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Advice on CACA-ish quasi-SMASH?

I used to homebrew several years ago, extract and specialty grains, never terribly good. In a couple weeks, I’m hoping to start again, using a BIAB setup and brewing 2.5 gallon batches in a 3-gallon carboy (mainly because I hate the logistics of dealing with 5+ gallons of fluid at once). I was thinking of starting with the following recipe. I’m aware it’s likely to be a bit unforgiving, but I’ve concluded that by and large, it’s easier to just buy beer than make it when a given style of beer is readily available for purchase. So I’m planning to focus on obscure styles like CACA that I want to try but can’t buy. I’m a bit of a hophead, but can be flexible in order to experiment, or to focus on malt flavors. My understanding is that the following procedure should produce a beer with a fairly full body, a clear but not excessive corn flavor (both from the corn itself and possibly from a bit of DMS from doing a 60-minute instead of 90-minute boil), a pronounced blackcurranty Cluster hops flavor, and a bitterness that is high in terms of its effects on balance, but restrained in terms of harshness. If any of this is likely to be wrong, let me know.

2 quarts/lb, no-sparge, infusion mash at 156 for 1 hour or until negative starch test, whichever comes last. Water will be very soft, probably distilled water with just a bit of CaCl2 added.

4 lbs Rahr Standard 6-row
1 lb Flaked Corn

1 oz. FWH Clusters
Boil vigorously for 60 minutes, then stick the pan in an ice bath until the wort reaches a suitable reasonable temperature, add additional (ice-cold) water to make 5 gallons and bring the temperature down to within the target range for fermentation. Dump in carboy and add two packets of US-05. Carbonation levels TBD.

“Caca” is not a good name for a beer style. :wink:

True, but I didn’t come up with it. Not sure what the alternative would be though. CAP-N-WAY? Classic American Pilsner, Now With Ale Yeast? :wink: Anyway, any thoughts about the recipe?

Update: I’m thinking of using popped Bur Oak Farms red popcorn rather than flaked yellow corn. Any thoughts you might have on this would be much appreciated.

Flaking gelatinizines the sugars in the corn. If you are going to use corn that isn’t flaked, you’ll need to crush it well and cook it before mashing. This is just something I heard though, I’ve never tried it.

Cooking in general gelatinizes starches - ungelatinized starches are not really palatable for human consumption. So popcorn, if it’s popped correctly, is gelatinized. The question I have (about that; I’m also looking for advice on the recipe in general) is how using red popcorn in place of yellow flakes is likely to affect the flavor - I’m guessing a bit nuttier (from red vs. yellow corn) and toastier (from the popping), but I’m not really sure.

  1. I have never heard of anyone mashing popped popcorn.
  2. Cluster does not have a “blackcurranty” flavor. Brewers Gold and Strisselspalt will be the gotos if that’s the flavor you seek.
  3. I doubt that when mashing popped popcorn that you would see a flavor difference in the beer of red v. yellow. If you’re curious, throw a handfull of the popcorn into a mug of hot water. Come back in an hour and give it a taste.
  4. That hop addition definitely blows the lid off the upper limit on IBUs for a cream ale. That’s a matter of preference though. I really don’t give a crap about BJCP guidelines.
  5. In such a low volume of low gravity beer, I would think that one packet of yeast would suffice.

All of this aside, that’s like a 7 dollar batch, brew it anyway and let us know how it comes out.

You can use air-popped popcorn it just takes a large volume, a pound of unpopped popcorn makes a large bag when popped. It’ll melt down when you put it in water.

If it’s supposed to be a quasi-lager I’d use a more flocculant yeast, say Notty or Safale-04. Are you serious about the popcorn? Why not flakes or grits? Any cooked corn will give you sugar, and you could use 2 row if you want. If not, I’d add some rice hulls for a smooth sparge.

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