What Is Dextrin And Why Is It Used In Beer Brewing?

Brewers have long known that the use of dextrin in can provide many benefits. As a type of carbohydrate produced by the hydrolysis of starch, dextrin is an odorless, tasteless white powder that is soluble in . It can be sourced from a variety of starches, such as corn, potato, tapioca, rice, and wheat.

As an ingredient in beer brewing, dextrin adds body to the beer and helps to create a more full-bodied flavor profile. It also helps to improve foam stability and contributes to a longer-lasting head on the beer. Dextrin also helps to increase the content in beers brewed with it, as well as aiding in improving clarity and coloration.

The Benefits of Using Dextrin When Brewing Beer

Using dextrin when crafting beer can have many positive effects for brewers and drinkers alike. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved Body & Flavor: By adding body to the beer and creating a fuller flavor profile, dextrin makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience for those who partake in your brews.
  • Foam Stability: Dextrin contributes to better foam stability which results in a longer-lasting head on each pour of your beers.
  • Increased Alcohol Content: The addition of dextrin helps to boost alcohol content while still maintaining good flavor balance; this makes it easier to craft higher-alcohol beers without compromising taste or aroma.
  • Clarity & Color Enhancement: Dextrin aids in producing clearer beers with improved coloration; this allows for brewers to achieve varied color palettes when crafting seasonal and speciality brews.

How To Add Dextrin To Your Beer Brews

When crafting beer with dextrin it's important that you understand how much should be used; too much can result in an overly sweet taste that detracts from the overall flavor profile while too little will not yield any real benefits at all. For best results, use 1 – 2 ounces per 5 gallons of wort (the liquid extracted from mashing grains during brewing) for light beers or 2 – 4 ounces per 5 gallons for heavier styles such as stouts or porters.
It's also important that you add dextrin towards the end of your brewing process; doing so too early could lead to fermentation problems and may even prevent or reduce hop expression (the flavor/aroma characteristics derived from ). Doing this late on will ensure that all its beneficial effects are maximised without compromising any other aspects of your brews.


Dextrin is used in beer brewing as an adhesive to help hold the and hops together during the boiling process. Dextrin also contributes to the body and mouthfeel of beer. Dextrin adds viscosity and texture to beer, which can make it appear thicker and fuller-bodied. Dextrin also affects the beer's foam stability and shelf life.

Dextrin is typically used in beer styles that are malt-forward, such as Scottish ales, English barleywines, and American brown ales. Dextrin can also be used in lighter beers, such as lagers and pilsners, to add body and mouthfeel.

Dextrin is an unfermentable sugar, so it will not contribute to the beer's alcohol content.

What Does Dextrin Do To Beer?

Dextrin malts are un-malted grains that have been roasted to a very low temperature, typically below 120 °C. This roasting process breaks down the starch molecules into dextrins. Dextrins are a type of sugar molecule that is mostly tasteless and not fermentable. Without much perceptible color or flavor, the dextrin sugars add viscosity to the body of the beer, giving it more substance. If a beer comes across as thin or watery, adding Dextrin Malt imparts more body, giving it a fuller mouthfeel.

What Is Dextrin For Brewing?

Dextrin malt is a type of malted barley that is used in brewing to increase the dextrins in wort and finished beer. Dextrins are long-chain sugars that are unfermentable by brewer's . These leftover sugars increase the body and mouthfeel of a beer.


Can You Ferment Dextrin?

There are a few different ways that you can ferment dextrin. One way is to use enzymes or malt extracts for the hydrolysis of the dextrins into fermentable sugars. This method is commonly used today for the production of diabetic beers. Another potential method is to use a special yeast strain that possesses the ability to ferment the dextrins of the wort.

Enzymes can be added to the wort to help break down the dextrins into fermentable sugars. There are a few diffrent types of enzymes that can be used for this process, but most commonly, alpha-amylase and beta-amylase are used. These enzymes work by breaking down the starch molecule into smaller sugar molecules, which can then be fermented by yeast.

Another way to ferment dextrin is by using malt extracts. Malt extracts are made from barley that has been dried and ground into a flour-like substance. The malt extract is then boiled with water and hops, similar to how wort is made. This extract contains all of the sugars that will be needed for fermentation, as well as other nutrients that are beneficial for yeast growth.

A third way to ferment dextrin is by using a special yeast strain that possesses the ability to ferment the dextrins of the wort. There are a few different yeast strains that have this ability, but most commonly, Saccaromyces cerevisiae (brewers yeast) is used. This yeast strain is able to break down complex carbohydrates, such as dextrins, into simple sugars that can be fermented by the yeast.

Does Dextrin Malt Need To Be Mashed?

No, dextrin malt does not need to be mashed. Dextrin malts are made up of a large percentage of unfermentable, complex carbohydrates that can be converted by the body into glucose. These malts are often used in commercial beers to add sweetness and body. Extract brewers can add dextrin malts to their beers by steeping them in water at around 150-160 degrees F for abut 30 minutes.

What Does Melanoidin Malt Do?

Melanoidin malt is a type of specialty malt that is designed to impart intense malty flavor and aroma to beer. It is made by exposing barley grains to high temperatures, which causes the Maillard reaction to occur. This reaction produces melanoidins, which are compounds that contribute to the intense flavor and aroma of melanoidin malt. However, overusing this ingredient can lead to unpleasant results, so it should be used sparingly.

What Does Acidulated Malt Do?

Acidulated malt is a type of malt that has been roasted or toasted and then acidified with lactic acid. This lowers the mash pH and makes it more acidic. This is important because a lower mash pH helps to break down gums, proteins, and starches more easily and efficiently.

Can You Mash Too Long?

Mashing is the process of converting the starches in malted grain into fermentable sugars. The length of time required for a successful mash depends on a number of factors, including the quantity and type of grain, the temperature of the water, and the pH level of the wort. Excessive mashing can result in a sour wort, whih will not ferment properly and may produce off-flavors in the finished beer.

Why Do You Sparge Beer?

The main goal of sparging is to rinse the sugars from the grains in the mash and extract them into the wort. This is important for two reasons: first, it helps to achieve a high efficiency in extracting the sugars from the grains; and second, it helps to ensure that all of the sugars are extracted and not left behind in the grains. If too many sugars are left behind, they can cause problems with fermentation and flavor. Sparging also helps to cool the wort, which is important for safety reasons.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.