Dextrin Malt: I miss my Carapils
When I changed Suppliers I found the one malt I could not replace was Briess Carapils. I am told the malting process to produce dextrine malt with very low color is patented. Patents don't last for ever so is there hope of getting dextrine malt from anouther source? Sombody else has got to be working on this. Emericaly I feel the beers I use it on are enhanced in body and in foam. Also great becuse it caused little color change.
I'm not aware if there is or is not a patent on this production process so cannot comment. In any event I would recommend looking at a competitive very low color Caramel Malt. The caramelization of the converted starch is what decreases the fermentability and adds dextrins. Any caramel will posess this characteristic as long as the endosperm is predominantly glassy.
The best way to enhance head is through careful handling of your beer. Avoid foaming at any point in the process. Also do not allow your beer to be in contact with the yeast any longer than it has to once fermentation is complete. Yeast will autolyze and release protease enzymes over time which will break down head forming proteins. Just make sure fermentation is complete and diacetyl is reduced before getting the beer off the yeast. Overcompensating in this area would do more harm than good.
And finally, if you are selling beer onsite make sure you audit your glass cleaning procedures regularly. Dirty/Soapy glasses have killed more head than bad brewing practices by a long shot.
missing carapils too
i have the same problem as u do....changed from briess to cargill, and used carapils for head retention and body in my light beer.
I used carafoam from wierman...(spelling probably wrong) and was pleased with the results, but the cost was substantionally higher than carapills. I have also used low L munich as a replacement, but did not get the body or retention i did from carapills. Glass cleaning is an issue but i bet u have approached that and i didnt see that in your question. I would love to get a good answer from cargil on a close replacement, maybe i will call my rep susan and see what she says. good luck
EVERYTHING IS BETTER AT ALTITUDE
Dingemanns Cara 8 is a *close* substitute and probably as expensive as Weyermann. If you are currently buying from Cargill, find out if the malt is being shipped via Mid-America Brewing Supply (Kasota,MN). If it is, call Mid-America and have them top load Briess Carapils on to your Cargill order. This would require a check to two companys but would get you what you like.
I suspect the vast difference in prices between different Carapils, Carafoam, etc... is the fact that the Briess Carapils you were using could have been 6-row. They sell both 2-row and 6-row varieties but tend to sell 6-row carapils if you simply order just "Carapils". I don't think it matters what you use but you may not be comparing apples to apples. That being said I personally like Weyermann Carafoam and feel it is worth the extra money. The Weyermann specifications seem to have a smaller variance thus giving you a more consistent malt to work with.
I do not know the limits of your batch size but, as an alternative, you can use light amounts of honey to add dextrins or unmalted grains to improve protein levels.