From the HBD Archive
Subject: Doug Roberts ??s on cara pils etc.
Date: 1989-09-06 13:15:00 GMT

Doug Roberts asks about mashing cara pils as a source of dextrin. I have
been adding about 1/2 pound to all my mashes over the last year. I don't
have a controlled experiment to test its effect, but it theoretically
increases body and head retention. I produce a nice full-bodied beer, with
creamy head on the beer, but that may also be due to high mashing
temperatures. More importantly, I BELIEVE that you must mash cara pils to get
the goodies out. Boiling or steeping it will not do the trick. (I'll have
to check the literature on this, but that is my best recollection). You may
want to check this out before using any more of it in your extract recipes. I
notice that you mashed it with the crystal malt in your second (Malz bier)
recipe, but it may not contain enough enzymes to mash alone (crystal has NO
enzymes) -- I'll definately have to consult the literature on this, but again
that is what comes to mind. A pound or two of pale malt should provide the
necessary enzymes.

Doug also writes:

> Anyhow, working on that assumption, I cooked
> up the following recipe last night:

> 7# light syrup
> 2# Cara Pils (dextrin malt)
> 2# light crystal
> 1# extra rich crystal
> 1/2 oz Hallertauer hops (5.0% Alpha acids)
> 1.0 oz Willamette hops (4.5% AA)
> 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp Citric acid, 1 tsp yeast nutrient
> 1 TBL Irish Moss
> 11.5 oz Edme Yeast

> I mashed the cara & crystal malts for 2 hours at 140 F, then sparged
> to about 4 gallons. Then, added the syrup & Hallertauer hops. Boiled
> for 30 minutes, and added the Irish Moss. Then boiled for 30 more
> minutes and decanted to the primary where I added the salt, citric,
> nutrient & Willamette Hops (dry hopping, I believe this technique is
> called). Willamette, BTW, is a wonderful aromatic hops.

A few personal opinions on your recipes (this one and Clara Bell):

1. For a beer this malty I'd suggest more bittering hops, at least 2 oz. of
5% alpha acid bittering hops. Another opinion: Save that nice Hallertauer
for flavor or aroma hops (added to the last 10 minutes of boil, steeped, or
dry hopped). I've gone to high alpha acid varieties exclusively for primary
bittering hops, saving the wonderful Willamettes, Cascades, Saaz, etc. for
flavor and aroma. What are other people's experiences? Does the variety of
bittering hops really affect flavor (as opposed to bitterness) at all?
Finally, I thought dry-hopping usually took place a few days before
bottling. The acidity and alcohol in the fermented beer prevents the
flourishing of all the bacteria on those unwashed, unheated hops flowers.
Although I do not practice this technique (being a bacterio-phobe), I
understand it results in WONDERFUL hop aroma.

2. Salt, citric acid and yeast nutrient? My opinion (from what I've read
and experienced) is that these adjuncts are unnecessary when making extract
beer. I've made wonderful extract stout with distilled (actually R/O)
water. The extract should provide enough nutrients, acidity and minerals
(salts) for proper fermentation. Perhaps this is not true for some syrups.
Any other opinions out there?

3. 1-2 TABLESPOONS of irish moss? That seems like a lot to me. Check your
local literature.

Not trying to bash on you, Doug. I'm just a frustrated brewer in the humid
midwest, waiting for the mold count to drop in my damp house and runnin' out
of homebrew from last year. Glad you're back in the saddle!

Jackie Brown bitnet: Brown@msukbs

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