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Old 02-12-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Carapils vs Carafoam

So, I've seen that these are interchangeable.
Is that correct? If so, why have two of the same thing?

What are the differences?

Are they even needed if using all DME?



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Old 02-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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Because they are produced, owned, distributed and/or trademarked by different maltsters. And sometimes the base grain it was produced from is from a different country of origin, but any flavor differences should be quite inconsequential.

Not sure if Carapils is trademarked since many maltsters use this name, but more specifically, if you have Carafoam, then you're using a Weyermann product. Caramel Pilsen on the other hand is a Crystal malt made from a Pilsener base that hovers around 10L. Franco Belges makes a good Caramel Pilsen.

Some people will claim that carapils is a crystal malt whereas carafoam is not, but this is incorrect. Both are dextrine malts. They are not sweet. They are not starchy. They are not toasty. They are not flavorful. They add body, contribute to a very minimal difference in OG, and help with head retention.

Not needed if your recipe is primarily composed of Extract since extract is already made with a portion of carapils.



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Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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Actually, Carapils is a registered trademark of Briess.

Even though we use "carapils" as a generic name, kind of like kleenex for tissue, it's a trademark name.

It's a dextrine malt.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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Yep, what they said. I've only recently started using Carapils/Carafoam and really like the results I'm seeing. It has helped with the head retention in my Brown an Rye Pale Ale.

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Old 04-18-2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Not sure if Carapils is trademarked since many maltsters use this name, but more specifically, if you have Carafoam, then you're using a Weyermann product.

Some people will claim that carapils is a crystal malt whereas carafoam is not, but this is incorrect. Both are dextrine malts. They are not sweet. They are not starchy. They are not toasty. They are not flavorful. They add body, contribute to a very minimal difference in OG, and help with head retention.
Trademarks are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought. Weyermann has the trademark Carafoam and Carapils in Germany while Briess has Carapils in US. It might explain why sometimes people are confused.

Briess's Carapils is a crystal malt. Crystallinity refers to the endosperm texture and appearance in the finished malt. Maltsters refer to this as "glassy" if crystalline or "mealy" if not crystalline. You can see on the Briess information sheet that their Carapils is 100% glassy: http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Assets/PDFs/Briess_PISB_CarapilsMalt.pdf
As you can also read on this sheet, Briess's Carapils is devoid of enzymes but is sufficiently converted that it can be steeped without mashing to extract the flavor. Even if you do mash it, the process of making CaraPils produces enzyme resistant water soluble starch pieces (dextrins) that are retained in the beer and produce the desired thickening (Briess's CaraPils will achieve the same results whether they are mashed or steeped).

Weyermann's Carafoam is a different beast. It's kind of an hybrid between base and crystal malt. It is around 2,5% glassy (so quite far from crystalline, and this is why many say that it is not a crystal malt). You can cut Kernels and see that mealy kernels have a white powdery appearance while glassy kernels (like in crystal malt) will be hard and shiny like glass. If you go on Weyermann website you can see that Carafoam is not that different that their regular Pilsner Malt (they say it themselves): http://www.weyermann.de/usa/produkte.asp?idkat=166&umenue=yes&idmenue=269&spra che=10 (Click on the rightend on "Specifications as PDF (zipped)" for complete product sheets). Weyermann's Carafoam has a high starch content (and enzymes) that requires enzymatic breakdown or else haze could be a problem in the finished beer (it always depend on the quantity used).

Note that the Carafoam has a lowest dextrin content then Briess's CaraPils. We also have to remember that dextrin malts are used to increase body and foam stability without affecting color or flavor. In that sense Briess (1.3 Lovibond, viscosity 3.7 centpoise) is a more efficient product than Weyermann's Carafoam (1.5-2.9 Lovibond, 1.58 centpoise). My opinion is that they are both good product that don't affect much color and flavor and help body and foam. But bottom line, I would indifferently mash or steep Briess's Carapils but I would definitively mash Weyermann's Carafoam. Sorry for the lenghty explanations (and be kind as english is not my first language).....
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berucha View Post
Sorry for the lenghty explanations (and be kind as english is not my first language).....
that was an outstanding explanation

your English is better than mine and it is my only language
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:13 AM   #7
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Good to know, berucha. I also think you explained things quite clearly. However, it seemed like the OP was making an Extract beer. In this case, carapils or carafoam would not even be needed, so it would be of no use to mash it.

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Old 04-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Good to know, berucha. I also think you explained things quite clearly. However, it seemed like the OP was making an Extract beer. In this case, carapils or carafoam would not even be needed, so it would be of no use to mash it.
I kind of agree with you that this is not an absolute need as malt extract often already includes non fermentable dextrins and you are right that I did not completely gave answer to the Original Posting that was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewerE View Post
So, I've seen that these are interchangeable.
Is that correct? If so, why have two of the same thing?
What are the differences?
Are they even needed if using all DME?
So the anwsers are: Yes they are interchangeable in the sense that both will increase body and foam stability. They are not exactly the same thing as I explained in the other posting and I think I answered the why and most of the differences. No they are not absolutely needed (using all DME or even all Grain). But my experience showed that adding a small quantity of those when using Malt Extract will give more body to your beer that will feel less thin in your mouth. If I would make beer from DME (let say a batch around 20L or 5 Gallon), I would steep in between 0.5-1 Kg (1-2 pounds) of Briess's Carapils. If you use Weyermann's Carafoam you would have to convert the starch by mashing it which is a more complex and delicate process than just steeping. Note that if you steep very little (1 pound of Weyermann's Carafoam or less), it won't change much (from mashing it) except that you beer will be a bit more cloudy (starch haze). But if you want to increase the quality of your beer, the yeast strain and controlling the temperature at different stage of the fermentation will have a bigger impact on the final result than using all grain vs malt extract.


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