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Old 09-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default decoction mash with a heat stick

Hey all,

I'm looking to do my first Bohemain Pilsner next weekend. The recipe calls for a double decoction mash. I normally brew 11 gallon batches, so that's what I'm planning here. I'm all electric in my basement with elements mounted in keggles and a RIMS tube for the mash. My keggles are all bottom draining.

So I'm trying to figure out the best way to make a double decoction work with my system.

Option 1: I could scoop out the mash needed for the decoction, put it in a pot, then carry it up to the stove. I can use the stove and a supplemental heat stick to do the boiling.

Option 2: I could just use the heat stick and constant stirring in the basement and see if that can get it to boiling.

Option 3: Forget the decoction. Do a step mash of some kind using the RIMS tube.

Any opinions? I'd like to do the decoction, actually, but I want to be realistic about doing it with a heat stick. I suppose I could also borrow a propane burner from someone at the brew club and do the decoction outside.

Thanks for the opinions. Cheers!

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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#3

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Sure would be easier. Any particular reason to forfeit the decoction?

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
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I'd think that, in a thick mash, you're going to get scorching with a heatstick unless it's ULWD. You should be OK if you keep the decoction you pull small enough to boil on the stove without using the stick. If it's not enough to get the temperature step you could use your RIMS to get the rest of the way.

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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I'd think that, in a thick mash, you're going to get scorching with a heatstick unless it's ULWD. You should be OK if you keep the decoction you pull small enough to boil on the stove without using the stick. If it's not enough to get the temperature step you could use your RIMS to get the rest of the way.
I agree. When I do a decoction, I use my kitchen stove. but no heat stick!

(I KNEW Denny would say #3! )
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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I vote decoction mash! Why, not because it will make your beer better but because I think it is fun to do every now and then.

I say stove top but I have no experience with heating elements so that's just me. That said, I'd skip any protein rest or anything like that and start somewhere in the 140s and then decoct enough to get up to 156*. Then if you want you can do the mashout too. That big step take a lot of grist to get the temp up, I'm gonna avoid it from now on I think

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #7
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Sure would be easier. Any particular reason to forfeit the decoction?
2 reasons....first, I'm not sure you'd get enough heat and that it would be evenly sistributed. Second, my experience is that a single decoction just doesn't do anything for beer flavor. To me, it's a lot of work with no pay off.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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I vote for #1. I am a fan of the decoction mashes. Even heat distribution on a stove will prevent scorching better than the heat stick.

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Brewing up the pilsner today. Will actually be doing it at a buddy's house from the brew club. He has an outdoor setup and the weather is favorable.

I've been looking into both a steam wand and an induction cooktop setup. I suppose if I really want to build in a capacity for regular decoction mashes in my indoor electric setup, the induction cooktop looks appealing. $70 for a 1500 watt cooktop. Another $90 or so for a 10 gallon induction pot. It's an investment, but not out of bounds. I'm not sure if 1500 watts is enough, though, as I'm generally doing 10 gallon batches.

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