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This is my first time breing beer, and I was doing so while distracted with kids, and unfortunately I missed the dry malt extract packet that was in my IPA kit. There were 2 cans of a liquid malt extract, and when the directions said to add the malt extract I thought that was all there was, and while I was cleaning up this evening I found the packet of dry extract. Do y'all think the beer will be ruined? Should I just toss it out and chalk it up as a learning experience? Or just roll with it and hopefully it turns out ok?

  • how much DME was in the packet? could it be the priming sugar used to carbonate the bottles? – jsolarski Jun 8 '15 at 2:38
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Even if jsolarski's hunch is incorrect (that your extra DME is for priming the bottles), and it was actually meant for the boil, the beer won't be ruined at all. You just missed the original gravity target, which means:

  1. the beer will finish drier than it otherwise would have (lower original gravity will usually lead to lower final gravity)
  2. the balance of maltiness and hops bittering will be thrown off, so that the beer will seem more bitter than it otherwise would have
  3. the beer will have lower alcohol than it otherwise would have

I don't consider any of these to be deal breakers. The best solution is to continue following the directions you have and see what kind of beer you get.

P.S. If you're using an ingredient kit it would be helpful to know which kit it is.

3

If you have missed adding it to the boil rather than as bottling primer, then there is a fourth option.

You could boil up the DME in about a pint of water, and then add it to the fermenter. The yeast won't care that it wasn't there initially and will happily convert it into alcohol.

The beer should be drinkable regardless, just may be slightly unbalanced, but will still do the job.

  • Note: Cool the boiled DME to room temp before pitching it into the fermenter. :) – Atron Seige Jun 8 '15 at 10:10
  • That's not necessarily a major requirement. Depending on the total volume in the fermenter, a pint or two of near-boiling water will not hurt the yeast. It might kill off a few hundred thousand cells, but in a 5 gal batch a few pints will cool quick enough to not be a big deal. – user3990 Jun 10 '15 at 2:07
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I've never seen DME used as bottling sugar. Although, it could be used to do so. I rather suspect that the DME was in fact meant to be added to the brew.

The others are also correct in that it will just lower your Original Gravity, as well as your Final Gravity, thereby reducing your ABV. But your beer should still be very drinkable.

My personal experience has taught me that even if you think you may have screwed up a beer, it takes quite a bit to screw it up to the point that it's undrinkable.

And who knows, maybe you you'll even like your new concoction. Maybe even like it so much that next time you get that kit, you'll leave the DME out intentionally.

  • 1
    A lot of brewers use DME. The claim is that it produces finer bubbles. I have not done side by side testing. – Atron Seige Jun 9 '15 at 10:50
  • I use DME exclusively for bottle priming for two reasons - German Beer Purity Law (Rheinheitgebot), and fine bubbles. – Peter Cotton Jun 10 '15 at 21:23
  • That's pretty awesome, I've Googled a bit and see that a lot of people actually do it. Very interesting thanks guys! Also, don't think the Reinheitsgebot is still in effect ;-) but having said that, isn't the 500 year anniversary coming up next year? – Jim Jun 11 '15 at 14:42
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Thanks yall. The DME was definitely not intended to be the priming sugar it was a 1lb bag, but I do kinda like the idea of boiling up a little more water and adding it to it. The kit was brewers best IPA kit. As of this morning June 9 an almost 7am the airlock is going to town. Yall have certainly helped relieve many of my concerns, thanks. I'll keep yall notified of how it turns out.

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