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Old 02-07-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
Manzier
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Default Decoction Mashing -Quick Question

There is something about decoction mashing that I don't understand. When doing normal infusion mashing, I am being vigilant when lautering to make sure that no grist or husks went into the boil kettle. I thought this was because if the grist boils it extracts tannins or puts more proteins into the wort. So my question is, why is this allowed in decoction mashing? Or is boiling grist in your main boil kettle not a problem at all? And if that's the case, why spend so much time in the vorlauf step trying to stop it from happening?

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Old 02-07-2014, 10:15 AM   #2
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Most of the videos I have seen, the brewer is scooping the grains out of the mash tun, boiling them, then returning them to the mash tun.
I too am studying up on this, but do not plan to attempt until it is nice and warm outside.

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Old 02-07-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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First of all, if you are getting grains in your boil kettle, it is a sign that your lauter is not working correctly. You not only aim to filter the wort FROM the grain, you also aim to filter THROUGH the grain. You want to get as much goodies as you can by rinsing the grain bed with water. I imagine it might not be working so well if it sucks the grains into the boil kettle.

Secondly, I never read that boiling your mash is a bad thing. On the contrary, as you point out, in decoction mashes it works perfectly. The only thing you need to look out for is that you do not denature your enzymes too much.
If I am not mistaken, that is why you try to take out the grain, rather than the liquid part of the wort for the boil. The enzymes should be dissolved in the liquid.

Last things is the tannin extraction. That is why you do not SPARGE with water over cca 78°C, but great deal of it depends on the pH. If you adjust your sparge water to be of the same pH as your mash, sparging with water over 78°C will not hurt so much.

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Old 02-07-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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Thanks Jogurt. I'm not getting grains in my boil kettle but I have been spending effort making sure I don't. I'm just starting to realize that it makes no difference if I do have some, other then getting more trub. I also spend alot of time doing the vorlauf to make sure it's crystal clean, which again I'm starting to realize is probably a wasted effort. It's only when I started learning about decoction that things are starting to clarify in my head.

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Old 02-07-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
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Jogurt is right, tannin extraction happens when you have high temperature AND high pH. If your mash pH is in line, boiling the thick mash shouldn't give you any tannic character at all.

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