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Old 08-05-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Decoction vs melanoidin malt

I've completed a study evaluating the effects of triple-decoction mashing compared to a no-sparge with 5% melanoidin malt. Here's a link to the whole thing: http://nateobrew.blogspot.com/2012/0...no-sparge.html

The long and short of it:
1) Decoction probably won't make your beer better.
2) Using melanoidin malt doesn't emulate decoction mashing
3) 3X leaned toward dry/bitter, 5% leaned toward malty/balanced. (OG and FG were identical)
4) Evaluators significantly preferred 5% over 3X.

This study was really easy to put together, very hard to analyze. I've uploaded all of my raw data so you can look at it and decide for yourself if I've drawn reasonable conclusions.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #2
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Cool study, very well written. I would have like to see a control added with neither method used to see if the recipe alone was changed significantly by either method.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
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Cool study, very well written. I would have like to see a control added with neither method used to see if the recipe alone was changed significantly by either method.
The problem was I could only brew two beers at once. I wanted to control as many variables as I could, and I wanted to use "typical" homebrewer-sized batches. I could've done two gallon batches and fit more in, but I wasn't sure how the change in batch size would affect the results. Since I could only compare two beers, I went with the two beers I was most interested in comparing.

One certified judge still confused the two beers, so I think differences were pretty subtle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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Interesting... I'll have to look this over when I find some time.

I've never used melanoidin malt, but have done a few triple decoctions. I find the maltiness a lot stronger than the single-step infusion mash that I typically use, but the time constraints needed for a 3X is crazy. Perhaps if I get the time, I can reproduce your experiment and see how my results coincide...

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Nice job, and great writeup.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Perhaps if I get the time, I can reproduce your experiment and see how my results coincide...
I strongly recommend doing a blind triangle test if you can. When I did an A/B test it was really obvious what the differences were. In an A/B/X test I had to work a lot harder to tell any difference. A/B tests tend to exaggerate differences.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpc View Post
Interesting... I'll have to look this over when I find some time.

I've never used melanoidin malt, but have done a few triple decoctions. I find the maltiness a lot stronger than the single-step infusion mash that I typically use, but the time constraints needed for a 3X is crazy. Perhaps if I get the time, I can reproduce your experiment and see how my results coincide...
What malt (type and maltster) are you using when you do your decoctions? I was under the impression that most malts are well enough modified that the decoction doesn't really provide any added benefit. Only in the case of a less modified to under modified malt will it come through in the end.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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What malt (type and maltster) are you using when you do your decoctions? I was under the impression that most malts are well enough modified that the decoction doesn't really provide any added benefit. Only in the case of a less modified to under modified malt will it come through in the end.
Decoction does two things for sure, regardless of modification level: increase extract efficiency and reduce hot break material in the kettle. I have full details of recipe and mash schedule if you wanna click through the link to "latest version of results and summary." The Kolbach index mostly impacts the temp and length of protein rests, although if it's actually undermodified your extract efficiency will suffer a bit compared to a single infusion. You can't buy malt with an SNR low enough to "undermodified," but you could make it yourself.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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It was a great experiment, Nate, and I hope the results get the viewing they deserve.

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challenger440 View Post
What malt (type and maltster) are you using when you do your decoctions? I was under the impression that most malts are well enough modified that the decoction doesn't really provide any added benefit. Only in the case of a less modified to under modified malt will it come through in the end.
I'm using "typical" modern malts-- Weyermann Pilsen/Munich/Vienna, with small amounts of specialty grains included.

Highly-modified malts eliminate the need for the rests, according to everything I've read; this is true for both decoction and infusion mashing. But I've also read that decoction provides benefits that increase the maltiness of a brew. This is the reason that some suggest using melanoidin malt in and infusion mash to get the same maltiness as a decoction; this is what the OP was trying to study.

Personally, I just like wasting time doing the triple decoctions . No, not really... The real reason I do it is that it makes me appreciate the old brewing methods, even if I don't have to. Yes, I'm a bit... strange.
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