Porter Emergency

I brewed a porter a few weeks ago.  The recipe and ingredients, as always, were from More Beer.  The recipe calls for adding 4 oz. of maltodextrin to the beginning of the boil.  Maltodextrin creates the thicker mouthfeel of the final product.

Somehow I forgot to add the maltodextrin to the recipe.  Could be due to my policy of “Always have a brew while you brew” but who knows.

MoreBeer has an advice line that you can call anytime and talk to a beer nerd to help you through tough times.  I called them on Saturday before I bottled the beer to ask what I should do about this.

I learned that Maltodextrin is only for the body and nothing else and is of less importance.  The recipe technically doesn’t need it in order to produce great tasting Porter.  It is only 3% fermentable, and so wouldn’t affect alcohol content either.

The solution is to add the maltodextrin to the priming sugar.  Right before bottling, you boil a pint of water and add 4 oz. priming sugar.  Priming sugar is a flavorless sugar that provides additional food for the yeast in the beer.  It is added during the bottling process.  I did hold back one pinch of priming sugar since the maltodextrin is mildly fermentable.  Once in the bottle, the yeast begins feasting on the priming sugar and produces CO2 as a by-product.  Because the bottle is capped the gas cannot go anywhere and it becomes the source of carbonation for the beer.  If there is too much food for the yeast once it is sealed into the bottle, you could have a bottle-grenade situation on your hands.  The bottles will literally explode after a few days because too much pressure has built up from the fermentation process.

Here is the picture of the quart of water with priming sugar and maltodextrin, cooling in the sink before adding to my bottling bucket.

Since you are already doing this step no matter what, it is easy to add the maltodextrin while you are at it.

I’ll post again in a few weeks to let you know if the remedy was successful.

Thanks, Robert.

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3 responses to “Porter Emergency

  1. Robert,
    I’m curious how your fix worked for you. I’ve left the maltodextrin out of my mix also. I just got done boiling and adding cold water. I’m waiting for cool down before adding yeast.

  2. Robert @ hisandhershomesteading

    Chuck,
    I guess I never did write back to say how the beer turned out. My memory is that it was just fine. As Charlie Papazian says “Don’t worry, Relax, Have a Homebrew!”

    • Thanks Robert. I did more research and decided to heat up the maltodextrin in some of the wort then add it back before I added yeast. Have a good one.

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