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Old 01-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
johnnytaco
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Default Decoction questions

I've been brewing for a year and a quarter now and have a question. In all the books I've read about decoction mashes, they all say to remove the mash, bring it to a boil and add back to the mash to bring up the temp between steps. My question may seem silly, but do they mean that I'm supposed to pull the grain and liquor from the mash and heat it up or just to pull the wort/liquor out and heat it up? From what I know, bringing the grain and husks up above 175 is supposed to pull tannins from the husks and make off flavors in the beer. I have made a bunch of beers with the decoction method by pulling only wort/liquor off of the mash and putting it back after it's boiled for a while, but I want to make sure that I'm not doing something wrong. The beers have turned out awesome, but if I'm supposed to be doing something different, I'd like to know. Thanks for your time.
-JT

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Old 01-16-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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The way I understand it (haven't tried it yet) is that you pull as thick a portion as you can for your decoction. Brewing TV had an episode demonstrating this, and I would recommend finding it on YouTube.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thanks. I checked out Kaiser's video on you tube this am. It just goes against what I was taught.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnytaco View Post
I have made a bunch of beers with the decoction method by pulling only wort/liquor off of the mash and putting it back after it's boiled for a while, but I want to make sure that I'm not doing something wrong. The beers have turned out awesome, but if I'm supposed to be doing something different, I'd like to know. Thanks for your time.
-JT
yeah, I have a problem wrapping my noodle around it, but if you and 5,000 other brewers have had success with it, I can't argue.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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You will only extract tannins from the mash if both:
- Temperature over 175*
- pH over 5.8-6.0

So, as long as your mash pH is in the correct range, you can boil the mash and not extract tannins. Decoctions are a pain, but for some styles totally worth it. I just did a double decocted dunkelweizen that is great, and got all of the color from the decoctions.

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Old 01-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
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You will only extract tannins from the mash if both:
- Temperature over 175*
- pH over 5.8-6.0

So, as long as your mash pH is in the correct range, you can boil the mash and not extract tannins. Decoctions are a pain, but for some styles totally worth it. I just did a double decocted dunkelweizen that is great, and got all of the color from the decoctions.
Decoction for Dummies... like ME!

thanks.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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I use Pro-Mash pH balancer and have water that comes out of the tap around 6 year long. I now understand why Adolph Coors liked the water here in CO. (Not that I do anything but cook brats in his swill)(I bet their beer was better pre-prohibition) So, thanks for that tip. I know we as homebrewers have smaller batches and can adjust recipes easier than the big guys, but wrecking a batch without the proper knowledge isn't something that I'm interested in. On a different note, does that mean that in my ales, it isn't a problem getting my mash over 170 while sparging? I learned how to brew all-grain from a guy who, the more I learn/brew, doesn't know what he's talking about. I say that because after I asked Jamil a few questions, I realized how wrong his instructing concerning yeast health was. And he owns a homebrew shop. Thanks for all your help!
-JT

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