How to brew with DME?

Brewing with DME can be a little challenging especially if you have never used it before. I think the 1st time I tried it I had a big overflow in my pot and sickly liquid got all over the place, it took forever to clean up. After a few times, you get more use to it and it just becomes pretty easy to use.

DME is just liquid malt extract that has been all the way dried out into a powder form. Some of the benefits of DME are that it can be stored for a long time and that it will not darken your beer during a boil like liquid malt extract can.

The main downfall of DME is it can be hard to work with. So I thought it would be useful to go over some simple steps to make the process a little easier.

Whenever the instructions tell you to add your DME you want to do this very slowly. To turn the heat on and start to warm your water.

Cut just the corner of the bag of DME. If you open the whole bag and just dump it all in you will have a plume of sticky dust and it will be hard to mix up.

Once your bag is open you just want to slowly sprinkle in the DME and while you are sprinkling it in you want be consistently mixing it into the water with a whisk.

If you don’t get it all mixed or you get some clumping that is fine, the yeast will still break that down in your fermenter.

Now if you are going to do a hop boil with DME you want to make sure that you get to the hot breakpoint.

After you mix your DME and it is starting to boil you will notice the foam will start to rise. If you do not keep the foam in check until you reach hot break it will overflow.

As the foam rises you can remove the pot from the heat for a few so it slows down then put it back on, you can also keep stirring the mixture or use a spray bottle with water to keep the foam back.

You will notice that when you hit the hot break the majority of the foam will go away, and it will just look like a boil or some people say it looks like Egg Drop Soup. It can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes to reach this point.

Now you don’t always need to wait to reach hot break before adding your hops, you can add them once you start boiling, you just want to keep an eye on it to prevent boil overs.

Hope this helps improve your DME brewing processes! These are the steps I was taught when I first brewed with DME and I have never forgotten them.