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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > cara-pils vs flaked wheat vs flaked oats
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
ChickenSoop
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Default cara-pils vs flaked wheat vs flaked oats

These all appear to increase body and head retention.

If you were designing a brown ale, which is the best choice? - or is it just a matter of personal taste?

If you had 3 identical brown ales, but used these 3 items, could you tell the difference?

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
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I like oats, but taste it is, and some people could tell a difference.

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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The best way to increase head formation and retention is to pitch a proper amount of yeast and control your fermentaion temp. Duvel has about the best head of any beer you'll ever see and is nothing but pils malt and sugar. See Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Story Index - Head Retention - Getting Good Beer Foam: Techniques .

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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Personally, I prefer flaked barley for head retention better than these other three options. For me, it's got the best characteristics of the other three. I find that flaked wheat, oats, and barley all do more for my head retention and body than cara-pils. I also find that cara-pils and flaked barley both have a more beery rich but neutral taste compared to wheat or oats. Not that I don't love wheat & oats in their place, but if I'm looking for something that adds body & head retention without adding another flavor dimension, I like flaked barley or cara-pils better. And given that flaked barley seems to work better for me than cara-pils, it is my "go to" grain for added body & head retention.

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
The best way to increase head formation and retention is to pitch a proper amount of yeast and control your fermentaion temp. Duvel has about the best head of any beer you'll ever see and is nothing but pils malt and sugar. See Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Story Index - Head Retention - Getting Good Beer Foam: Techniques .
I don't doubt it. My FES has 2.5lbs of Flaked Barley, 1lb Flaked Oats, and .25lb Flaked Wheat, and my comments were to increase head retention and body a little. The head retention on it wasn't very good. Everything else was fantastic though. I'm revising it by taking the base malt down 1lb and adding 1lb cara-pils, and I will keep an eye on fermentation temps better this time.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
The best way to increase head formation and retention is to pitch a proper amount of yeast and control your fermentaion temp. Duvel has about the best head of any beer you'll ever see and is nothing but pils malt and sugar. See Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Story Index - Head Retention - Getting Good Beer Foam: Techniques .
Wow.

I thought I was the king of over-simplification.

While the above is true, the ferment is merely one way to impact foam production/retention. It is not the only way, regardless of what Mr Colby writes. The other methods include, in no particular order:

Grist composition
Mash procedure
Boil dynamics
Wort chilling
Serving procedure
Serving apparatus

The original poster asked specifically about ingredients for grist composition, though. Here are my thoughts.

Primarily it's an issue of personal taste and what you wish as a 'total picture' from the ingredient. If you want a neutral impact on flavor/color, go for CaraPils. Flaked wheat will not increase body to the extent the other two choices can, and may have an impact on total beer color. Oats can have a pronounced flavor impact, especially if you toast them (a little trick I <3 in brown ales). Flaked grains can have a negative impact on beer clarity if that's important to you.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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Thanks. My experiment with Brown Ales begins...

I tried a few lawnmower beers and decided they are not for me. Too plain. I like a little spark.

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