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Old 06-28-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Can I use single infusion is place of decoction?

I have a wheat beer recipe that consists of 6lbs of Wheat Malt and 5lbs of Munich malt. The recipe calls for a 3 step decoction and I am sure this is in keeping with the spirit of German brewing methods. I have never performed a decoction and do not have a graduated ladle or the desire to start now. I've only brewed three AG batches and they have all been single infusion, batch sparges. I tried the beer and it good but the recipe is not mine so I was going to put it into beersmith and have the mash steps calculated for me. Will I get a comparable beer from the single infusion as I would from the decoction method?

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Old 06-29-2009, 12:34 AM   #2
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Decoction mashing definitely adds something to classic german wheat beers. One option for you is swapping out a small portion (.25-.5lbs) of the Munich for Melanoidin malt.

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Old 06-29-2009, 12:51 AM   #3
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Decoction isn't that difficult. You do need a separate pot for boiling your decocts, but that's about it. Instead of ladelling out I just used a 1.5 qt sauce pan.

It really does add a lot of time to your session.

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
Decoction isn't that difficult. You do need a separate pot for boiling your decocts, but that's about it. Instead of ladelling out I just used a 1.5 qt sauce pan.

It really does add a lot of time to your session.

Thanks for the tip on the sauce pan. I can do that but you are right, it is going to add a lot of time to my brewing session. The recipe calls for an Acid rest at 96 deg. for 15 minutes, then a 35 minute protien rest at 122 followed by a 30 minute Saccharification at 148 and finally 40 minutes at 158. Each step after the acid rest is a decoction step, I think I'll save this for a weekend because I'm going to have a bit of time to boil for every step.

I'm using a drink cooler for a Mash tun, can I just drain the wort from the valve into my sauce pan or does actual dipping and collecting some grain add to the technique?
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:54 AM   #5
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Do not just boil the wort.

After the acid rest, your wort is swirling with enzymes. If you boil large quantities of straight wort, the high heat will denature those enzymes and you won't get a good conversion. If that's not enough reason, water has a higher thermal coefficient than grain does, so a beersmith/promash calculated decoction that you do as straight wort will boost your temp too high.

Decocting a "thick mash" and boiling it builds in a layer of malted flavor by developing melanoidin flavor compounds in what are called maillard reactions between sugars and nitrogen compounds at high temperatures. You get a little bit of it in the standard boil- you get a lot more by decocting.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
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Sounds like I need to make the recipe via decoction to achieve the beer that I want. I know you boil grains in a thick or thin quantity with the wort but it just seems some sort of off flavors due to tannins from boiling the husks. Anyway, this weekend will be my first decoction recipe.

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Old 06-29-2009, 11:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarven_stout View Post
Do not just boil the wort.

After the acid rest, your wort is swirling with enzymes. If you boil large quantities of straight wort, the high heat will denature those enzymes and you won't get a good conversion. If that's not enough reason, water has a higher thermal coefficient than grain does, so a beersmith/promash calculated decoction that you do as straight wort will boost your temp too high.

Decocting a "thick mash" and boiling it builds in a layer of malted flavor by developing melanoidin flavor compounds in what are called maillard reactions between sugars and nitrogen compounds at high temperatures. You get a little bit of it in the standard boil- you get a lot more by decocting.
Don't Vienna styles however call for your 3rd decoct to basically be wort?
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dwarven_stout View Post
Decocting a "thick mash" and boiling it builds in a layer of malted flavor by developing melanoidin flavor compounds in what are called maillard reactions between sugars and nitrogen compounds at high temperatures.
It also helps hydrolize starches for better efficiency.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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Don't Vienna styles however call for your 3rd decoct to basically be wort?
A mash-out decoction does denature the enzymes, and you want to stop conversion at that point. That's why that step is over 160 degrees- to stop conversion.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberband View Post
I know you boil grains in a thick or thin quantity with the wort but it just seems some sort of off flavors due to tannins from boiling the husks.
This early in the mash the pH is low enough that tannin extraction isn't really an issue.
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