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Are higher mash temps a substitute for caramel malts?

I’ve been using less and less caramel malts for my ipas and lagers.
Will a pilsner mashed at 155-157 produce the same body and residual sweetness that the 4-6oz of carapils or c20 I usually add, with a mash at 150?
What about an ipa or dipa mashed higher using only base malt?

Yes a higher mash temp should prove beneficial if you skip the crystal malts. Go for it.

It’s not a substitute-- meaning, they don’t produce the same results. However, I think that some of the reasons people have used crystal malts in the homebrew community are better served by higher mash temps. Most notably, higher body and mouthfeel.

Why don’t you want to add crystal?

IMO no it’s not the same thing nor can it give you the same results as adding additional crystal malts. Why are you adding crystal malts in the first place? Is it for flavor, mouth feel, or mostly color? You’ll get more non fermentable sugars mashing at higher temps which will make the beer a little sweeter with more mouth feel but you won’t get any Carmel flavors from pale malt by mashing at a higher temp nor will you reach the color target if that’s what you’re shooting for unless you blaze the heat in the boil and caramelize the base malts more.

They’re plusses and minuses to higher mash temps and it’s up to you to decide what you want in your final product. You’ll have less sugars to ferment which in turn means less alcohol being produce. Depending on what yeast you’re using this could also affect flavors per the yeast has less to eat and will put off less flavors.

None of that is a bad thing. Again it’s what you want your end results to look and taste like.

This ^^^^^^. Crystal malts add flavors that simply mashing at higher temps don’t. In addition, using crystal malts is a much easier, surer way to control body than mash temp.

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