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Old 01-03-2011, 03:27 AM   #11
Frodo
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FYI I'm pretty sure the carafoam (also more commonly called dextrine) is a crystal malt, as is the caravienne. (anything with "cara-" is a crystal malt, and nearly completely unfermentable). So you still have 2 lbs of crystal malts in there. With a high mash temp of 158 you'll have quite a bit of unfermentables. The honey will balance that out a bit though, since it'll ferment completely. I still might recommend dropping the mash temp to maybe 154 or so, so you get more fermentables from the pilsner malt.

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Old 01-03-2011, 09:50 AM   #12
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I second dropping the carafoam to 1/2lb, and probably scaling the caravienna back to 3/4 or 1/2 lb as well. I used to use carafoam quite a bit, and I noticed that it adds a lot of body/head retention. If you'r going with 1/2 lb shoot for 152ish for your mash temp, otherwise I think you'll wind up with a beer that's too sweet.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
stageseven
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Since you've already gotten good feedback about the recipe, I won't really comment on that except to say I agree that dialing back the C malts would be beneficial. I do have some advice for future brews though that you may not necessarily be asking about but will hopefully be helpful.

First, if you use software to get your strike temperatures and volumes for your mash chances are you'll hit it right on. However, if you don't, trying to heat the entire kettle is a very difficult way to do it and get a reliable reading. If you're mashing at the right water to grain ratio, it's going to be pretty thick on the bottom especially, so you're heating a lot of the grain and the heat isn't circulating well. In order for that to work at all you need to be adding your heat slowly and stirring CONSTANTLY. If your temps end up low, it will be a lot easier for you to just do a bit of a decoction mash to fix them. You can find a lot more info on it here on the wiki. You just take out a portion of the mash, heat it to boiling, and add it back in. The formula is in the wiki to determine how much to take out and boil. If you're too high you can just add a bit of cool water.

Second, if you ever need to wait to finish a brew until the next day, stopping right after the mash is a bad idea. Grains are covered in lactobacillus, so letting your mash sit unboiled is going to sour the wort overnight. You can either look into no-chill brewing, where you basically do your brew day as normal, and put your hot wort in a sealed & sanitized container and wait to pitch the yeast until it's cool, or you can boil it for 15 minutes or so (without hop additions) just to kill the bacteria in your kettle, then seal it up and finish the brew day the next day. The first option is more ideal IMO since there's less likelyhood of something going wrong, but either way will work better than just letting it sit overnight unboiled.

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:08 AM   #14
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Well, a week later, and as above, I've retried with 6lbs german pilsner, .5 caravienne, .5 carafoam, and 2.5lb of honey, and we have wort - the only issue was that during the sparge the pickup tube came free from the valve, and I had to run the stuff through a collander. Beyond that, all seems to have gone well, and I have a very cloudy 1.052 SG wort in the fermenter. We'll see what happens - thanks to all!

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