

While that is the general rule, I have found it is much better to use the Carbonation tool (or built-in feature on the recipe) for determining amount. Back when I was following that 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup rule, I had some beers become over-carbonated and some were under-carbonated. Every other ingredient we use in brewing is measured by weight, so it makes sense that corn sugar or DME for carbonation should be measured by weight, too. After I started using BeerSmith to determine the proper amount of sugar for carbonation, I have had perfect carbonation every time.

Scott

Offline mstrblstrpstr

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 06:52:08 PM »
  General rule is 3/4 cup corn sugar= 1/4 cup light dme

While that is the general rule, I have found it is much better to use the Carbonation tool (or built-in feature on the recipe) for determining amount. Back when I was following that 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup rule, I had some beers become over-carbonated and some were under-carbonated. Every other ingredient we use in brewing is measured by weight, so it makes sense that corn sugar or DME for carbonation should be measured by weight, too. After I started using BeerSmith to determine the proper amount of sugar for carbonation, I have had perfect carbonation every time.

Scott

scott's right.  in my last batch, i used some leftover DME that i had lying around, and i guestimated it.  most of my bottles were flat, but about half of the ones i gave to my cousin were overcarbonated.  not enough to burst the bottle, but it came out as all foam.  she could have poured it wrong as well.  however, with regards to beersmith, since it is a technical program, i haven't used it to calculate how much priming sugar/DME to use.  mainly because i don't know how "volumes" translated to actual head production and mouth feel in the glass

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 10:24:39 AM »
Sugar and DME are not the same sugars.  For carbonation, you are not interested in the yeast having the easier time metabolizing the sugar and producing CO2.  You do not want the left over non-fermentable sugars from DME because you can't predict how and if they wil change the beer.  DME is unpredictable.  You do not know how fermentable it is.  It will take much longer to carbonate and you can't predict how long that will be.  Then there is the differences between lagers and ales.  Adding for unpredictability.

There is no benefit in using DME. Cane or corn sugar is 100% fermentable, reliable and predictable. 

Try both.  Find what works for you.  Using DME takes some research but can eventually carbonate.  You would really want to determine how fermentable the DME is so you can calculate how much to add.  There are some online references on doing that.  I have a krausening wort calculator in my Android App to calculate the amount of high krausen wort to add to your beer to carbonate.

Offline haerbob3

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Re: Carbonation, corn sugar vs dry malt extract
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 05:48:02 PM »
I think the amount of DME is to small to effect the taste.  DME is about 85% fermentable