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Old 01-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Just got back from the LHBS (which is more of a corner of a wine making store) and they didn't have any crystal malts. The guys there suggested using carrot peels instead. To say the least, I'm skeptical.

From what I've read Crystal malts are similar to, or depending on the writer the same as, "cara" malts. Would I be able to use Cararoma malts instead?

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Old 01-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #12
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Crystal is a trademarked term so other maltsters use the work caramel or cara to describe what is essentially the same malt. Cararoma is one specailly kilned to get the aroma. I don't know what its color rating is but it won't be the same flavor as a caramel or Crystal of the same Lovibond rating.

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:17 PM   #13
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carrot peels?? okay.....
Looks like Cara-aroma is just a really dark crystal/caramel malt, like 130 L. You could use it in this recipe (maybe 100-200g). I'm a little worried about your LHBS there though. You may want to find a good online store if that's all you have locally. Not familiar with any of the Canadian ones but someone else should be able to help.

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #14
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The guys there suggested using carrot peels instead. To say the least, I'm skeptical.
i'd be skeptical too. first off of a 'HBS' that doesn't carry crystal malts, and second of ANYONE who suggested replacing a grain with carrots. that just sounds like someone who knew NOTHING hearing cara and thinking of the first thing that popped into his head. there's some real tools that work in smaller HBS, there's one guy at mine that has some real silly suggestions on how to brew, and offers them way to freely.

i'd say find a place to get your crystal malts, even if you have to wait for them to ship. and avoid at least the advice from that store you're referring to, if not the whole store altogether.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:17 AM   #15
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I use a liberal amount of of black malts in my RIS, stouts, porters, etc, but I also cold steep the dark malts first as to not leech out the harsher tannins, but rather the softer chocolate notes.

My wife uses about 8.5% dark malts in her RIS that has an OG of 1.114 and an FG of 1.012 with great results. That beer has won in the queen of beers twice in a row. I think she mashes really low though at around 148 with a slow sparge of 170.

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Old 01-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #16
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We went back after dinner tonight with my mother-in-law to do the "make your own wine in store" thing (her Christmas present, she's a wine drinker) and I talked to a different staff member. He's picking some Crystal up from their other location and putting it behind the cash for me first thing tomorrow--they were just sold out at this one

I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt as I noticed they sell something called "Cara Pils". Maybe this guy, who did have a bit of an accent, was trying to say that. Why he nodded when I asked if I heard "carrot peels" correctly is still beyond me.

Anyways, with the crystal malts en route, we're set to brew tomorrow afternoon! I hope to update with the beer as it progresses, and start to research my next batch!

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #17
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I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt as I noticed they sell something called "Cara Pils". Maybe this guy, who did have a bit of an accent, was trying to say that. Why he nodded when I asked if I heard "carrot peels" correctly is still beyond me.
that's gotta be it... carapils with a certain accent would sure sound like carrot peels to me! too funny!!!
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:32 AM   #18
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I noticed they sell something called "Cara Pils". Maybe this guy, who did have a bit of an accent, was trying to say that. Why he nodded when I asked if I heard "carrot peels" correctly is still beyond me.
OMG - I almost spewed a mouthful of Allagash Black onto my monitor when I read that.

Glad we got that solved. Good luck and give us an update after brew day.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:02 PM   #19
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The wort is in the primary and we already have some yeast activity (I'll leave it alone for the next two weeks, or at least try my best too!) which is good. However the OG is really low, 1.058 @ 21C. Even taking into account that the primary's fill line is marked to 23 litres (not 20 litres like I thought), it should still be around 1.070.

Another lesson of this afternoon: the snow bank on the balcony does cool that quickly. The heat radiating off the brew pot created a hollow space around it

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:04 PM   #20
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don't worry about the low OG, if you added enough water. it's an extract brew and unless you messed up on the water, you hit the OG. sometimes not mixing the top up water can cause low readings, don't sweat it, fermentation will mix it all up for you.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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