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Old 09-25-2009, 02:19 AM   #1
MikeScott
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Default SMaSHing Mistake

You'll notice in my signature, I call myself a brewing Noob.

I decided "hey, this SMaSH stuff is a good idea, I would like to try it". I just happened to have half an ounce of Centennial and Cascade Hops, why don't I make 2 gallons of wort, and split it into two 1 gallon batches. Then I could use a different hop in each, and compare them side by side.

Great idea, right?

So I found a nice recipe using Vienna as the base malt. Head down to the LHBS, and oh no, they are out of Vienna. "What's a good substitute?" I ask.

"The Cara Vienne is pretty close" says my local LHBS employee. (I bet the experienced Home brewers see what's coming). In the LHBS' defense, I didn't tell them my intent.

So here I am, 2 hours later, and I still don't have starch conversion on my mash. I've been thinking it for a bit, and I look it up, sure enough, Carevienne is non-enzymatic.

Hopefully this will keep until tomorrow night, when I can get some grain that has enzymes. Now I'm probably going to have to figure out a recipe that I can use 4 pounds of Caravienne in. Maybe I'll just throw in another 6 pounds of 2 row, and another ounce of hops. Suggestions?



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Old 09-25-2009, 02:36 AM   #2
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1. Bite the bullet and dump it and start over.
2. Get your money back from LHBS!



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Old 09-25-2009, 02:37 AM   #3
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The first thing I recommend is talk to the owner of HBS and tell him what his idiot employee told you and how it cost you time and money and you would like a return of at least one of them. You shouldn't have to tell the employee your intent. In no world is a Cara malt a suitable substitute for a base malt. Ever.

You should still have sugar in that wort though. Unfermentable sugar, yes, but sugar nonetheless. Caravienne is a steepable crystal malt where the starch is preconverted to sugar. There should be no starch left to convert to sugar. At least very little starch.

As far as what to do, I would drain and sparge and reserve the wort and use it as an addition to whatever beer you make. Problem is, 4 pounds is A LOT of any type of crystal malt and will make pretty much any beer cloyingly sweet. So I would use only 1/4 of the reserved wort in a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
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dontman overcame his handicap as an Eagles fan and nailed this one on the head.

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:43 AM   #5
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(Where is the tongue sticking out emoticon)

Only partially have I overcome that seeming flaw since I would totally be throwing snowballs at the HBS employee.

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:43 AM   #6
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It sounds like a great way to make a 'sour mash' bier. Let it sit, pick up more (6-7#) 2-row. Brew tomorrow night by mashing @ 145-148. Include 10-17% simple sugar/honey in the fermentables. Should be golden!

OOOORRRRRRR you could dump it...

Good luck & Schlante,
Phillip

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:44 AM   #7
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next time try munich. It's a mile closer than any cara malt.

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:29 AM   #8
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Thanks guys!

Man, I remember reading a thread where a guy had the water from his blowoff container sucked back into his fermentation bucket when he bottled using the bottling spigot on the bucket, and there were dead fruit flys in the water. Half of the responses were to just drink it. Now we're scared of a couple of pounds of non-enzymatic malt? Jeez :-)

Just kidding guys, thanks for the advice! I'll probably dump it.

Now, not being a blamer, I was told that it was a decent substitue on my previous visit, when I only needed .75#. Evidently it's bad advice, but the guy there tonight had no idea why I was buying 4 pounds of it. Maybe I will have a talk with them.

However, I do have one issue with the LHBS. They are a brewery as well, and HBS is more of a secondary thing. They started out as a HBS, but I think they are making a ton of money on the bar / brewery, and now their attention has shifted. I try to schedule my visits around happy hour so I can actually talk to someone. There is another LHBS in town...

Still, we're talking about 6 dollars worth of malt, and a couple of hours that will ensure I check the enzymatic (is that a real word?) potential any base malt that I use. I may just accept the 2 hours as a valuable lesson.

Man, I hope that beer that I substituted caravienna for vienna malt on turns out OK. :-)

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k View Post
next time try munich. It's a mile closer than any cara malt.
Or Pale, or 2 row, or Maris Otter, or Pilsen . . .

One of the things that should make it somewhat worth going to a local source is that you can hopefully get some handholding and at least semi-decent advice when you are a newbie. These guys are kind of the ambassadors of homebrewing and need to make it as easy and pleasant and fun as possible to keep the hobby (and their business) growing.
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
Or Pale, or 2 row, or Maris Otter, or Pilsen . . .

One of the things that should make it somewhat worth going to a local source is that you can hopefully get some handholding and at least semi-decent advice when you are a newbie. These guys are kind of the ambassadors of homebrewing and need to make it as easy and pleasant and fun as possible to keep the hobby (and their business) growing.
That's pretty much what I was thinking, which is why I may try to frequent the other LHBS. Not to mention it would be nice to talk to someone about brewing, I'm starting to drive my family and friends insane


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