Brewing with malt extract

beer mug and pilsner

Plain, un-hopped, extracts are available in four basic colors; pilsen extra light, golden light, sparkling amber, traditional dark and Bavarian wheat light. The color of each extract comes from the grain bill.

LME - malt extract syrup

Plain malt extract is simply the results of the mashing and sparging process with most of the water removed. Extract syrups contain about 15% water and remain fresh for 18 to 24 months.

Malt extract syrup is very thick and can be difficult to pour. While you are waiting for the brew pot to boil you can help the extract along by removing the label, opening the can and placing it into hot water.

Adding malt extract syrup to the brew kettle

When the brew water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat. This is very important. Malt extracts are very dense and will sink right to the bottom of the kettle. If the heat is left on the extract will begin to caramelize. This will darken the color of your beer and add caramel flavors which may not be appropriate to the style of beer you are making. Use a pot holder to remove the tin of extract syrup from the hot water bath. Carefully pick up the tin and stir the brew kettle as you pour in the extract syrup. It will pour slowly because it is so thick. Use your spoon to help it along. You can add hot water to the extract can and stir it up a little. You want to get all of the extract.

DME - Dry Malt Extract

Spray drying is a particularly gentle and uniform way of converting liquid malt extracts into easy to store and handle powders. The drying process converts each droplet of liquid malt extract into a fine powder particle in less than four seconds, ensuring that the full flavor of the malt is retained and that no off flavors or taints are introduced. As with liquid malt extracts, spray dry malts can be either used as beer extenders or as the entire base sugar for your recipe.

Dry extracts will react with moisture as soon as it is exposed. The steam from your brew pot will cause the extract to clump up and stick to the packaging and it will turn into a great dust cloud if given the opportunity.

Adding dry malt extract to the brew kettle

Once the brew water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat. This is very important. Hold the bag of extract by two corners and shake it down so you can cut the entire top off of the bag. Use both hands to pour the malt into the brew pot as quickly as possible. Stir the brew pot until the extract is completely dissolved then turn the heat back on. Stir occasionally until the wort returns to a boil.

homebrewed beer with malted grains and hop flowers

Home Beer Brewing

Brewing beer is an American Tradition.