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Old 01-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
JKaranka
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Default Options to increase beer body

Hi guys

I made a light pale ale that I found out to have little body (4% caramalt, 1% crystal, everything else pale malt). I was thinking about different options to increase the body:

- replace some of the pale malt for vienna or munich malt
- add some torrified wheat
- add some carapils
- mash at a higher temperature

... but, the thing I'm really interested in is, what are the effects of each, advantages and disadvantages?

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Bump, any ideas / advice welcome

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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You used 5% crystal, which should give decent head retention. For body, generally that comes down to mash temperature but ingredients (including yeast strain and cara- malts) play a role as well. Even the carbonation level affects the perception of body.

Some people use more cara-type malts, including carapils (dextrine malt). Others add malto dextrine to the beer, which is a "thickener" if they need more body. Flaked barley is a great body builder and gives great mouthfeel, but it causes a haze so is usually used in darker colored beers.

If you have a specific recipe you'd like to post, we could take a long and give you specific changes on the ingredients and mash temp to produce a medium or even full bodied beer.

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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- Munich adds body nicely, but will add a bready flavour. Vienna will do similar, but it's much lighter than munich so won't make as much difference.
- Wheat (torrified or malted) will add body and head retention, with a bit of flavour
- Carapils will add more foam than anything, and a little flavour
- Higher mash temp will add more maltodextrin, although can leave the beer tasting 'under attenuated', depending on what your gravity is.

Things to consider:
What is your current FG and what are you aiming for?
Carbonation level - if you carb a little too highly, it'll make the beer seem lighter
Caramalt is also good for adding body without of the sweetness of a normal crystal malt (even though it is a crystal malt), you could up that 4% quite a bit.

Edit: Yooper beat me too it.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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Maltodextrin, it fixes body without touching anything else, but it's a bit of a cheat.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!

@yooper: I'll find my brewing notes later. But it's pretty much all light muntons extract aiming at a 4%abv and the 4% caramalt and 1% crystal. I do small experimental gallon batches and move to partial mash if doing a full batch.

@chillwill: sounds like I'll stick with torrified wheat! (Haven't found any cons to adding 2-5% of it to any lighter beers.)

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKaranka View Post
Thanks for the replies!

@yooper: I'll find my brewing notes later. But it's pretty much all light muntons extract aiming at a 4%abv and the 4% caramalt and 1% crystal. I do small experimental gallon batches and move to partial mash if doing a full batch.

@chillwill: sounds like I'll stick with torrified wheat! (Haven't found any cons to adding 2-5% of it to any lighter beers.)
Try using different specialty grains. There are a lot of good ones that give great mouthfeel and flavor to a beer, as well help with the perception of body.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 PM   #8
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I'd try malted wheat and go for closer to 8-10%. 2-5% isn't going to do a great deal.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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I'll probably give a go at malted wheat (haven't tried yet) as I tend to like it. @Yooper: there's a few I've tried that work well with me, munich and mild malt, amber malt, biscuit malt, torrified wheat, but trying to go for just a notch more body without much flavour so torrified wheat still sounds pretty high up there

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKaranka View Post
I'll probably give a go at malted wheat (haven't tried yet) as I tend to like it. @Yooper: there's a few I've tried that work well with me, munich and mild malt, amber malt, biscuit malt, torrified wheat, but trying to go for just a notch more body without much flavour so torrified wheat still sounds pretty high up there
I rarely use torrified wheat, but if you like it that's great.

Most of the malts you listed are base malts, and not what I was thinking of as body builders. Carapils is, (caramalt is the same thing) of course, but you could go much higher with the use and use 10% for better body and foam retention. That's what I'd do first, and then consider increase the crystal malt too, a bit, if you're making a beer that normally has crystal malt in it.
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