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Using Liquid Malt Extract instead of Dextrose?

Posted: |12 Feb 2011|, 16:41
I stopped by DeFalco's in Ottawa on Thursday and picked up some new supplies.

I'm changing a couple things...the stock guy recommended using Liquid Malt Extract (LME) instead of dextrose and made a good argument for it.

Basically, he said it will add more body to the beer and less 'cheap booze' flavour that comes from using dextrose.

He also convinced me to get some hops, so I'm going to be hopping my own beer for the first time :)

Once I'm comfortable with these changes (I've been doing beer kits only at this point) I'm going to try doing a partial mash.


My question is: is there anything I shoujld be aware of (or do differently) when using Liquid Malt Extract instead of dextrose, or is it straight forward and basically the same deal?

Re: Using Liquid Malt Extract instead of Dextrose?

Posted: |14 Feb 2011|, 14:40
by ihomebrewing
I wouldn't use LME in any 'lighter' style of beer such as American Lager, or Pilsner, as LME (just like DME) will add to the flavour slightly, and change the SRM profile a bit.

My personal preference would be DME over LME, as it is processed under less severe conditions than LME, which will minimize the amount of flavouring added.

The dosage between either LME, DME and Dextrose will be different as well. Palmer's book has information on that.

Also, be aware that malt extract will generate break material when boiled, and that the fermentation of malt extract for priming purposes will often generate a krausen/protein ring around the waterline in the bottle, just like it does in your fermenter. Simple sugars don't have this cosmetic problem and the small amount used for priming will not affect the flavor of the beer. -Palmer said that.

Re: Using Liquid Malt Extract instead of Dextrose?

Posted: |24 Apr 2013|, 15:31
by Mike68
So here is what I do. Not saying it is right but I have been doing it this way for years and cant complain. I looked at the weight of the average Coopers beer kit. It weighs in just under 2kg. If you do a conversion 1KG ofmalt extract = 1L of extract. That being said I substituted the 1KG of DEX for 1L of LME. Works out great for me! Have had many compliments on my beer.

I would say the only thing you want to make sure of is that you get the stock pot or whatever you are doing your boil in, off the stove or heat source before adding the extract. It can scald and burn it pretty fast.


Re: Using Liquid Malt Extract instead of Dextrose?

Posted: |24 Apr 2013|, 16:35
by Warthaug
As a general rule, you can replace dextrose with an equal mass of light dry malt extract (DME). DME is died wort (sans hops), so your beer ends up more 'authentic' and is less likely to suffer from flaws typical of excess sugar usage (cider flavors being the more common issue). THe flip side is that your beer will also have more body, due to the unfermentables in DME, as well as slightly more colour. This can be good or bad, depending on style. For lighter-bodied beers, it may be better to replace half the dextrose with DME and use dextrose for the other half. Otherwise, a straight-up swap works well.