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Old 02-18-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
GinSlinger
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I've searched, and found some threads touching on this but nothing directly.

So, is Carapils cheating in the quest for rocky head formation?

I love Denny's Rye, and marvel at the head on it from 3% Carapils and 3% wheat. But, I kind of feel like that's cheating (no offence Denny!!) if Duvel can have a rich head with just Pilsner malt and sugar.

I've been following the common advice around here and keeping crystal additions to under 10%; and failing at producing rich, creamy, foamy heads on my (bottled) beers.

So, I've been looking around for suggestions for how to boost head formation, let alone retention. All I see is to add Carapils (not what I'm looking for), skip the protein rest (doing that, done that) or add a foaming adjunct. Well, none of that is helping.

Surely you guys are getting some foam on top of your SMaSHes, right? What am I needing to do? I've mashed at 148 (wit and BGSA), 153, 155, 156. I'd rather not go much higher than that for my bitters and pale ales, but maybe that's the key (I fear too much sweetness). I know that protein is the key, and one can add a number of adjunct grains to boost protein, but how is it "supposed" to be done?

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #2

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Originally Posted by GinSlinger View Post
how is it "supposed" to be done?
Add carapils.



Just toying with you. I don't think adding carapils or wheat in small quantities is cheating at all. I add a little wheat malt to almost (almost) every batch.

Are you having troubles with head formation or retention? What beers and what's the recipe?

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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Why is it "cheating?" You think it will piss off the brewing gods or something? Who cares.....there's many paths to things in brewing, and in life, and they're all right. Use it or don't use it....

Hell maybe it's cheating to someone if you're not growing and malting your own grains. *shrug*
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
454k30
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Yeah really, what's cheating? If using those grains or whatever get the result you want then who cares. Well, I'm sure someone does but not most people.

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:14 PM   #5
GinSlinger
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I've brewed, from this forum, Biermuncher's House Pale Ale, Centennial Blonde, and Nierra Sevada; Yooper's House Pale Ale; and Denny's Wry Smile. I've only gotten head formation (let alone retention) from Denny's. I use on-line calculators for priming, and (barring my Wit mistake detailed in the bottling section) have gotten decent carbonation, but just bubbles to the surface (and rather larger ones than in the rye). I've also done a number of SMaShes using MO, Golden Promise, and regular 2-row--those have been entirely foamless.

I get that most people are fine with adding adjuncts, and I am not opposed to them for any reason. I'm more interested in what steps could produce a rich, creamy head in, say, a SMaSH. I'm definitely not calling anyone out for using Carapils/foam/wheat or whathaveyou.

I've got a BGSA fermenting right now--just pilsner malt and sugar. If I were to do that all over again, and say I ran out of Carapils, how would I assist head formation?

(I know it's not a glassware issue, as I can pour a head forming beer in the glass in any order and still not get head formation from my beers not using wheat/Carapils.)

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:21 PM   #6
atreid
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Let's indulge him a little, at least for the sake of science?

It's true that Carapils were not always around. I think it's a pretty valid question as to how someone improves head retention the old fashion way without resorting to any type of "high tech" adjunct...!

Myself, I'm wondering if the fact that back in the days grains were not as "highly modified" could have resulted in a beer that was less clean with symptoms like higher head retention...?

In consequence, now that we use highly modified grain, we now add wheat or Carapils to compensate.

Might that be a good hypothesis?

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
zenriquez
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The only thing I know to do is to start your mash at 130-135F and hold that temp for 30 mins before raising to 150-158F. I don't know how you have been using mash temps to your advantage but that's the best place to begin looking for the issue. Good luck!

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
GinSlinger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenriquez View Post
The only thing I know to do is to start your mash at 130-135F and hold that temp for 30 mins before raising to 150-158F. I don't know how you have been using mash temps to your advantage but that's the best place to begin looking for the issue. Good luck!
No, I haven't been doing this.

That's a little higher than a traditional protein step. Interesting.

thanks to you and atreid for taking this for what it is, perhaps a poorly titled attempt to understand what's going on further than "just add carapils."

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 PM   #9
zenriquez
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I'm not a fan of adjuncts so I try to avoid them all together. Starting at a temp of 130-135F should do the trick. You can pick up little things like this by reading some books such as designing great beers. If you use my tip let me know how it works for you it's never done me wrong. Good luck!

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:42 PM   #10
zenriquez
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Oh by the way atreid has a good theory. Under modified grains do have a better chance at having better head formation and retention but there are other issues that under modified grains present. Nothing a good step mash won't solve though.

 
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