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Using malt extract to batch prime home brew


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Lasr time I made beer I used carbonation drops. This time I am being steered in the direction of batch priming: 120g sugar to 20l of beer, the sugar dissolved in boiling water. I've been told I can use malt extract for this purpose. I want that flavour profile. Would I just use 120g or would I need more/less based on, say, malt extract's Brix rating as opposed to table sugar's Brix rating?

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Chris Taylor

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I think the reason corn sugar is the default for priming a batch to bottle carbonate is that it dissolves fast and evenly, and does not bring extra proteins and such along.  Using dissolved (but not boiled) dry malt extract could bring haze from proteins that have not been coagulated by a long boil.  You'll get carbonation, but you might get more than just carbonation. 


One way to accomplish this goal would be to set aside a pint or two of your boiled wort before you pitch the yeast into it... pop it into the freezer and drop the frozen sugary wort cubes into the batch as you're getting it off the yeast into your bottling bucket.  You'd definitely need to do some math to figure out how much CO2 would be produced.


Why the desire to avoid the corn sugar?  It really is the easiest path, and all of the math for how much to add has been done for you in all of the priming calculators out there. 


Editing to say that I found a priming calculator that does the math for various types of dry malt extract in addition to corn sugar.  Fill in the parameters in the Tastybrew Priming Calculator and you're off to the races. (but it answers in ounces, not grams, so you do need to do a bit of math if you're using a metric scale.)

Edited by cdh (log)
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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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Besides the excellent advice by Chris, one of the issues with malt extract is the fermentability (sugar content) can vary from brand to brand and batch to batch within the same brand.  Corn sugar gives you repeatability.  Remember you're not trying to make beer, just CO2.


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