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My HBS recommends maltodextrin to increase body & head retention, when and how much should be added to 5 gallon batch?

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Maltodextrin will not on its own increase head retention. –  Denny Conn Jan 6 '14 at 17:07
I've added some wheat malt or flaked barley for a nice head. –  Robert Jan 7 '14 at 1:41

2 Answers 2

I only use maltodextrin with extract beers, added with the rest of the malt. You can add it at any time during the boil though. A pound in 5 or 6 gallon for IPA's type brews, 1/2lb in lighter beers. I don't think all grain brew needs it, but it greatly improves my P.D.Q. APA's. Kiwi Bruce

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Maltodextrin will increase body using between 1/4 and 1lb in a 5 gallon batch. Although equally, using LME/DME instead of sugar with a kit will do a similar job and give you a much maltier beer. Maltodextrin has relatively little taste, so don't expect the beer to be much sweeter.

To increase head formation and retention, and sweeten the beer, you can add 1/4 of wheat malt (if doing a mini-mash) or a light caramel malt, such as carapils.

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