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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: dhacker on October 07, 2011, 06:46:40 pm

Title: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: dhacker on October 07, 2011, 06:46:40 pm
Just curious why I've seen a number of folks include it in their recipes only to be advised to drop it. I don't use it that much, but now I'm wondering why so much advice against its use. In its typical percentages, how much can it hurt a recipe?
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: Hokerer on October 07, 2011, 06:54:42 pm
Don't think the point is that it might hurt anything but rather that is doesn't particularly help anything.  Get all your processes straight and there's no role for it so why bother.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: corkybstewart on October 08, 2011, 08:21:29 am
I'll still use it.  In my pilsners I like to mash around 148F, carapils helps keep the beer from being too thin.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: majorvices on October 08, 2011, 08:52:07 am
Cara Pils is just a tool. Often times it is not needed in a recipe. For instance, a lot of IPA recipes have a lb of crystal and then a  lb of cara pils - in that case it may not be needed. But if you are trying to increase the mouthfeel of a beer and for whatever reason and don't want to mash higher it can work. I also think that in the case of lighter lagers you can taste the cara pils. In an IPA, not so much.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: denny on October 08, 2011, 09:44:53 am
Don't think the point is that it might hurt anything but rather that is doesn't particularly help anything.  Get all your processes straight and there's no role for it so why bother.

I don't find that there's no point to it.  It's just another tool in the toolbox.  Like a screwdriver or hammer, you choose thew tool for the job you need to do.  

ETA: Yeah, what Keith said!
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: a10t2 on October 08, 2011, 09:54:04 am
I'll still use it.  In my pilsners I like to mash around 148F, carapils helps keep the beer from being too thin.

So I have to ask, why not just mash at higher temperature?
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: denny on October 08, 2011, 10:36:30 am
I'll still use it.  In my pilsners I like to mash around 148F, carapils helps keep the beer from being too thin.

So I have to ask, why not just mash at higher temperature?

Personally, I think that mashing higher gives me different results than using carapils.  Although, until I do side by side brews to test that, I wouldn't swear to it.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: corkybstewart on October 08, 2011, 05:00:16 pm
I'll still use it.  In my pilsners I like to mash around 148F, carapils helps keep the beer from being too thin.

So I have to ask, why not just mash at higher temperature?
maybe I'm wrong here but if I mash at higher temps I don't get the fermentability out of the base malts.  I don't want a thick pilsner, I  just don't want the thinness I get when I mash at 148 like I do with a saison or other Belgians.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on October 09, 2011, 05:23:23 pm
When I use it I usually use about 3%.
I would not go more then 5%.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: The Professor on October 09, 2011, 05:33:04 pm
I never heard of CaraPils getting a bad rap.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: narvin on October 09, 2011, 09:05:58 pm
I think throwing in CaraPils indiscriminately "for body" gets a bad rap, especially when many inexperienced brewers end up with under-attenuated beers to begin with.  But it has its place like any other malt.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: majorvices on October 10, 2011, 05:33:10 am
I think throwing in CaraPils indiscriminately "for body" gets a bad rap, especially when many inexperienced brewers end up with under-attenuated beers to begin with.  But it has its place like any other malt.

^ Narvin nailed it!
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: davidgzach on October 10, 2011, 02:08:54 pm
I think throwing in CaraPils indiscriminately "for body" gets a bad rap, especially when many inexperienced brewers end up with under-attenuated beers to begin with.  But it has its place like any other malt.

^ Narvin nailed it!

+1.  I think Denny is right as well.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: a10t2 on October 10, 2011, 02:35:36 pm
maybe I'm wrong here but if I mash at higher temps I don't get the fermentability out of the base malts.
That's an interesting thought. My thinking is that any ratio of fermentable sugars to dextrins that would result from a pale/carapils combination could also be obtained by a different mash using the base malt alone. But that's based on an assumption (and all the caveats that go with it) that carapils, aka dextrin malt, is primarily composed of starches from dextrin size on down. If there's a significant fraction of larger polymers, then the beta-amylase would have less to work with and the results could be different.

