Carapils /dextrine not bringing much

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Sadu

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I read with some interest the brulosophy experiment on Carapils malt, which concluded that it didn't really do much. That is my experience too. As I sipped my blonde ale last night which finished at 1.008 and had almost zero head I couldn't help wonder if that 8% dextrine malt in the recipe was a big waste of time. The beer was fine, but it didn't have any special head or body qualities that a SMaSH beer doesn't have. I am very much of an opinion that every malt in the recipe needs to bring something to the table.
To me a small wheat addition brings that body and head retention without any colour, plus a bit of it's own character.
Anyone else feel the same about dextrine malts?
 

rhys333

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Oh, I dunno. I get some pretty fine lacing on an IPA when I put 3% of it in there. Then again, I also get nice lacing from crystal malt and such. The few batches that have lacked head retention have been darker beers and my guess is that it's down to either the mash chemistry or a byproduct of it in the form of tannin extraction.

I brewed a few kolsch batches with just 2 Row and 6% vienna, and head retention was okay but not the best. Last batch I sneaked in 3% carapils and I have improved retention plus lacing.
 

meatcleaver

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I agree with the OP. I think flaked wheat or oats or malted wheat are all better options. & I've never understood people using it in recipes where other crystal malts are being used. that seems completely redundant.
 

rhys333

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I agree with the OP. I think flaked wheat or oats or malted wheat are all better options. & I've never understood people using it in recipes where other crystal malts are being used. that seems completely redundant.
I think that's the key though. It's a good option when other crystal malts aren't being used.
 
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Sadu

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I used it all the time when I started out, because the blonde / pale ale recipes said to include it and I didn't question.

But since then I have cranked out some SMaSH beers that have superb body and head retention, or using vienna / munich / wheat instead of specialty grains and they come out great too. At this point wondering what I was missing out on with the carapils.

Just can't say I have noticed any difference in the body or head of beers with / without Carapils. Have had great head retention with just base malt, and poor head retention with 4-8% Carapils included. I don't use a lot of crystal in my recipes either.

Definitely planning on trying 5% flaked oats in a pale ale at some point. Just been enjoying an oatmeal stout with 10% oats and the flavour / body on that thing is off the charts.
 

Yooper

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I agree with the OP. I think flaked wheat or oats or malted wheat are all better options. & I've never understood people using it in recipes where other crystal malts are being used. that seems completely redundant.
I agree. The only time I use carapils is in something without any crystal or other specialty malts- say, a German pilsner with 93% pilsner malt, and 7% carapils- but even that is rare. I don't even have it on hand.

I do use other grains for head retention and body, though. A good one is flaked barley, especially in darker beers (since it causes a haze).
 

schematix

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I find in German Lagers its necessary. But I will also add that flavor wise it is subtle.

My recent mash experiments lead me to believe that both body AND head retention are more related to mashing than anything else. I made a 100% base malt beer with a meager amount of hops that has a persistent head so good that literally the last sip is all foam.

It's not just an ingredient to throw in a beer "for head retention", because there's more to it.
 

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