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Old 01-30-2013, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Decoction Method Questions...

Hello,

First post here and I am starting it off with a strange decoction question!

I was listening to the latest visit of Dan Gordon to the Brewing Network and he was speaking about his mash technique. Apparently his brewery does all of the temperature rests before they do any decoctions. so the decoctions happen in the high 160's (f) right before mashout.

So I was wondering, what would happen if you just boiled the entire mash instead of taking only parts out? It would seem that all of the "mashing" has been completed by mashout anyway.

Would this have any obvious negative impacts? The wort would be boiled in the kettle within a few minutes either way.

Thanks for your input!

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:47 AM   #2
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I think it's OK to boil a portion of the grist (obviously done), but boiling the entire grist could raise issues with tannin extraction or other unforseen reactions.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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I do brew in a bag and decided to risk a mild recipe. For mashout I simply boiled for 20 minutes. No adverse affect from tannins. I have since tried other recipes and none of them seem to have suffered the dreaded Tannenbaum.

I've toyed with posting this before so I guess now is a good time. I purposely did a thicker mash, 1.25 qt/lb to make sure I didn't have pH issues. Do as I did and try it on a less expensive batch and see for yourself.

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Old 01-31-2013, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassman2003 View Post
Hello,

First post here and I am starting it off with a strange decoction question!

I was listening to the latest visit of Dan Gordon to the Brewing Network and he was speaking about his mash technique. Apparently his brewery does all of the temperature rests before they do any decoctions. so the decoctions happen in the high 160's (f) right before mashout.

So I was wondering, what would happen if you just boiled the entire mash instead of taking only parts out? It would seem that all of the "mashing" has been completed by mashout anyway.

Would this have any obvious negative impacts? The wort would be boiled in the kettle within a few minutes either way.

Thanks for your input!
If you boil the entire mash you will take it far beyond the desired temperature range. Whether or not you are doing a decoction the temperature temps for different mash steps do not change.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:21 AM   #5
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Tannins should not be an issue. The problem with boiling the whole grist is that you are going to release more starches but don't have any active enzymes left that would be able to convert these starches.

pjj2ba, long time member here at HBT, did this a few years ago. He didn't end up with an astringent beer but the beer was hazy from starch haze.

May work well for a Brett based beer where starches in the wort may be desired.

Kai

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for your replies. I have some more questions if you would indulge...

I am a bit confused with where the line is drawn between too far and enough. The traditional decoction would be used before or during rests, so one could look at the boiling as mid-process. With the boiling done after the rests it would seem starches would be released without conversion as well. Is it just that the amount of starches is low compared to the entire mash being boiled?

What if Dan Gordon decided to do a triple decoction? Wouldn't most of the mash find its way through the boiling process?

How about this - I am a batch sparger. What if I boiled the second batch (making sure to watch Ph levels). Would this result in fewer starches left unconverted but also add the maltiness we desire?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
I do brew in a bag and decided to risk a mild recipe. For mashout I simply boiled for 20 minutes. No adverse affect from tannins. I have since tried other recipes and none of them seem to have suffered the dreaded Tannenbaum.

I've toyed with posting this before so I guess now is a good time. I purposely did a thicker mash, 1.25 qt/lb to make sure I didn't have pH issues. Do as I did and try it on a less expensive batch and see for yourself.
Hermit, did the beers you tried this on have an improvement in flavor you were looking for?

Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:35 AM   #8
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Decoctions are always returned to the main mash and the temp of the resulting mash should always be kept below 76 C to prevent all enzymes from denaturing. So when the final decoction is returned there will be some active enzymes to take care of any released starches. In addition to that the final decoction tends to be a thin decoction to reduce the amount of starches that are released.

If you boil your 2nd sparge and drain into the first wort w/o having heated the first wort past ~76 C you will have some enzymes to take care of the starches. A correctly performed iodine test will tell you if that was the case.

But why not just do a regular decoction?

Kai

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bassman2003 View Post
Thanks for your replies. I have some more questions if you would indulge...

I am a bit confused with where the line is drawn between too far and enough. The traditional decoction would be used before or during rests, so one could look at the boiling as mid-process. With the boiling done after the rests it would seem starches would be released without conversion as well. Is it just that the amount of starches is low compared to the entire mash being boiled?

What if Dan Gordon decided to do a triple decoction? Wouldn't most of the mash find its way through the boiling process?

How about this - I am a batch sparger. What if I boiled the second batch (making sure to watch Ph levels). Would this result in fewer starches left unconverted but also add the maltiness we desire?

Thanks for your help.
Like I said above. I simply boiled for the mashout step. All conversion is done at that point. Hold out a little water from your sparge and keep it cold. It doesn't take much to get the temp down to 168 but if you have a 1.25 qt/lb mash it is thick and it hasn't been a problem for me to get the temp down. I haven't ruined a beer yet doing this.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:39 AM   #10
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Hermit, did the beers you tried this on have an improvement in flavor you were looking for?

Thanks.
I found out that I've been driving my mash pH too low so I'm concentrating on that right now before I return to that method. I don't have the most refined of palates and will have to set up some blind tests when I am done. Did I notice any stark difference? Without a control, no. Side by side will be needed.
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