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Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains

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dmtaylor:
A quad is a bad place to use much crystal malts, period.  Belgian beers are supposed to be highly attenuated.  So you really don't want to add anything that will INCREASE the body and DECREASE attenuation.  Especially in a quad, where the OG is so high.  The yeast can only attenuate so far, percentage-wise.  You don't want to end up with a final gravity of like 1.030, right?!  So don't use much crystal malt, if at all, IMHO.

The comment about cherry candy also applies to the aromatic malt.  In high quantities, at least in my mind, aromatic malt has a certain cherry-like fruitiness that can easily get carried away.  You don't want to use too much of it.

denny:

--- Quote from: Joe Sr. on September 11, 2013, 05:17:49 PM ---I've never used more than .5 lbs of carapils in 5 gallons that I can recall.  I haven't used carapils in years, although I've been considering it as I'm not happy with my head retention these days.
--- End quote ---

Carapils, wheat, or other protein laden grains are not a panacea for poor foam.  To help yo diagnose your problem, see...

http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

Joe Sr.:

--- Quote from: denny on September 12, 2013, 08:49:32 AM ---
--- Quote from: Joe Sr. on September 11, 2013, 05:17:49 PM ---I've never used more than .5 lbs of carapils in 5 gallons that I can recall.  I haven't used carapils in years, although I've been considering it as I'm not happy with my head retention these days.
--- End quote ---

Carapils, wheat, or other protein laden grains are not a panacea for poor foam.  To help yo diagnose your problem, see...

http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

--- End quote ---

I know.  It's a crutch for the lazy.  I was planning to throw some in my last two batches to see if it helped but, of course, I forgot.

EDIT:  As far as the article, my temps are under control, my glasses are clean, my wort is well aerated.  I may have under-pitched the last two batches, but they are also high alcohol beers so I should suspect a thinner head... 

erockrph:
I agree with the recommendations to only use about 1/4 of this mix in a 5-gallon batch. I also agree that a strong Belgian style is not the best choice with the amount of crystal malt in here. I'd maybe shoot for something more like an APA or Belgian Pale Ale as opposed to a big style that you really want to attenuate well.

oregonianredbird:
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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