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Old 08-28-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default Decoction brewing : Does it change the taste of beer a lot ?

Hi everyone, I'm a huge fan of german beer and it push me to try to brew one of these. I have heard that most German beer is brewed by decoction. I look on the web and a lot of recipe of (for exemple) Hefeweizen is brew by one step infusion. Does it change the taste of the beer ? Is theres some german style (Altbier, bock, helles, ...) that is not brewed by decoction ?

Thanks a lot.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:39 AM   #2
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You would probably not use decoction mash for a hefeweizen, but for a bock, oktoberfest, Pilsner you would want to.
Some people say that you can get just as good of flavor using specialty malt these days like melanoidin malt and some others on the market.

Here is an article
http://byo.com/stories/techniques/ar...ing-techniques

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:43 AM   #3
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The can of worms has been opened.

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Old 08-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoedBrew View Post
You would probably not use decoction mash for a hefeweizen
You're incorrect, hefeweizen's are most commonly done in Germany via decoction, though maybe not so much double or triple these days.

Eric Warner wrote the book German Wheat Beer:

http://www.amazon.com/German-Wheat-B...man+wheat+beer

I've read it and he studied at the Weihenstephan brewing school and everything in his book says decoction.


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Old 08-28-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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"Does it change the taste of the beer ?"

If you really love german beer, I think it worth experimenting. Brew 1 batch using a simple infusion and another with the whole decoction and see if you and your friends can tell the difference. I'd start with a hefe since those have a short turnaround.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Check out Denny Conn's website. He talks about experimenting with it and not tasting a result with the extra effort. However, other people I have heard swear it makes a difference. I have never done it.

Gordon strong suggests using a no-sparge approach to maltier beers like bocks that contribute to a boosted malt body. This is all second hand, I will let others chime in about their actual experience. I say go for it and see what you think.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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Ask yourself this...

Do you brew to be done as fast a possible?

Or

Do you brew for the fun and the experience, and the longer the better?

I brew to brew, not be be done as fast as possible, because then it becomes a chore, this is a hobby right, and hobbies are made to take up time and entertain you.

So that being said, decoct, take your time, and enjoy. I loved my first decoction, my garage smelt so good, couldn't tell you if it made my beer better but it was great.

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingbarrister View Post
He talks about experimenting with it and not tasting a result with the extra effort. However, other people I have heard swear it makes a difference.
I've done it a few times, but only with Weyermann malts and I definitely tasted a difference. I'll reiterate, this was only with Weyermann malt though. I was ok with the taste using single decoction but it was always missing something and the decoction fixed it. When I made a hefeweizen up with Rahr malt though it was fine simply with a single infusion, so who knows... might be that some malts really benefit from it while others don't as much.


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Old 08-29-2012, 03:02 AM   #9
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Heres some real world research:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/deco...n-malt-345844/

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxkling View Post
Ask yourself this...

Do you brew to be done as fast a possible?

Or

Do you brew for the fun and the experience, and the longer the better?

I brew to brew, not be be done as fast as possible, because then it becomes a chore, this is a hobby right, and hobbies are made to take up time and entertain you.

So that being said, decoct, take your time, and enjoy. I loved my first decoction, my garage smelt so good, couldn't tell you if it made my beer better but it was great.

This is the main point here IMO. I just did a double decocted Oktoberfest and loved it. I got to get hands on with my beer, study and do research on a new method of brewing and then show off my knowledge to all my friends. That said, it was a ton of work and a long, very hot day but I'd do it again and I haven't even tasted the beer yet.
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