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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: alikocho on February 09, 2011, 07:02:20 PM

Title: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: alikocho on February 09, 2011, 07:02:20 PM
I've been reading up on the Cascadian Dark Ale thing. I want to brew one, not least as they are only starting to emerge in the UK. There's some suggestion of only adding the Carafa Special at the start of sparging, and that the sparge temps tend to be quite low. I can see that this might be to avoid too much roast coming through (although I would quite like a Schwarzbier-esque roastiness), but I have a few queries:

1. Will adding at the start of sparging only allow for colour, and actually contribute little to gravity or flavor?
2. Is there going to be a significant difference between fly and batch sparging on this?
3. Should I just relax and throw it in the mash at the start?
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: dbeechum on February 09, 2011, 07:19:03 PM
Let's see...

1) Carafa generally contributes so little gravity that it's almost useless to think of it. You'll get a little flavor, but not a lot.
2) Not that I can think of
3) And yeah, that would be me, but it's an interesting difference to test.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: mabrungard on February 09, 2011, 07:23:52 PM
The decision to add Carafa at the beginning or end of the mash can be partially answered by looking at your water.  If your brewing water has moderate to high alkalinity, I would recommend adding it at the beginning to help consume the alkalinity.  If the brewing water is low alkalinity (like RO, DI, or rainwater) then you should delay adding the carafa until the end.   
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: cheba420 on February 10, 2011, 12:42:36 AM
I just brewed a W-10 Pitch Black IPA clone and it turned out AWESOME!!! Just threw all of the grains in the mash tun and let it ride. The beer turned out excellent, I got great reviews and cant wait to brew it again. The Carafa was right in there with everything else.

Hope you're turns out great as well!
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 10, 2011, 04:20:10 AM
The decision to add Carafa at the beginning or end of the mash can be partially answered by looking at your water.  If your brewing water has moderate to high alkalinity, I would recommend adding it at the beginning to help consume the alkalinity.  If the brewing water is low alkalinity (like RO, DI, or rainwater) then you should delay adding the carafa until the end.   

Not sure if I fallow the argument.
I add Carafa Special at the end of the mash if I want to minimize roasted notes.
I adjust water to to mash in Pre Carafa SRM.
It appears to be working pretty good.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 10, 2011, 02:12:36 PM
I just brewed a W-10 Pitch Black IPA clone and it turned out AWESOME!!! Just threw all of the grains in the mash tun and let it ride. The beer turned out excellent, I got great reviews and cant wait to brew it again. The Carafa was right in there with everything else.

Hope you're turns out great as well!
With the high alkaline water in the valley you can add it at the beginning like Martin says with no problems.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: beersk on February 10, 2011, 05:04:14 PM
I don't understand this attitude of wanting to minimize the roasted notes in an India Dark Ale.  What's the point of having a dark IPA if you're not going to have the nice roasty flavors in there too?  Bollocks, I say!
I use black malt.  A quarter of a pound or third of a pound gives it a nice dark color and roasty flavor to go along with the citrusy hops. 
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: tumarkin on February 10, 2011, 06:28:40 PM
after trying a number of these beers (both homebrew & commercial), I believe the dark roast & high hoppage don't play well together. that, and the fact that many folks are just trying to make a visually black ipa that tastes like a standard ipa, seems to be the main reason for using carafa or sinamar rather than roast grains. I for one don't get it. I tend to agree with you, but don't find the higher roast examples to work as well. not sure why, american stouts are one style that combine high hoppage with roast flavor.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: denny on February 10, 2011, 06:36:35 PM
+ a billionty and 11 to Mark's post!  I have yet to try one I truly enjoyed.  Not to diss other people's tastes, but to me they seem to be a fad.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: tschmidlin on February 10, 2011, 07:01:10 PM
I like them as long as the roast is really restrained, like Mark said, those flavors don't play well together.  At least not on my palate.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: bluesman on February 10, 2011, 07:47:48 PM
I like them as long as the roast is really restrained, like Mark said, those flavors don't play well together.  At least not on my palate.

I also like them with a very restrained roasty flavor. The Carafa Special is dehusked and as I understand it will allow for easier extraction and less astringency (bitterness) from the husk.

Depending on your water profile, as Martin has indicated, mashing and/or sparging will be best suited for minimal extraction of the roasty flavors associated with this grain.

I have had good results adding Carafa at the beginning of the mash using water with moderate alkalinity.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: beersk on February 11, 2011, 06:41:48 PM
Well hell, it seems to me that I'm going to just have to brew an India dark ale that is the way you fellas describe it.  Otherwise, I'll never know.  Commercial examples I've had aren't that great.  Laughing Dog has a decent one, I guess...
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: cheba420 on February 11, 2011, 11:06:09 PM
I just brewed a W-10 Pitch Black IPA clone and it turned out AWESOME!!! Just threw all of the grains in the mash tun and let it ride. The beer turned out excellent, I got great reviews and cant wait to brew it again. The Carafa was right in there with everything else.

Hope you're turns out great as well!
With the high alkaline water in the valley you can add it at the beginning like Martin says with no problems.

Thanks for the tip, Jeff. I havent really gotten into messing with my water yet. I brewed this one with RO water that I purchased at a local water store. However, for my next batch and those moving forward, I just purchased a filter for my hose water. The water here really isnt that good but with the filter and some metibisulfite or boiling to get the chlorine out....I hope to be fine. Do you get down to PHX often?
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: Hokerer on February 12, 2011, 12:37:55 AM
However, for my next batch and those moving forward, I just purchased a filter for my hose water.

Please tell me you're not using water from a regular garden hose.  Garden hose water'll give you horrible plasticy off flavors.  If you're going to use a hose, it needs to be one of those designed for RV drinking water use.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: cheba420 on February 12, 2011, 01:25:19 AM
However, for my next batch and those moving forward, I just purchased a filter for my hose water.

Please tell me you're not using water from a regular garden hose.  Garden hose water'll give you horrible plasticy off flavors.  If you're going to use a hose, it needs to be one of those designed for RV drinking water use.
That was the plan but I'm definitely second guessing that now! I purchased the filter last week and ran several gallons through it and at the end poured a few glasses and didnt taste anything off. I'll go and grab a RV hose before I brew on Sunday. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: beersk on February 12, 2011, 07:22:05 PM
I'm gonna try a new malt called Blackprinz in my India Dark Ale I'm brewing next weekend.  Supposed to be a good color malt with a mellow roasty flavor, no astringent, dry aftertaste.  Seems like I might as well try it.
Title: Re: CDA Carafa Special Use
Post by: redbeerman on February 13, 2011, 04:42:27 PM
I used 1/2 lb. of Carafa 2 in a black ale I made last weekend.   A taste from the hydro reading I took today had no astringency and a hardly noticeable roast note.  Mostly hops, as intended.