Just wanted to start out saying hey to everyone. I also want to throw a thank you out to many of you who have helped me learn to brew better beers as I have browsed this forum as a non-member for the past 4+ years. I look forward to being a member now as I feel I have some experience that I can build upon and share with others. I do have to admit that in the past few years of brewing my focus has been on refining my processes and building a garage full of homemade brewing equipment so please forgive my newbie question…
My question is if anyone has ever brewed with cara-pils as a base malt. If you have or know the grain better than I do, what could I expect if I was to try. I typically build my recipes with a 2-row or Pilsen base but as you may have guessed by now I may have added 12lbs to my recent grain order instead of the 12oz that were prescribed. At first I was pretty excited then looked at the labels and realized i had just turned my brew house into an adjunct grain warehouse (and yes my brew house/corner is that small)!
Anyways thanks for any input!
Ps. Any Denver brewers linger in these parts? I’m new to the Denver metro and wouldn’t mind meeting up for a pint and some local home brew supply store/local brewery insight!
Crystal malt is not fermentable enough and it doesn’t contain enzymes for converting sugars, so if you tried to brew with 12 lbs of cara-pils and a lb of 2-row (basically reversing the normal ratios), you’d end up with a sickly-sweet, almost non-alcoholic beer.
Sorry to hear that because that is an awful lot of cara-pils. Try to find other local brewers and do a straight up trade, I’m sure some people would toss you a pound of that for a pound of something else.
Thanks for the help all! I guess that’s what I was afraid but I’m glad I didn’t waste my time turning this into a science experiment… First post and you guys have already freed up some beer drinking time for me!
Briess says that their carapils is 60-70% non-fermentable, and their crystal malts are ~20% non-fermentable (http://samtierney.wordpress.com/2011/03 … iess-malt/), however Weyermann’s carapils/carafoam is just a really pale crystal. If that’s the case, then it should be at least as fermentable as C10.
As a rule of thumb, a mash should have at least 30 DP (averaging across ingredients by weight. Standard 6-row should have at least 150 DP.
So if it’s Weyermann Carapils, you can probably use it up to 80%, as long as the other 20% is 6-row (or 75-25 with 120-ish DP Standard 2-row). I now think I’m going to have to try that. But if it’s Briess Carapils, you’re probably SOL.
Do you have any actual experimental results, your own or anyone else’s that contradict this, or are you just going by untested homebrew dogma? Weyermann themselves say you can use it to 40%, and they trends to be a bit on the cautious side with their usage guidelines. All the available evidence is that it’s just a very light crystal malt. All the available evidence is that a somewhat darker crystal malt should give (at least close to) 70% apparent attenuation (which can be perfectly drinkable) if mashed low and slow with just enough of a high-dp malt to get full conversion. All the available evidence indicates that lighter crystal is at least as fermentable as darker. What makes you believe that all the available evidence is wrong on any of these points? Or are you disputing the 30 average linter for conversion rule of thumb.
And eden if we ignore all thar weyermann says out can be used tu 40%. Surely that’s still worth telling the man, even if you don’t think 80% is doable.
Again, if it’s Briess, this is a moot point anyway.
[quote=“UMSPH Homebrewer”]All the available evidence is that a somewhat darker crystal malt should give (at least close to) 70% apparent attenuation (which can be perfectly drinkable) if mashed low and slow with just enough of a high-dp malt to get full conversion. All the available evidence indicates that lighter crystal is at least as fermentable as darker.[/quote]One guy’s uncontrolled experiments making small batches of “beer” does not constitute “all the available evidence” and should not be used to extrapolate what would happen if you made a beer with cara-pils as the base, which is what the OP asked.
IME, when used as 1-10% of the grist, crystal will pretty much ferment out, boosting the FG by maybe two points over a base-grain only grist, and that going much above 15% crystal raises the FG by at least a couple points for every 5%. This is with mashing for fermentability and using highly-attenuative yeasts because I like dry beer. Having never gone above 25%, though, I can’t state with certainty that using 80-90% cara-pils will make an undrinkably sweet beer, but I think it would add 10-30 points to the FG and would add a “sweet” character on top of that, so for my tastes it would be unacceptable.
I wish experimenting with my over purchased grain was even an option. Unfortunately, my stash is all Briess… I also order my grain crushed from NB as I don’t own a mill so returning probably wouldn’t be an option either. I’m thinking my best option is to find a good home for it on craigslist… Thanks for the small glimmer of hope too UMSPH!
I’m not quite sure what you mean by “uncontrolled.” The same procedure was used in all cases where there was a mash, all grists were done at least twice, and a grist of straight 2-row (80-81% apparent attenuation) was done as well.
Now, is that remotely dispositive? No. But it is evidence, and if no other evidence addressing the same question can be found, then it’s all the available evidence. Since I didn’t do an incredibly thorough search, I suppose “all the evidence I can find” would have been a better phrasing. shrug
What lovibond crystal was that? In the thread I referenced, darker crystal was substantially less fermentable than C10, though still more fermentable than a lot of people would have guessed. Weyermann Carapils/Carafoam is 1.5-3 lovibond, lighter than a lot of base malts.
I’m actually not trying to argue that this is definitely possible, just that it might very well be, and that dogmatically rejecting it seems a bit silly. I think I may try this, as an experiment. It’s been a couple years since I brewed, but I’m planning to start again this fall - I might even do this for my first batch, but I’m a bit concerned that if it falls apart, I’ll be unable to tell if it’s due to the grist, or flaws in my technique - I’m fine with failure, I’d just like to know why.
[quote=“UMSPH Homebrewer”]I’m not quite sure what you mean by “uncontrolled.” The same procedure was used in all cases where there was a mash, all grists were done at least twice, and a grist of straight 2-row (80-81% apparent attenuation) was done as well.[/quote]Uncontrolled, just one example: we don’t know how he read his gravities or if he did them accurately - if he was using a standard-range hydrometer and missing by .001-.002, the data would be very different with such low OGs.
[quote=“UMSPH Homebrewer”]What lovibond crystal was that? In the thread I referenced, darker crystal was substantially less fermentable than C10, though still more fermentable than a lot of people would have guessed. Weyermann Carapils/Carafoam is 1.5-3 lovibond, lighter than a lot of base malts.[/quote]I have found this to be true across a range of crystal malts but I typically don’t use anything darker than 37L on a regular basis (I bulk-buy 37L and 15L and use them 95% of the time).
Just for kicks, let’s say the mashed 80/20 cara-pils is 70% fermentable versus a typical 85% fermentable mixed-grist wort. If you had an OG of 1.060, the cara-pils beer would end up at 1.018 while the other would end up at 1.009. You could certainly get away with that in some styles, but I wouldn’t want to drink it unless the IBUs were 100+!
If the intent is to see if crystal can be as fermentable as base, do an overnight mash, starting in the mid 150s. But two hours is probably good enough. If I can squeeze in a simple no-sparge with 80% 15L on the next brew day, I might try it too, just to see.