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Old 03-28-2006, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default George Fix Decoction Conversation

At the risk of starting more debate (which is not a bad thing) I am passing along another link to another George Fix piece. This is an on-line conversation in which he talks a great deal about decoction. FYI

http://www.cmg.net/belgium/clubhub/transcript.html

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Old 03-28-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
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It is interesting. I recently did a single decoction on a Weizenbock, and I'm really considering brewing it again using infusions in order to facilitate a direct comparison. I've mentioned melanoidin malt in other threads, as well, which I have used but have never compared directly to a decocted beer. I do wonder if it is just as effective as a decoction at introducing melanoidins into the finished product.

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Old 03-28-2006, 05:59 PM   #3
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Thanks again BrewPastor for digging out such a great source of information. I see a lot of my views and techniques justified in this article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Fix
Esters can be produced in many many ways. One of the most important is uncontrolled yeast growth at the beginning of the fermentation. As a consequence, I usually pitch at a few degrees lower than the steady state fermentation temperature because I have found the bad ester / nail polish tones can be very quickly formed from elevated temperatures at the very start. Ironically, we have also seen extremely high O2 levels (typically, when excess oxgenation of the yeast as opposed to the wort has been used). We are all concerned about lag times and correctly so. But, as far as esters go, I would prefer a "soft" start. more Where the fermentation may take up to 8 hours to get going, because of the initially low temperature. end
This will make me work even harder to get the pitching temp for Lagers below 50F. The last one was pitched at 60F, which I thought was OK, but the fermentation started to fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Fix
In the temperature range of 140 - 145 F, beta-amylase is active. I find in my own brews that I can strongly affect the actual fermentability of wort by a rest in this range. The rest at 68 - 72 degrees C, pardon my change in temp's units does a number of things. Theoretically, this is where alpha-amylase is most active. There is also some new results showing that a rest in this range will incourage the formation of foam positive glyco-proteins.
This shows Dr. Fix's german school of mashing. The 2 step saccrification (1405 and 168) will work very well for high to medium bodied beers. If you want to have a drier beer, you may have to do the Maltose rest at 150 in oder to get both amylases to work and convert most of the dextrines to fermentable sugars.

But I like the added benefit of the 2nd Sccrification (160F) rest -> improoved head retention (especially after I killed the head retention with my protein rest )

Kai
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser
This will make me work even harder to get the pitching temp for Lagers below 50F. The last one was pitched at 60F, which I thought was OK, but the fermentation started to fast.
I thought most people started their lagers ~65-70F and then chilled them once fermentation started?

<---- has never brewed a lager.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Teddy Roosevelt never brewed a lager? Wow!

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Old 03-28-2006, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
Teddy Roosevelt never brewed a lager? Wow!
He sure as hell drank a few! Bully!
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
I thought most people started their lagers ~65-70F and then chilled them once fermentation started?
That's the problem.

Home brewing literature commonly suggests that lagers are pitched warm and then cooled once fermentation started. But this is because home brewers notoriously underpitch their lagers. If they were not started a higher temps, you would not have enough yeast and a very sluggish fermentation. The latter seems worse than a the esters that are produced during the initial growth phase. Especially since most of these esters can be reduced by a diacetyl rest and/or long lagering. This is what I experienced with my first lager: strong alcohol aroma after 3 weeks, alcohol aroma was gone after 5 more weeks.

But in order to pitch cold, you need to have lot's of yeast (Noonan recommends 80ml of yeast sediment for a 20L (5Ga) batch. You won't get this much yeast when you make a simple 1-2qt starter. You will need to grow the yeast by making one starter, letting it ferment out, decanting the liquid, adding fresh wort, letting in ferment out ... and so on. This is best done on a stir plate in order to ensure good aeration. Which I still have to build for myself

Or you just reuse yeast sediment from the primary.

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Old 03-28-2006, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
I thought most people started their lagers ~65-70F and then chilled them once fermentation started?

<---- has never brewed a lager.
Not me. I pitch to fermentation temperture wort with a gallon of active yeast starter. My lag temps are 6 to 8 hours.
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
Not me. I pitch to fermentation temperture wort with a gallon of active yeast starter. My lag temps are 6 to 8 hours.
Boo Boo, when you pitch that large of a starter, aren't you worried about throwing off yout recipe. You should end up with 20% less IBUs if you pitch a gal of unhopped starter into a 5gal batch.

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Old 03-29-2006, 01:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser
Boo Boo, when you pitch that large of a starter, aren't you worried about throwing off yout recipe. You should end up with 20% less IBUs if you pitch a gal of unhopped starter into a 5gal batch.

Kai
I think pitching onto the yeast cake looks like the clear winner here. Well, once you get past that first batch!
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