To carapils, or not to carapils...

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bjl110

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Most of the time I don't use carapils at all, but I'm brewing BM's Centennial Blond, which calls for it. I'm probably going to use it as my beer I brew to take where BMC drinkers will be. I'll certainly be making at least 10G for my sis-in-law's wedding. The two times I made it in the past I used the carapils, but was thinking about eliminating it as it is a little more at the LHBS. Yes, we are talking change, but I also went AG recently and really only want to keep around 5-10 lbs of several specialty grains + base malt. And since I don't use it much, I'd just rather not buy it.

So, can I eliminate the carapils without much change? Should I add flaked wheat/wheat malt/flaked barley/whatever instead to compensate for the body/head retention (leaning towards wheat malt I think)? Or would those effect the clarity too much? Maybe just another pound of base for fermentables and mash slightly higher (I do want to keep the crisp finish though)? Thanks for the help! :mug:
 
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you could just use a low lovibond caramel malt like 10 or 20. the beer'll be bit darker and have more caramel malt character, but i'm sure it'd be a good beer. or if your LHBS is like mine, you should be able to get a # or carapils for under $2. even if you never use the leftovers, it's not that big a deal.
 

rexbanner

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Just buy some. I use it in pretty much everything I brew now since my last batch of dubbel had no head whatsoever.
 
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bjl110

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Thanks for the thoughts, but as was stated in the OP, the point is not to buy it. I know it is cheap. I could just keep the extra on hand for next time. However, that isn't what I'm going for. I'd rather learn how to stay away and still get good results. What I plan to do really is to just buy base malt and dark roasted malt, and make my own crystal and toasted from the base. The LHBS isn't all that L, so I figure the more I can simplify and do myself, the better. Having said that, any more suggestions? I'm thinking some extra base and raising the mash temp might do. Will this affect the crispness?
 

Yooper

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I'm thinking some extra base and raising the mash temp might do. Will this affect the crispness?
Yes.

I rarely use carapils, but I always use it in beers like this as well as my pilsner and cream ale. Since it's colorless and flavorless, it's not really the same as another crystal malt. I use it light lager-like beers when I'm not using crystal malt.
 

Malticulous

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Briess carapills and Best Carmel pils or Wyermann carafoam are not exact substitutes. I do think all have color and flavor, but the German versions have more color and flavor and also more texture. I've been toying with them and I think they are useful. I'm still skeptical of a recipe that calls for 10% or more. There are better ways if you need that much. It can be a crutch.
 

pjj2ba

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I haven't used carapils in years. I remember a thread a couple years ago where someone was talking going pro and the subject of carapils and the extra expense was brought up. This of course is more of an isue at the commercial scale. Someone posted (I think someone who was commercial) that they were of the opinion that carapils was an easy (but more $$) way to address a desired taste profile. The poster said that one could achieve the same results of the added carapils simply by modifiying the mash conditions. This idea struck a chord with me

I do often include a half pound or so of wheat in my beers though. I brew lots of lighter colored beer, mostly with heavy pilsner malt grain bills (I'm considering not using any pale malt for my beers - IPA, stouts, etc.). I like to do step mashes, including a protein rest. The P rest gives me some extra proteins of the size that improves body and head formation and retention as well. Adding wheat also gives me extra protein. For sachharification I use two rests (typically 147 and 158 F) and simply vary the times at those two temperature depending on whether I want a dry crisp beer or a malty, full-bodied beer.
 

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