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Old 12-29-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
aarong
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Default Belgian Tripel, thoughts on a decoction mash

I am going to be brewing an all grain Belgian Tripel. I want to conduct the mash schedule as found in Gordon Strongs "Brewing better Beer" He uses a step mash:

131 15 min
138 15 min
145 45 min
157 15 min

My problem is that I have a 10 gallon cooler but no rims system. I do not have the space to do a step mash.

I can do a decoction mash but was wondering if I should use the same schedule as if i was step mashing? The starch will be broken down more in a decoction mash and it sounds like that would change the taste.

Am I crazy to just use the same schedule but in a decoction mash for the tripel?
Is it going to taste terrible if I did the above schedule using the decoction method?


Note: I am not looking to debate if a mash schedule is needed due to the new highly modified malting processes. I am assuming that it will make a difference in this beer.

Thanks for your help!

Aaron

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Old 12-29-2013, 12:31 AM   #2
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I've swapped out step mashes for decoctions and the beer tastes fine. YMMV, but I say go for it.

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Old 12-29-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Decoctions were how step mashes were done prior to thermometers, you'd be fine. I don't know how much flavor impact decoctions have, but I think they're fun and traditional.

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Old 12-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #4
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That sounds like a lot of work.

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Old 12-29-2013, 02:40 AM   #5
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That's the fun of it!

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:47 AM   #6
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I don't think you will be brewing a tripel with decoction mashing, but do whatever you feel like.
Typical tripel would be 80-85% pilsner and 15-20% sugar, unless you would like a little more maltiness, then add perhaps 5% Belgian aromatic malt in the bill. Infusion mash on low end of saccharification for a dry finish.
Decoction will get you much of the Maillard reactions as aromatic supplies, but I think you would get a much more malt-forward beer with the decoction, where tripels are more about the yeast driven flavors. The step mash you cite would yield a dry beer, but you could probably achieve it if you mash very thick for the lower temp rests and infuse to get the higher temps or cut out the 145/157 and just rest at 148-150.

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Old 12-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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I do want to avoid too much of a maillard reaction. I'm looking for a dry beer but with some malt characteristics as well. It sounds like combing the last two steps and making it at 149 would work well. After reading more on it I think I will use a step mash. (I want to avoid the roast beef flavor) Here is my new schedule thoughts?

Protein rest : Mash in 131F (.75qts/lb) 15 min
B amylese: Add 1.5 qts at 201F to reach 138 F 15min (for higher attenuation)
A amylese: Add 14.7qts at 160.7 to reach 149 F for 45 min(to get some more A amylese but not too much still want high attenuation)
Drain then batch sparge with 1.3 gallons

So I will skip the decoction to avoid some of those flavors. I will be using a 10 gallon cooler for this.

Thanks

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Old 12-30-2013, 02:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarong View Post
I do want to avoid too much of a maillard reaction. I'm looking for a dry beer but with some malt characteristics as well. It sounds like combing the last two steps and making it at 149 would work well. After reading more on it I think I will use a step mash. (I want to avoid the roast beef flavor) Here is my new schedule thoughts?

Protein rest : Mash in 131F (.75qts/lb) 15 min
B amylese: Add 1.5 qts at 201F to reach 138 F 15min (for higher attenuation)
A amylese: Add 14.7qts at 160.7 to reach 149 F for 45 min(to get some more A amylese but not too much still want high attenuation)
Drain then batch sparge with 1.3 gallons

So I will skip the decoction to avoid some of those flavors. I will be using a 10 gallon cooler for this.

Thanks
Seems like a lot of worrying. Either will make a fine beer, as will a single infusion.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:35 AM   #9
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The decoction would make a fine beer, indeed, just not a typical/to style tripel.

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