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Old 01-20-2011, 12:43 AM   #1
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Default When to use carapils?

I like a creamy head on my beer, and I usually use carapils to get that effect. I'd like to know if there's ever a case where carapils is redundant.

In my case I'm working a pale ale recipe with 7% crystal malt. Currently, I devote a third of that to carapils. I'd like to go a tad darker and use more crystal80 in place of the carapils. Since my mash will be at 154F, can i assume there will be enough dextrine to still have that creamy head I love so much?

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Old 01-20-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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I almost never use carapils. To me, it's a "waste" of my percentage of crystal malt. The only time I use it at all is in a recipe of all basemalt and then I'll use a few ounces of it for head retention. Like in a Bohemian pilsner, for example, when there is no crystal malt or flaked wheat or other specialty grains.

If you have a recipe with 7% crystal malt, you certainly don't need the carapils. It's more of a "crutch" for a recipe lacking in crystal malt or other head-retention ingredients.

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Old 01-20-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
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That's the answer I was hoping for. Thanks!

Is it safe to think of carapils like crystal 2? That is to say a crystal malt with no color?

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Old 01-20-2011, 01:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by hollywoodbrew View Post
That's the answer I was hoping for. Thanks!

Is it safe to think of carapils like crystal 2? That is to say a crystal malt with no color?
Yes, I think so. It "counts" as part of your crystal when you figure your %s, so I always consider it as a crystal malt.

Most recipes don't need carapils, and I'm always surprised when I see them in so many recipes, particularly extract recipes. It's almost always not needed, and I'd rather put good things in my grain bill- Munich malt, crystal malt, flaked wheat, etc, all bring great things to a beer.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywoodbrew View Post
I like a creamy head on my beer, and I usually use carapils to get that effect. I'd like to know if there's ever a case where carapils is redundant.

In my case I'm working a pale ale recipe with 7% crystal malt. Currently, I devote a third of that to carapils. I'd like to go a tad darker and use more crystal80 in place of the carapils. Since my mash will be at 154F, can i assume there will be enough dextrine to still have that creamy head I love so much?

I find CaraPils more useful than Yooper and use it often. While CaraPils is more or less part of the crystal malt family it has negligible flavor. Some versions, like Weyermann's CaraFoam, still have starch content and therefore will contribute a fair amount of fermentables to the beer. Since I like the little bit of "chew" that some extra dextrins provide CaraPils/CaraFoam is a simple way to introduce them to the brew. Standard crystal malts do have some dextrin content but I don't find the effect or certainly the flavors the same as CaraPils. Most of my beers, especially lagers, are mashed fairly low for a little more attenuation and drier finish. Adding some CaraPils to the recipe allows a boost to the mouthfeel of the beer without having a big effect on the finish or the flavor.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:02 AM   #6
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I don't have access to Carapils here and I've used mostly crystal grains for head retention.

While the head isn't other worldly massive (I can pour the glass a 1/3 full and the rest is bubbly goodness), I get excellent lacing and great retention.

I also feel like the crystals add enough in terms of mouthfeel and body.

That's my opinion at this stage of the game (very early in the game, I might add), as I learn more, I may change it.

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Old 01-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #7
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Most of my beers, especially lagers, are mashed fairly low for a little more attenuation and drier finish. Adding some CaraPils to the recipe allows a boost to the mouthfeel of the beer without having a big effect on the finish or the flavor.
That's a great point! The reason I used carapils in my BoPils is because it was to be a drier beer, and I wanted it for the mouthfeel and some body. I didn't really think about other beers mashed low.

I mash most of my beers at 153-154 (I make a ton of IPAs and APAs) and use a bit of crystal in many of them. So for me, carapils wouldn't be necessary to get the finish that BigEd is talking about.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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I'm probably somewhere between BigEd and Yooper on Carapils/Carafoam (for me it's always Carafoam). I often use it in lighter-colored lagers but not much otherwise. IMHO, it's head-retention boosting abilities are a bit over-rated (I'd rather use wheat or even better, flaked barley for that but those aren't always appropriate). I agree with Yooper that it is sometimes used as a 'crutch' but imo that's not the carafoam's fault, it's the brewer's fault (thinking it will magically give them good head). If you're not getting good head I doubt cara-anything is going to fix it too much (and conversely if you are getting good head you probably don't need the carapils to achieve that).

I think it would be harder to market carafoam if there wasn't a 'head-retention' claim. 'This malt tastes like nothing and does nothing for your beer, buy some now!'.

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Old 01-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #9
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I use it in a handful of my recipes. I use a very large amount in my chili beer. Otherwise it is a very small percentage in those recipes.

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Old 04-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #10
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ill be making an APA using pale, wheat malt and carapils. what percentage do i need to get a medium body mouth feel with some maltiness? reason i ask is because i want a pale ale with that yellow glow. IPA beers like cellar makers, hill farmstead and societe.

5.5gal
mash @ 154f for 30-45 min.

10# pale malt
1# wheat malt
.5# c-10
.5# carapils

its at 4.5 srm. is this good enough to get some sweetness and keeping a bright yellow glow?

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