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Old 07-10-2010, 04:40 AM   #1
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Default Bohemian Pilsner

I am planning on brewing another bohemian pilsner. I have made a great recipe several times in the past that calls for about a pound of carapils. My LHBS is currently out of carapils. I'm wondering how to compensate. Should I just mash at a higher temp, add some dextrine, or hold out until I can get some carapils. What would be the differences?

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
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Bohemian pilsners usually use a triple decoction, or add 20L crystal to compensate for not doing a decoction. Carared is similar to carapils, but is about 20L. Therefore, you might be able to get away with replacing the 20L crystal with carared, and not using carapils. This way your colour would still be good for a bohemian pilsner, and the carared would give the mouthfeel and head retention that you would normally get from carapils.

Thoughts anyone?

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:00 AM   #3
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P.S.

Both carapils and the 20L crystal would normally be about 7% of the grist each, so 7% or so of carared and the rest pilsner malt would probably be good.

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:17 AM   #4
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I would just mash higher and shorter. You could add maltodextrin later if you thought it really needed some.

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:25 AM   #5
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The only trouble with that is it might require a little bit of experimentation to get it similar to what you are used to. Using a recipe adjustment might be a little bit more predictable than changing the mash schedule, and you'll probably get it right the first time.

Another option would be to replace it with wheat malt. It sounds like you're using possibly 15% carapils. I probably wouldn't put quite that much wheat in, as it might affect flavour and clarity, but 5% or so would be good, and you won't notice any wheat character in the final beer.

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:35 PM   #6
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+1 as far as mashing higher and shorter. Negative to the wheat, IMHO wheat does not belong in a proper Bo'Pils.

As far as the melanoidin production from a traditional decoction mash is concerned, checkout the link below. The Washington homebrewers got together and held a decoction clinic. You'll find their results to be quite interesting...but in summary, melanoidin malt can be substituted for the actual decoction if needed at a minimal loss in characteristics, if any.

http://www.wahomebrewers.org/clinics...n-clinic-notes

I personally experimented with two separate batches of Bohemian Pilsner comparing the triple decoction to one with no decoction but melanoidin added (around 4.5% total grist). They are quite similar, however I enjoy pulling decoctions...it's fun.

What did you end up doing?

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:57 PM   #7
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I actually haven't made it yet, thanks for the tips and I'll let you know what I end up doing

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22415 Brewery View Post
Negative to the wheat, IMHO wheat does not belong in a proper Bo'Pils.
I'm curious as to why you feel this? I agree that if you want to use traditional methods you would avoid using wheat malt, but you would also avoid using melanoidin malt and stick with the decoction. Are you disagreeing with my claim that 5% wheat malt will not affect the final flavour of the beer?

Here are Dave Miller's thoughts on the subject:

Quote:
Wheat malt is not a traditional component of Pilsener-style beers, but because it has many desirable qualities it is well worth considering. Its high content of complex proteins and glycoproteins greatly enhances foam stability. Wheat malt also contributes to the body or "palate fullness" of the beer. At the same time, because wheat has no husk, its tannin content is very low. Replacing a proportion of pale malt with wheat malt lowers the tannin content of the finished beer. Wheat malt has an undeserved reputation of imparting a strong flavor. In fact, the typical clovelike taste of the Bavarian wheat beers is not a result of the wheat malt but of the special yeast strains used in fermentation. The flavor of wheat malt is actually quite mild and smooth, and thus wheat malt combines some of the most attractive aspects of dextrin malt and adjunct grains. In addition, it has a high extract potential, and the domestic varieties are high in enzymes.

Wheat malt also has some drawbacks. It rapidly produces haze, especially when it is used in large amounts such as in a typical Weizenbier. In smaller proportions - up to 20 percent - it poses few problems as long as an adequate protein rest is given.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:19 PM   #9
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The addition of wheat malt can and definitely will help with the overall perceived body of a finished beer (when added in small quantities). I fully agree with you on that. Several local breweries add a small percentage to their pale ales with no noticeable taste difference (and they are freakin awesome).

Perceived body however differs greatly than the perception of "malty". I've found that through a traditional decoction mash as well as through the usage of melanoidin malt that the characteristics of "malty" are more pronounced and accurate than to compare it to let's say the addition of cara-pils (full dextrin) and wheat malt.

Unfortunately many beer drinkers refer to a "sweet" beer as a "malty" one. When really the flavor of "malty" is really quite more complex, including descriptors such as but not limited to "bready" or "toast" and IMHO more accurate "beefy".

If the traditional decoct mash was used along with a proper boil length (90 mins or longer) then the formation of those complex sugars will be greater than let's say if he were to just use an addition of wheat and have a normal boil time (60 mins). Decoct mash and boil length are the two biggest contributors to melanoidins, their overall perception is enhanced through choice of fermentation as well.

I am a huge fan of the addition of both cara-pils and wheat when trying to add more body/unfermentable sugars, however their addition alone will not yield the same results of a decoct or melanoidin addition.

It's actually a really fun experiment to try and gives your brewday some variety.

John Palmer describes this very well on/in his website/book (how to brew-brewing classic styles).

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Old 07-17-2010, 02:10 AM   #10
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Absolutely agree with everything you are saying. However, I was simply answering the OP. The question was not about decoction mashing. The question was about what can be used to replace carapils in a recipe that he wants to turn out the same. Replacing the carapils (or some of it) with wheat will not substantially change the result IMHO, but using melanoidin malt (assuming he's not already using it) will. You're talking about recipe formulation and how to achieve a decocted flavour, when the OP has a recipe he loves, and just wants a substitute for carapils.

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