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Messages - oregonianredbird

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Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:57:52 PM »
I recommend using the crushed batch as a "concentrated blend" to add to some base malt and carafa for a Quad or other variant style. Just estimate the desired level of specialty malts needed in your recipe and save the remaining amount for other recipes. Keep it in an airtight, dark, cool environment.

That's pretty much what I'm going to try first - my current recipe is to use about 7 lb of the mix, add 10 lb pilsner, and end up with 8.5% carapils and 8% aromatic malt. Plus some more munich, some carafa iii, and some nice belgian candi syrup or solid sugars at the end of the boil. It'll be a long, slow mash with steps at 104, 122, 140, and 150 to try and keep my attenuation as high as possible, and we'll hope for a 10.8% quad that can finish out around 1.022 or so. And yes, it's in an airtight bucket, nitrogen flushed, and at cellar temp.

As for reverseapachemaster's idea, I hadn't considered a sour, but that's worth a thought. My friend is going to attempt a barleywine, but perhaps a sour brown will be a future project. It's just so stinking much carapils!

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Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 17, 2013, 10:04:21 PM »
So, for what it's worth, I've done a ton of reading on what various enzymes do to break down starches and dextrins, as well as the process of malting and kilning and how that converts sugars, both fermentable and unfermentable. I now realize Carapils is very different from Crystal malts - somehow (it's proprietary), Carapils ends up with a bunch of "enzyme-resistant dextrins" that cannot be broken down in the mash... but I'm not sure why. Like marticaivxavier said, Crystals do have fermentables, with progressively fewer as you get darker (having to do with the higher kilning temps).

Now I'm starting to look into whether there's a way of adding extra debranching enzymes to a mash, as I have a feeling that would enable the breakdown of certain dextrins that branch off the long glucose chains. Perhaps Carapils is full of short branching dextrins, which could become fermentable if mashed with the right enzymes. But at this point, it's more about curiosity than actually wanting to be able to create fermentables out of a dextrin malt.

As a sidenote, Brewing Science and Practice (2004 book, Dennis Briggs et al) has a ton of great information for anyone of the scientific persuasion, that doesn't mind a lot of chemistry and biochemistry. I just found it this week and have barely cracked it. Thick, but well worth skimming if you want to truly understand the science in the brew.

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Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 12, 2013, 11:39:23 AM »
Great, thanks for all the thoughts and I'll definitely decrease the amount of mix I work with in any one batch... maybe I'll get the the carapils down into the 5-8% range of the total grist.

On a slightly related note (and maybe I should go look for threads on this), how much attenuation is possible with malts like Carapils or CaraMunich when mashed with a base malt? I was always under the impression they were completely unfermentable, but learned yesterday that only applies when they are steeped or mashed alone, and that the enzymes from a base malt will allow some level of conversion even in crystal malts. Is this calculable?

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Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 11, 2013, 02:51:51 PM »
Do you think the heaviness/sickly sweetness would come more from the volume of crystal malt, or the fact that all of it is the same type (carapils)? I was thinking since there are recipes out there that have ~2-3 pounds of crystal malts in total (say, a combination of carapils, CaraMunich, CaraVienne, special B, for example), maybe I could get away with a larger amount of the mix.

The grains are currently in a bucket with an airtight lid, and it was nitrogen flushed prior to sealing, so hopefully isn't oxidizing too quickly.

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Beer Recipes / Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 11, 2013, 12:21:34 PM »
So I have a bucket of the following grains, which have already been milled and are mixed together. (Long story, but involves disastrous units conversions.)

6.38 lb pilsener malt (38.5%)
4.5 lb aromatic malt (27.1%)
4.75 lb carapils (28.7%)
0.9 lb Munich malt (5.7%)

It's obviously a ton of aromatic malt and carapils, but I want to try to salvage some of these grains. My idea is to make a Belgian quad, using half of the grains and adding another ~7 pounds of pilsener malt, a little more Munich malt, and some various Belgian candi sugars. For an OG of 1.104, I would still be at 10% carapils and 9.6% aromatic malt. (This is based very loosely on ideas for Rochefort 10 clones I've seen on a few forums.)

In general, I'm wondering if this could possibly turn into a good beer? I know the carapils is unfermentable, but it seems like it might work okay in this style. Is there something else you would recommend brewing with this odd mix of grains? All ideas welcome!

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with recipe adjustment - Blonde ale
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:58:34 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts. Sounds like it's pretty much unanimous, so I guess I'll recommend we re-visit the LHBS this morning. Yes, the amounts should have been 4.5-5% for both the aromatic and carapils. He got the pilsen and munich amounts right, and I think saw ~7 ounces of those other malts and multiplied by 10. We'd have to get something like ~40 additional pounds of pilsen malt and a couple pounds of munich to get in the right ballpark for my recipe.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if you tried to brew with those grains? Aromatic has enzymes for conversion, but the carapils doesn't, right? So would the huge amount of carapils be more of a problem? Would you end up with a beer on the sweeter, thicker side? Not an experiment to try for the wedding, unfortunately.

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All Grain Brewing / Help with recipe adjustment - Blonde ale
« on: July 26, 2013, 11:45:39 PM »
I'm helping my friend brew in 10 hours, and we need advice ASAP. He went to a brew shop and accidentally measured out 10x the amounts of carapils and aromatic malt called for in the recipe we're brewing (a blonde ale - kolsch malt bill with american hops). Now, he has the following grains measured and milled together:

6.38 lb pilsener malt (38.5%)
4.5 lb aromatic malt (27.1%)
4.75 lb carapils (28.7%)
0.9 lb munich malt (5.7%)

I know that's way too much aromatic and carapils... I'm guessing this wouldn't be a good batch if brewed as is. My question is, how much additional pilsener would we need to add to get those grains down to an amount that would result in a good beer?  I.e., what's the max percentage of aromatic malt or carapils that will result in a decent beer (it's for my friend's wedding)?   Thanks!

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Equipment and Software / Re: Is hydrometer calibration linear?
« on: May 06, 2013, 08:02:57 AM »
Old thread, but I wanted to point out that the calibration is not necessarily linear. Yesterday, I mixed solutions of known specific gravity using sugar and water. At low gravities (1-1.020) my hydrometer reads 0.004 too high. But at a gravity of 1.083, my hydrometer reads exactly 1.083. I suppose this can happen if the marking on the paper were printed a hair too far apart from each other.

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Beer Recipes / Re: Citra with Nelson?
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:52:04 PM »
I find Citra to be kind of over powering and it might mask the NS.

I find Nelson to be kind of overpowering, myself. I've had it drown out Citra in a hop blend before. They do work well together though, IMO. Frankly they are both very potent and distinct, so I'd use a very light hand with them in something like a Kolsch.

I certainly don't expect it to fit the BJCP definition of a Kolsch, but I'll take that advice to heart. I was thinking something like 25 IBU (against an OG of 1.048). Maybe 10-15 IBU from putting hops in at the 60 minute mark, and then another 10 or so from additions at 20 and 10 minutes. Good idea to put both NS and Citra in together, as opposed to using one for bittering and the other for flavor?

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Beer Recipes / Citra with Nelson?
« on: April 15, 2013, 02:21:06 PM »
I'm contemplating a kolsch-like beer for summer, but with a light fruity, citrusy kick at the end. Right now my plan is to use Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. Has anyone used this combination before, and/or do you have thoughts/tips? I've had beers with each variety individually, and it seems like they should complement each other rather well.

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