It would be an interesting experiment for someone with really precise mash temperature control.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: morticaixavier on October 10, 2011, 03:22:19 pm
I was reading a thread over on home brew talk in which someone performed an experiment with crystal only brews and got between 50 and 70% AA with darker crystal being less fermentable. Given carapils light kilning I would suspect you would get a pretty fermentable sugar profile from it. So using it to add body and sweetness may not be as usefull as it would seem. There is a lot of starch that would also convert in presence of a base malt so that percentage might even be a little higher.

for whatever that is worth.

I haven't ever used it myself so I can't comment on it's value or lack thereof.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: James Lorden on October 10, 2011, 04:49:08 pm


Personally, I think that mashing higher gives me different results than using carapils.  Although, until I do side by side brews to test that, I wouldn't swear to it.

I have to agree. As a commercial example I'd present both Firestone Walker Pale 31 and Union Jack.  Per Bryndalson both have a 145 1st step for 50 minutes and both have significant carapils (around 5%).
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: blatz on October 11, 2011, 12:27:25 pm


Personally, I think that mashing higher gives me different results than using carapils.  Although, until I do side by side brews to test that, I wouldn't swear to it.

I have to agree. As a commercial example I'd present both Firestone Walker Pale 31 and Union Jack.  Per Bryndalson both have a 145 1st step for 50 minutes and both have significant carapils (around 5%).

James brings up a very good point - there are plenty of commercial brewers that use the dextrin malts - including FW, Russian River, and Sierra Nevada had it in Torpedo until just recently, to name a few of the top of my head..  I have to think that from a cost differential, if pros could make the same end product with base malt and a slightly higher mash temp rather than having to bring in specialty malt, they certainly would.

I use about 8% carafoam in my dortmunder - and it certainly has a different malt flavor than does my helles which is otherwise an identical grist, although 1 Plato lower.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: EHall on October 11, 2011, 03:14:53 pm
its due to it being a very narcissistic, arrogant malt. Spewing its propaganda about how 'I'm the only malt that can give great body/mouthfeel to your brews... I can see how the base malts would be angry with this.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: dean on October 19, 2011, 06:54:31 pm
Don't think the point is that it might hurt anything but rather that is doesn't particularly help anything.  Get all your processes straight and there's no role for it so why bother.

I don't find that there's no point to it.  It's just another tool in the toolbox.  Like a screwdriver or hammer, you choose thew tool for the job you need to do.  

ETA: Yeah, what Keith said!

Horses for courses and all that.  Ya use the best tool for the job at hand.    Denny are you sure you aren't a terrierman?   ;) 
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: majorvices on October 20, 2011, 06:14:42 am
don't put too much stock behind reasoning at least w/RR, Paul. When I met Vinnie a few years ago I asked him about the Cara pils and he said something to the effect that he just through it in there on the test batch and was reluctant to change it. At least that was the pression he left me with.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: blatz on October 20, 2011, 07:29:18 am
I hear you Keith.  Another good example is Green Flash West Coast IPA - I believe they use a significant amount of carapils.

I honestly think if it weren't named 'Carapils' and described to add foam stability and body, and instead called extralight crystal' or C-5L or something like that, nobody would have a problem with it.
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: theDarkSide on October 20, 2011, 07:51:39 am
I hear you Keith.  Another good example is Green Flash West Coast IPA - I believe they use a significant amount of carapils.

Yes...about 8%
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: james on October 20, 2011, 08:51:32 am
I honestly think if it weren't named 'Carapils' and described to add foam stability and body, and instead called extralight crystal' or C-5L or something like that, nobody would have a problem with it.

Lets just call it dextrin malt then instead of carapils or carafoam
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: denny on October 20, 2011, 09:30:15 am
Denny are you sure you aren't a terrierman?   ;) 

Someone who owns a terrier?
Title: Re: Why Does Carapils Get a Bad Rap?
Post by: bluesman on October 20, 2011, 10:47:29 am
I'm not completely convinced one way or the other as to it's effect on the finished beer, but I still use it in my IPA and other recipes with very good results. I would also like to do a side by side to better understand the flavor/mouthfeel effects of carapils.

I will continue to use it, as I like the results I'm getting with it...and I agree with Vinnie C.... "I'm reluctant to change it".