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Old 06-03-2007, 04:20 AM   #1
Ryanh1801
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Default 3rd all grain done, and first Decoction mash

dang Im tiered started at 1 and just got done about 30 min ago .Brewed orfy's hobgoblin clone. Ended up with 65% efficiency, and have about decided thats as good as its gonna get with my LHBS crush. My mash ph was right on the money at 5.2. Mashed in at 122 let rest for 20 min. Removed 1/3 of the mash into pot, held at 155 then boiled for 20 min. added it back into the mash and got a temp of 148, a little low so I removed some more and heated it up. Only got to 153, I was wanting 156 but didn't feel like messing with it again. Removed another 1/3 of the mash and boiled for another 20 min. The resulting temp ended up being right above 160. BTW my grain to water ratio starting out was 1.3. ended up sparging with 5.8 gal of 170 degree water. I did two equal runnings. After pouring the water in I stirred the mash, then let rest 3 min. before starting first runnings. After I was done sparging I had a very, very full pot. I ended up having to boil for 1 hour before starting my hop schedule. Still ended up with around 5.5 gallons.

Mainly wondering if anyone could offer any advice on things I could do different. The one part that still confuses the hell out of me is the sparging. It seems that if you look at 3 different websites they all have a different was of Batch Sparging. Some say two equal runnings, other say to keep the mash toped up.

All in all i kind of liked the decoction mashing, and think im going to do it more often. Probably not going to brew again until I can buy my own grain crusher and maybe a fly sparging system. I liked the fact that I could say I only had 200 bucks in all my brewing equipment, but im starting to think I need to invest in some more equipment to make the best beer I can, Plus I really need a bigger pot and mash turn.

Any ways here are a few pics of todays brew.

This is heating up my first decoction.


Starting the boil.

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Old 06-03-2007, 04:21 AM   #2
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My new high tech. Stand.


Wow I need a bigger pot.


15 min. left

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Old 06-03-2007, 12:12 PM   #3
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That decoction looks delicious.

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Old 06-03-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
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One question, and one explanation which you may find helpful.

First, the question.

Why do a decoction mash?

My understanding is that this is only necessary when using malts that are not highly modified. I can see the point if using lager malts, and possibly if using a large amount of starchy adjuncts, but neither of these conditions seem to apply in this case.

Second, the sparging process.

There are two methods of sparging that I am familiar with:
Fly sparging, and batch sparging.

With fly sparging (AKA continuous sparging, and English sparging), you optionally add some near boiling water at the end of the mash to raise the mash temperature up to about 170 (I find this boosts efficiency), stir, and vorlauf until the runnings are free of grain particles.
This sets the grain bed to act as a filter. You then drain the runnings into the kettle very slowly, while simultaneously introducing sparge water to the top of the grain bed.
Many people use a sparge arm for this, but anything should work providing the water additions don't disturb the grain bed which would cause channeling. You keep the sparge topped up, and the runnings into the kettle gradually reduce in gravity as the sugars are rinsed out of the grain. Sparging should stop when the gravity of the runnings drops to about 1.010, or when you have collected sufficient wort. (I stop when I have collected sufficient wort, when the gravity is about 1.015. If I sparged more, I would get slightly higher efficiency, but it would take longer, and I would have to boil longer to reach the required volume.)
Fly sparging usually takes about 60 - 90 minutes, but I screwed up yesterday, and it took 125 minutes.

Batch sparging is much quicker.
At the end of the mash, you can optionally mash out as described above, stir, vorlauf, and drain the runnings into the kettle. These runnings from start to finish will have an almost constant gravity. When the initial runnings have been drained, you can estimate how much extra sparge water you need to reach the required volume. Calculate the batch volume by dividing the shortage in the kettle by the number of batches you are going to do (most people use two batches, but with a small lauter tun, you may need three or even four).
Add a batch of water, stir, wait a few minutes, vorlauf, then drain into the kettle.
Then repeat for the second, (third, (and fourth)) batches.
With batch sparging, the gravity of the runnings will remain more or less constant throughout the batch, but subsequent batches will have a lower gravity than the previous batches.

Again, you don't want to over sparge, and the runnings from your final batch should not be much below 1.010)

Successful fly sparging is much more equipment dependent than batch sparging, and requires more sparge water because. (At the end of a fly sparge, you will have a lauter tun with a large amount of sparge water, while with a batch sparge, all the water not absorbed by the grain will end up in the kettle.

Hope this helps.

-a.

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Old 06-03-2007, 05:20 PM   #5
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I am drinking my first decoction mashed beer right now.....its delicious. It took awhile to condition, at first I thought it was no good. But then i got my patience back, waited a few more weeks and now its great. And I agree, the decoction was kinda fun. Its some new and different to do while brewing, breaks up the routine. Good job.

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Old 06-03-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf
One question, and one explanation which you may find helpful.

First, the question.

Why do a decoction mash?

My understanding is that this is only necessary when using malts that are not highly modified. I can see the point if using lager malts, and possibly if using a large amount of starchy adjuncts, but neither of these conditions seem to apply in this case.
First off thanks for the info. Why did I decoction? For the hell of it. No real reason at all. I mainly thought It looked like a very cool process so Figured I would give it a try.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:00 PM   #7
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Looks nice, i'm sure it is milled but the grain looks unmilled. My crush never looks like that.

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Old 06-03-2007, 06:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandt9299
Looks nice, i'm sure its not but the grain looks unmilled.
I was thinking the same thing, but its a blurry pict., so I guess Ryan is the only one who really knows. He did say that he wasnt happy with the crush.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeast Infection
I was thinking the same thing, but its a blurry pict., so I guess Ryan is the only one who really knows. He did say that he wasnt happy with the crush.
Yes im not! I even asked this time for them to mill them more and they still where not milled well. Thats why im not brewing again until I buy a mill. You know the saying if you want **** done right you gotta do it your self.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #10
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I tried to take a picture of the raw grain, but its kind of blurry too.

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