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Old 06-19-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
hammacks
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Default Carapils and diastatic power

I've got a simple question. I plan on doing a Honey Amber Ale for my 2nd brew. Here is the recipe:
Honey Amber Ale
Type: Extract w/grain
Size: 5.5 gallons
Color: 15 HCU (~10 SRM)
Bitterness: 13 IBU
OG: 1.049 FG: 1.009
Alcohol: 5.2% v/v (4.1% w/w)
Water: Deet Park spring water
Grain: 8 oz. Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)
Steep: steeped grain for 30 minutes at 155°
Boil: 60 minutes SG 1.090 3 gallons
6 lb. Amber malt extract
1 lb. Honey
Hops: 1 oz. Cascade (6% AA, 45 min.)
1 oz. Cascade (aroma)
Yeast: Wyeast American Ale 1056 smack pack, made 16 oz starter with ½ cup Munton’s Extra Light DME

Now, after I actually went shopping I started to recall that some grains lack necessary enzymes, and sure enough Palmer's says dextrine malt has no diastatic power at all. I just got off the phone with ThingsBeer (part of Michigan Brewing Company) and the guy at the other end assured these grains were fine and would "ferment real nice" on their own. Is he flat out wrong? Also, does this recipe not even make sense without another grainl?

I'm thinking I need to add another grain to the bill to help out the Carapils (they are Breiss BTW). Couple more quick questions. Substitued Agentine Cascades and Safale S-04. Sound OK?

Thanks in advanced,
-Steve

EDIT: Loving this forum!

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Old 06-19-2008, 08:43 PM   #2
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Carapils is a caramel malt, whose starches have been converted into sugar and carmelized, so you are good.

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Old 06-19-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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I would use safale US-05 (it's the same strain as the WYeast), and the Argentina cascades are a little less aromatic IIRC, I would go with amarillo.

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Old 06-19-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
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Well, I haven't used Argentine Cascades, but they say that they're a different flavor, they don't have the citrus of domestic Cascades. More "spice," I think. The S-04 is also going to not attenuate quite as much, and maybe be a little more estery, that the 1056. It should be fine; in the future, a really good dry yeast sub for 1056/WLP001/"Chico" is the US-05. Real clean, high attenuation, not a lot of its own character imparted to the beer, not a lot of esters and whatnot.

As to the Carapils... I don't know. Carapils adds unfermentable dextrines moreso than any real flavor. Adding a pound of 2-row to make this effectively a partial mash would certainly work; I'd also consider subbing a half-pound of a medium crystal malt for the dextrine malt. An amber ale will want a little bit of sweetness, maybe a little caramely-ness to it, so maybe like a 40L or 60L crystal. It'll also add back in a little body like the Carapils, it'll just do it and also add in some more sweetness and flavor.

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Old 06-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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Are you guys positive about the Carapils? Not trying to second guess you, but lengthy searching turned up many conflicting answers as well as this:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-1.html

Is he not talking about Breiss Carapils there?

Also, I like the Crystal idea. So that makes this a true PM with sparge and all eh? And no need to back off the honey and extract with the addition of the Crystal? Think I'll just go with that over the Carapils

The Argentine Cascades are not a true substitute for US cascades (as you mentioned). It says so right on the package. I think I'll try to get some amarillo.

Lastly, I'm a bit worried about my buddy at my LHBS. Great, friendly, and helpful guy, but is very laid back about ingredients, like to a fault. Almost everything I ask ends up is answered with "Oh sure, that will be great". Then I find out maybe not so much a little later. Good to be relaxed, but I want a decent beer

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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You'll make a decent beer, don't worry!

I really don't know, I rarely use Carapils and when I do, it's doing a mash. The thing is, Carapils doesn't really bring a lot to the table other than body. No real sweetness. Maybe a little head retention. Most extract brewers will use a small amount of maltodextrine if they want a beer with more body, it really does the same thing (adding complex, unfermentable dextrines to the beer).

So, really... I think I'd dump the Carapils and use some crystal, even a bit more than a half pound. A smooth Amber Ale's usually going to call for about a pound of crystal malt, but it's somewhat of a personal preference. I'd tend to err on the low side, but I also prefer drier beers.

The honey, keep in mind, is going to ferment out almost completely. I wouldn't add that to the beginning of the boil, I'd add it at flameout or you'll drive off all the aromatics. You know what could be really nice for this recipe is to sub in a little bit of honey malt. It's a form of cystal malt that's got a medium color and a pronounced honey-like flavor, lots of people like using it in conjunction with actual honey in a recipe. A half-pound of that, with the honey, and without bothering with the carapils, should give you some real nice honey-notes.

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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Sounds good. Talk to LHBS about availabilty. No honey malt, but he suggested Vienna (could also just go back to the Crystal 40L). No amarillo but there is some whole cascades. No Safeale S-05, but there is US-05, which he said is also S-56? I told him what WYeast I was substituting for and that's where he led me. Different guy on the phone with more of that noobie guidance I need! Modified recipe is now:

Grain: 8 oz Vienna
Steep: steeped grain for 30 minutes at 155°
Boil: 60 minutes SG 1.090 3 gallons
6 lb. Amber malt extract
1 lb. Honey (late addition)
Hops: 1 oz. Whole Cascades (6% AA, 45 min.)
1 oz. Whole Cascades (aroma)
Yeast: Safale US-05

1 Last look over please? Thanks a lot.

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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US-05 used to be known at US-56 until the people who make 1056 got a little upset...

I think you're good. The Vienna technically needs to be mashed, which just means for these purposes to be fairly careful about keeping the temp at 150°-155°, hold it there for maybe 45 minutes, and rinse it with a little hot water (~170°) when you're done. Vienna DOES have enough enzymes to convert itself /

Good luck!

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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Its an extract kit with steeping grains...not mashing grains. the intent isn't to get any fermentables out of the carapils, just color and flavor.

don't confuse having grain with 'mashing' or 'extracting fermentables'...they aren't one in the same.

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #10
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Well, with the Vienna, he IS going to be mashing (albeit a very small amount of grain).

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"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
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