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Old 11-12-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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In looking through recipe files here on HBT I see a judicious use of Cara or Dextrin malts. While I haven't seen any definite patterns on mash temps there is a slight tendancy towards a "Medium Body" mash temp when the Cara malts are used.

Why?

I have never used the Cara malts instead of targeting my mash temp for a dextrinous body and I am curious why so many opt to use them.

Do you get a more predictable FG when using Cara malts for the body rather than mashing appropriately?

 
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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I've been told to use carapils or flaked wheat for improved head retention. I use the carapils for a medium body beer, flaked wheat for a light bodied beer. About a half pound for a 5 gallon batch. I haven't done any experiments without, and I'm happy with the results, so I figure why mess with it.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:17 PM   #3
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I think Sacc. hit the nail on the head. I suspect most homebrewers use it mostly because that is the way they learned to brew and haven't changed.

I don't use carapils. Instead, I'll mash appropriately, as you say, to get the body I want in a beer. I prefer simple, traditional recipes, so I'll always omit carapils where ever I find it.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerthoven View Post
I think Sacc. hit the nail on the head. I suspect most homebrewers use it mostly because that is the way they learned to brew and haven't changed.

I don't use carapils. Instead, I'll mash appropriately, as you say, to get the body I want in a beer. I prefer simple, traditional recipes, so I'll always omit carapils where ever I find it.
+1 I do the same thing. I figured if I could get what I was looking for through mashing then I should go ahead and do it. One less ingredient to try and keep in stock if nothing else.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:25 PM   #5
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I believe that Cara-pils not only brings dextrins to the wort, but also proteins, which aid in head formation/retention. So, all other things being equal, mashing higher will just give you the dextrins, while using Cara-pils will give you both dextrins and proteins. But I suspect it's not even quite as simple as that.
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