Two hands holding dry malt extract vs liquid malt extract

One aspect of beer making that many brewers tend to get confused by is the subject of dry malt extract vs liquid malt extract. If you’re using one of our beer recipe kits, you’ll have all the ingredients needed, but if you’re creating your own recipe, you get to choose what kind of malt extract to use.

First, it is useful to know: what is malt extract? To put it simply, this is a form of grain that has been processed and had its sugars extracted into either a dry or liquid form. These concentrated sugars offer many flavors and colors for the beer you wish to make. Your beer could be sweeter, thicker, fuller, dryer, or have another taste based on the malt you use! Some examples are Pilsen, Gold, Amber, Munich, and Dark. Essentially, malt extract is one of the most important ingredients for brewing because it defines the overall character of the beer!

Choosing from dry malt extract vs liquid malt extract

There are pros and cons to using either dry malt extract or liquid malt extract. Fortunately, both are interchangeable when it comes to recipes. The most important element in this equation, the flavor, won’t be an issue—your beer will be just as delicious regardless of which you choose!

Liquid malt extract:

Pros:

-Slightly less expensive than dry malt.
-Available in some flavors that you cannot get in dry form, such as Munich malt.

Cons:

-Is sticky and more prone to causing a mess.

Dry malt extract:

Pros:

-Has a much longer shelf life and won’t get darker over time. which sometimes happens with liquid malt that has aged significantly.
-Easier to measure in precise amounts.

Cons:

-Tends to clump together when pouring into wort, meaning you will need to pour slowly and stir to dissolve before boiling.

Still have questions about malt extract? Visit our store or get in touch with us—we’re happy to help you choose the best one for your next home brewing project!