Ask Mr. Wizard

Malt extract vs. corn sugar to prime


Dave Ross • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania asks,

Recently,I was making a batch of Scotch ale. The recipe called for wheat DME as a priming sugar. Obviously I can experiment with anything I want in my homebrew, but I was wondering if I really needed to use wheat DME or if I could have used the amber DME I had already? Depending on the recipe, it will call for different types of DME as a priming sugar, for example, wheat, light or amber. To what extent does the use of various DME as priming sugars contribute to the flavor or color of the beer? Also, could you could explain the pros and cons of using DME vs. corn sugar to carbonate beer? What does DME do for beer that priming sugar doesn’t?


This is a question I often ask myself when reading recipes. It seems to me that using DME or saving wort for priming is a pain in the neck. The contribution of
Response by Ashton Lewis.