For my next brew, I'm brewing this Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA clone recipe using LME as described at the bottom of the page. I'm unfamiliar with the use of lactic acid and dextrose in brewing and I'd like to understand what's going on a little more with these new ingredients.

For 5 gallons (18.93 L)

  • 5.25 lb (2.38 kg) | pale LME

  • 2.5 lb (1.13 kg) wheat LME

  • 5 ml | lactic acid

  • 0.75 oz (21 g) | Bravo pellets, 15% a.a. (60 min)

  • 5.0 oz (141 g) | dextrose (30 min)

  • Kettle Finings (30 min)

  • 0.12 oz (3 g) | fresh ground coriander (5 min)

  • 0.34 oz (10 g) | fresh ground bitter orange peel (5 min)

  • 1.0 oz (28 g) | Citra pellets (knockout)

  • 1.0 oz (28 g) | Centennial pellets (knockout)

  • 0.5 oz (14 g) | Cascade pellets (knockout)

  • Yeast nutrient (optional)

  • Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity ale yeast

  1. Is the lactic acid an adjustment for the pH of the water of the brewery, or does it affect the beer in another way?

  2. Why would I want to add extra sugar (dextrose) instead of more malt/extract sugars?

  3. (Bonus question) The all grain recipe calls for white unmalted wheat flakes. Would steeping those grains before the boil add anything to the character of the beer?


2 Answers 2

  1. 5 ml. of lactic acid will be tasteless in your beer. I don't know why it's there, but you can skip it.

  2. 5 oz. of dextrose will not make much difference to the beer and is the normal amount used for bottle priming. Are you sure it isn't for that?

  3. Unmalted wheat flakes have no enzymes and can't be used without mashing with a base malt to convert the starches to sugars. Unless you do a partial mash, you can't use them.

  • The recipe calls for the dextrose to be added with 30 minutes left in the boil, so I assume it's not for bottling. Maybe it's added to increase the alcohol content?
    – nickfactor
    Mar 19, 2014 at 22:10
  • Yeah, it must be, although it will only add about .6% ABV in 5 gal. Seems pointless.
    – Denny Conn
    Mar 19, 2014 at 22:27
  • I looked at the recipe. The lactic acid is for the all-grain version, and the recipe is in error when they tell you the substitutions for the extract conversion - they should have told you to delete the lactic acid. Also, I agree that the dextrose is for priming at bottling, and this is another error in the recipe. It adds little to the recipe, and is the standard amount cited in all recipes for priming. I plugged the numbers into brewing software, and the numbers work at 82% efficiency without the dextrose in the boil, and at 79% with it in the boil. Mar 20, 2014 at 4:28
  • I just noticed this in the writeup before the recipe: "We have also been experimenting with dextrose as an additional carbohydrate source in these beers to increase the ABV and dry them out slightly." In any case, I think I can safely leave it out. Thanks for the insight!
    – nickfactor
    Mar 20, 2014 at 6:28
  1. The lactic acid would add a bit of a sour taste to the beer without having to use bugs or a sour mash.
  2. They are using dextrose instead of more malt because they want more abv without adding more malt character. This not uncommon.
  3. The unmalted wheat flakes may give it some character and head retention in the beer.

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