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Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
Talloak
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This is a recipe I came up with for a Belgian Strong Ale/Trippel. I would like some opinions on it.

14 lbs Pilsner
1 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine
1 lbs Caravienne Malt
2 lbs Clear Candi Sugar

1.50 oz Styrian Goldings 60min
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings 30min
0.50 oz Tettang 0min

WYeast 1388


Thanks

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Here's the first thing that leaped out at me when I scanned the recipe:

Okay, you're going to specifically add ingredients to the grist - CaraPils and Caravienne - which add body. Then you're going to thin the body with sugar.

Does not compute.

Carapils doesn't belong in this beer, full stop. I'm wondering why you added it in the first place.

Caravienne might be nice in a much smaller proportion, like 4 ounces, for just a hint of what it brings to the table.

Replace the Carapils and Caravienne with more Pils. Step mash. Start with a short protein rest, no more than 20 minutes at 122F, and ramp to no higher than 150F. Hold it there for at least an hour; I'd let it go 90 minutes. Sparge as usual.

When I plugged all the ingredients into ProMash, I got an OG of 1102 in 5 US gallons. That's a very, very big beer. Even under optimum conditions, WY1388 will attenuate that to between 1.022 and 1.025 - 74 to 78% - which is why you want to make the wort as easily attenuated as possible. That means lots of sugar and a low-n-slow mash.

Have fun!

Bob

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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How does this look?

14 lbs Pilsner
0.50 lbs Biscuit
3.50 lbs Sugar

1.50 oz Styrian Goldings 60min
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings 30min
0.50 oz Tettang 0min

WYeast 1388 (2 L starter)

Beersmith says at 5.25 gallons this would be an OG of 1.095.

Mash in at 122* for 20 minutes. Bring temp up to 150* for 90 minutes. I mash in a 10 gallon cooler so I would probably add water for the first step at about 0.75qt/lb. Then bring it up to 1.25qt/lb to get it to 150*.

Can I use table sugar instead of candi sugar? Would be less expensive.

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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Sounds good!

Yes, you can use regular old table sugar. That's what the Belgians do, anyway.

Bob

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Yes, you can use regular old table sugar. That's what the Belgians do, anyway.
+ 1976. The only time I use candi (dark) is in a Dubbel.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
Okay, you're going to specifically add ingredients to the grist - CaraPils and Caravienne - which add body. Then you're going to thin the body with sugar.

Does not compute.
That is a pretty bold statement considering there are some great beers (Pliny the Elder for example) made with both carapils/crystal and sugar. Adding the carapils will improve head retention and caravienna will add its own caramel-y flavor, while the sugar prevents these malts from making the beer overly sweet/full.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
That is a pretty bold statement considering there are some great beers (Pliny the Elder for example) made with both carapils/crystal and sugar. Adding the carapils will improve head retention and caravienna will add its own caramel-y flavor, while the sugar prevents these malts from making the beer overly sweet/full.
It's not bold in the slightest, because while Pliny the Elder is a hell of a beer it ain't Belgian Golden Ale or Tripel. It's a hell of a different style than Tripel. Inclusion of CaraPils or Caravienne in Pliny isn't as big a deal as it is in such a simple grist.

Pliny the Elder is a double IPA, where caramel/crystal malt notes are appropriate and some body must exist to balance the incredibly high doses of hops.

Contrast that with the simplicity of Tripel. It really is simple: Pils malt, sugar, subtle hops, fresh yeast. Caramel flavor isn't appropriate; neither sweetness nor body - beyond a certain amount of vollmundigkeit - should be noticeable. The beer must finish dry and be "digestible". Caramel/crystal malts (which includes CaraPils) get in the way of that.

In other words, if you're going to cite examples, it's best if you compare apples and apples. Here; you can have your orange back.

At the root of my "boldness", CaraPils is overused, especially by amateur brewers. If there is a problem with foam retention, it can 95% of the time be solved by procedure without recourse to ingredients. Adding ingredients is a multi-edged, complicated sword, and the simplest solution is always the best (Ockham's Razor). A mashing brewer doesn't need CaraPils. Ever. He needs technical proficiency.

That's my stand.

Respectfully,

Bob
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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btw, you can easily make your own dark candi .. try it .. it ads some color and a bit of caramel flavor

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:02 PM   #9
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The problem is you keep making very general proclamations. You didn't say that "does not compute" for a Tripel, you said using cara-malts with sugar does not make sense. Then you just said "A mashing brewer doesn't need CaraPils. Ever."

Clearly these statements do not hold true in a wide variety of great homebrews and commercial beers. I would also argue that a tripel is very similar to a Belgian Strong Golden, just not as dry (so there is SOME room for a touch of body).

I agree completely that crystal malt is out of place in tripel, but I think carapils can have a place depending on the rest of your beer (but almost certainly isn't needed). Not arguing with your advice on this beer, just suggesting you shouldn't speak so broadly.

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
The problem is you keep making very general proclamations. You didn't say that "does not compute" for a Tripel, you said using cara-malts with sugar does not make sense.
{looks up at the original post} Okay. Sorry if you somehow confused Tripel/BGA with IIPA. I didn't realize I'd have to be so pedantic as to narrowly define all my statements even within the context of a particular thread dedicated to a particular style. One might have thought the assumption would be I was talking about the style(s) referred to in the thread-starting post, but given your advice I'll be sure to think about that next time.

If that reads a little tetchy, it's supposed to. But I'm not trying to be a d!ck; it's the same way I'd treat one of my brewing buddies over a beer if he said something I consider rather silly.

Quote:
Then you just said "A mashing brewer doesn't need CaraPils. Ever."
Clearly these statements do not hold true in a wide variety of great homebrews and commercial beers.
"Clearly"? Bollocks. Why? Because some great amateur and commercial brews use it? So freakin' what? Just because some recipes call for it doesn't mean it's needed.

It really is true: If you have the technical skill to mash, you have sufficient technical skill to never require CaraPils again. Foam issues? Look into your mash regime. Body issues? Ditto. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it until it sinks in: Both the problems CaraPils solves can be solved by mashing procedure. Therefore, a mashing brewer doesn't need CaraPils. Ever. It's a crutch; instead of looking at the procedures, just toss in some CaraPils.

Throw away the CaraPils Crutch! C'mon - you know you want to!

Quote:
Not arguing with your advice on this beer, just suggesting you shouldn't speak so broadly.
I understand, and I've taken your suggestion on board. In fact, I agree that broad generalizations are generally erroneous. There are, in my considered opinion, nevertheless a few instances where broad generalization is appropriate. Use of CaraPils in all-grain grists is one of those instances.

There really are some hard-and-fast rules!

Cheerfully,

Bob
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Last edited by Bob; 06-10-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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