8.26.16 – Experimenting with Carafoam

During my initial research on brewing this style, I was looking through the old Tree House blog and other photos.  In these photos, you find the occasional grain bag.  I wrote it down, but should have saved the picture.  Two Row + Carafoam.   I like Carafoam to add some body to my beers.  I’ve always used it!  I’ve never pushed the envelope with it (nor do I know anybody who has).  I decided to apply the grist of a beer that I’ve had clear before on me, but increase the Carafoam to 18%.  Why not, right?

I mashed in low at 150F using RO water for 60 minutes followed by a 60 minute boil.  All water additions were made with 15 minutes remaining in the boil.  Columbus was added as FWH, Citra / Kohatu blend was added in late additions, whirlpool, and dry hop.

Let me tell you about Kohatu, if you haven’t used this hop and are a fan of Citra / Galaxy / Mosaic, pick some up and give it a shot.  It’s some tasty, tropical, juicy, fruity goodness.

I’ll spare you the details as this is just about the same as Taking Flight with Crystal malt subbed for Honey Malt.

 Grains/Fermentables:

German Pilsner 77%

Carafoam 18%

Honey Malt 5%

HOPS:

Columbus

Citra

Kohatu

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

Yeast Nutrient

Calcium Chloride

Gypsum

YEAST:

Harvested from Tree House cans Julius and Green

In the past, this grist has cleared on me using wy1056.  I have also had the Tree House yeast clear on me using a very similar grain bill that even had flaked adjuncts (wheat).  My logic suggests that this beer should clear as well.  If it does not, then that has a significance associated with high percentages of Carafoam to the haze.

The first pull of this beer filled the basement with an aroma unlike anything I’ve made to date.  Notes of melon, pine, tropical fruit, and lime stand out.  This is quite pungent.  The appearance is hazy, but not murky.  The mouthfeel is a little light.  I attribute that to be the pilsner malt used.  I expected a bigger mouthfeel with this much contribution from Carafoam.  It seems that there are diminishing returns as you increase the amount of Carafoam to the grain bill.  Next time I will use two row and white wheat or oats.  It makes me wonder what would happen if one would use 100% Carafoam, but that’s quite unorthodox and unnecessary.  It doesn’t hurt to think and certainly doesn’t hurt to experiment.  After all, that’s how all things begin.

All in all this is one of the better hop combos that I’ve thrown together on a whim.  I’m really enjoying this and I intend to take it to the upcoming barbecue with the brewing club and see what happens.  I don’t foresee this keg to last very long.  The real question is how long will the haze last?  If it sticks around, I’d attribute the Carafoam as a strong contributor.  Time will tell.

**Update – after 2 weeks in the keg, the beer is still hazy. Dry hop rates were increased 20% from my typical NEIPA rates; however, all other instances have cleared.  I’d have to experiment further, but I feel the haze could be indicative of high levels of dextrins in the beer.  In this example, that’s all that has changed.

After some conditioning the beer is pretty good still.  Going for this again, I would increase my bittering addition and include Columbus into the hop stand addition.  The after taste is excellent, but it needs some more bite.

As you read this, I’m unpacking a lb of Citra and Kohatu from farmhouse for future revisions.

-Cheers!

 

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