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Maltodextrin in your beer?

I’ve just reviewed a beer that had Maltodextrin in it, what are your thoughts on this additive, and is it really necessary?

Maltodextrin is high on the glycemic index (GI), meaning that it can cause a spike in your blood sugar. It’s safe to consume in very small amounts, but those with diabetes should be particularly careful.

Maltodextrin: What it is, dangers, and substitutes


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If they use it to make the alcohol, it might be unrateable like a selzer.

Ask Bob Brewer: Adding Body to Beer

MAY 29, 2012Posted by Anchor Brewing at 3:05 pm | Category: Ask Bob Brewer0

Blake: What’s your opinion of using Maltodextrin vs. Carapils to add body in a beer?

Bob: For those of you who aren’t in the brewing industry or aren’t homebrewers, I have to first explain what we are talking about here.

Maltodextrin is a commercially produced substance, manufactured in a powder form, that is added to beer to increase the level of dextrins. Dextrins are compounds that are present in the malt. They are non-fermentable, flavorless, colorless, and non-caloric, but contribute to the body of the beer, as well as its mouthfeel and head retention.

Carapils® is a brand-name malt that has been specially malted and kilned to produce higher dextrin content than usual. The use of either will give the same results. The difference being that Carapils must be included in the malt bill, typically around 5% of the total, and maltodextrin can be added without any adjustment to the recipe.

At this point, I have to say that Anchor does not use either product in any of our craft beers so I am unqualified to render an opinion. I defer to my homebrewing friends who tell me that bumping up the dextrin helps their beers that are thin-bodied to be more drinkable, especially stouts and porters. The purists among them disdain maltodextrin as an “additive,” even though they will use Carapils because it is a form of malted barley.


Bob’s answer is very good.

This bit in the original article was dumb:

Maltodextrin has no nutritional value. However, it is a very easy-to-digest carbohydrate and can provide energy rapidly.

You certainly get the feeling that the answer to any question is going to be

it is best to aim for a more healthful diet of whole-grains and vegetables

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