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I am brewing an imperial stout this weekend and I am planning to use 8oz of maltodextrin for 5 gallon batch.

A friend of mine had a kit last time which had a maltodextrin in it but with no instructions. Also, after googling it I didn't find a clear answer (brewers were using it during differently).

I was wondering, when should it be added? In the middle of the boil? Near or after the flame out? Should I just pour the powder in to the kettle or should I mix it with 2 cups of water like corn corn sugar before boiling?

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With can kits you just add it at fermentation when you mix the sugar, liquid malt extract and water together. Side note: It isn't a fermentable. –  Another Compiler Error Jan 31 at 23:23
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1 Answer 1

Maltodextrin dissolves easily enough that the powder can be added directly to the boil. Beginning, middle, and end are all perfectly acceptable times for the addition. However...

I prefer to add unfermentable adjuncts (maltodextrin, lactose) at the same time as the priming sugar, just before I bottle the beer. Boil the maltodextrin in enough water to cover it (2-3 cups per pound) for a couple minutes to sanitize.

I prefer to wait because: 1. You may not need the maltodextrin. Waiting till bottling allows you to taste the fermented beer and decide if it needs the extra "chewiness" that maltodextrine provides. 2. Fewer dissolved solids at the beginning of the fermentation (ie lower starting gravity) is less stressful for the yeast, which gives a healthier fermentation and better tasting beer.

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*lower starting gravity & Yeast Stress is useful point thanks. How do you judge how much to Maltodextrin to use? any rules of thumb or is just experience? –  Another Compiler Error Feb 1 at 18:07
    
I suspect I could add different amount to bottles of the batch and explore for myself. –  Another Compiler Error Feb 1 at 18:08
    
A lot of it is experience. I always taste the beer at the bottling stage anyway. This won't give you a perfect sense of how the beer is going to taste, but you can swish it around in your mouth, and get a pretty good sense of the aroma and mouthfeel. Perhaps start with 1/4 lb maltodextrin and go from there. Alternatively, if you're feeling sciencey, you can add measured amounts of maltodextrin to several samples of beer. I don't usually add powders directly to bottles because it's hard to do it accurately, but for maltodextrin that's not as big of a problem as with priming sugar... –  EmpiricAles Feb 2 at 17:08
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