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Old 07-26-2014, 10:21 AM   #1
mackenziemicro
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Default To Dedoction or Not?

Hi all
I'm planning on doing a Bock in the next couple of weeks, grain bill will be mostly Munich malt wanted to put some Viena but the LHBS had no stock probably some carapils and some roasted barley or choc malt for colour not decided on hop schedule but I'm guessing that's not so important in a Bock as getting the malty flavour and aroma coming through...

My usual system is about 5-6 kg of base malt with some specialty grains... Mash in a cooler and batch Sparge... Pretty simple infusion...

I've done about 7 all grain following this method mostly ESBs and scotch ales .... After about a year if partial mashes...

Big question do I need to look into a Decoction mash for this Bock or will my normal procedure be just as good? Looking for recommendations??

Thanks....


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Old 07-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #2
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It won't taste the same, if that's what you are asking.

Decoction will give you a malty smoothness that you can't really get any other way. If you batch or infusion mash, it will taste cleaner and crisper.

I don't mind a one or two step decoction if it's traditional for that style of beer. But it does add time to your brew day.

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Old 07-27-2014, 01:54 AM   #3
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Thanks... Better start reading up then.....


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Old 07-27-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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Something to consider. When deciding on a recipe to use with the Tri-Decoction method, make sure that it isn't a recipe designed to work well with the English or Programmed mashing methods. During parts of the Decoction method, malt is boiled. If black malt or for that matter, any specialty grains are used the flavor can become aggressive, due to boiling the decoctions, if the volume is based on an English or Programmed recipe. Same thing if Munich is going to be part of the recipe.

Some other things to consider if you decide on attempting the Decoction method. Ensure that mash pH is 5.8 or lower, before boiling the decoctions. It takes longer than 20 minutes of boiling mash to create melanoidin. Boch decoctions are usually boiled for at least 30 minutes. Do not scorch the mash. Boiling the mash burst the hard starch that is stuck in the husk and starch not ground to dust. Since the mash liquid becomes loaded with starch. Rest times and temps need to be contolled in a way that will preserve enzymes. Enabling the enzymes to work on the starch throughout the longer decoction process. Starch carry over reduces stability and shelf life, both things needed in Lager. Boiling reduces protein gum. Use the fly sparge method. Batch sparging will flush the protein gunk that normally forms on top of the filter bed, down the line. The goop is not needed in Lager. Certain malt works better with the Decoction method. Crisp Euro Pils is produced for the Decoction method. Weyermann Pils and Bo-Pils light and dark floor malt are other good choices. The Kolbach and SNR number of the malt indicate the level of modification.

Take a look at Noonan's book on making Lager. The book is a good primer on the decoction method. Good luck and brew on!!!

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Old 07-27-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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One other thing that needs mentioning is that the decoction does not need to be done the traditional way. You may use a step mash or single infusion, and when the mash has converted, do the decoction to raise the temperature at the end to 170. Or even do two. Where in the process to decoct does not make a difference, and this is the technique that a couple of local brewers (one was trained in Germany) use to extend malt profiles on German brews.

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Old 07-27-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
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Take a look at Wobdee's posts on a process he's experimenting with. He's experimenting with the Schmitz decoction method. He's added a cool twist to the process. When I read the way he performed the process, I said to myself, WTF! Why didn't I think of that? If the process produces a beer close to what the tri-decoction method produces, it's a no brainer.

Finding the time to do a tri-decoction is pretty tough. Having a family, work, kids, makes finding 8 or more hours tough.

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Old 07-27-2014, 06:09 PM   #7
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When I was interested in decoction mashing I ran across "The Kaiser's" info. Like his .

"The Kaiser" talks about decoction mashing on Basic Brewing Radio, May 2010.
There is discussion about being able to tell the difference between decoction and step mash.

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
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Blind taste tests have shown little to no difference between decoction mashing and regular mashing in terms of flavor, so I generally recommend to not do it unless you really want to emulate the traditional methods of a style (like a pilsner). I've done decoction mashing and tested against a non decocted mash and found I couldn't tell the difference, so I don't decoct anymore.

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:52 PM   #9
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I'm with Talgrath - I was just part of a pretty involved experiment a couple months back involving decoctions that found, in the end, little to no difference between single infusion, single, double, or triple decoction, given the same recipe and equipment. Seemed like an awful lot of work for exceedingly little variance.

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Old 07-29-2014, 04:13 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback... It sounds like you guys have put a lot of research and testing into these methods and I appreciate your sharing your knowledge... Due to my inexperience I'm going to stick to my normal single infusion batch Sparge for this recipe and perhaps try a Decoction mash in the future when I'm more experienced .....


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