Some home and craft brewers shy away from using DME just to avoid the clumps. You know the ones. You dump a bag of DME into the kettle and it immediately clumps up, so you spend the next half hour of your life stirring and breaking them up. There’s a simple trick to avoid that:
Whether you’re brewing beer from extract or using it to supplement your all-grain beer, add DME only after you’ve dissolved it in cold water. Watch this video to see how effective this technique is. When you’re done, which only takes a few minutes, you can add the extract slurry directly to your kettle of hot water or wort.
Why does this work? Briess DME is a natural humectant, meaning it is a very hygroscopic substance. As the steam from the boil rises it is actually caking the extract before it hits the water and creates clumping. That makes dissolving difficult. The best thing to do is dissolve your DME in water 100°F – 120°F, make a slurry and add to your boil. Alternatively, Briess DME will dissolve in tap water.
Feel free to sing along 🙂