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Old 03-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
RandomBeerGuy
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Default First Decoction Attempt Failed

So i tried my hand at a dunkelweizen. I was confused on the process. Here I will share my failure with you and maybe your master decocter's (pun intended) can help me out. I used beer smith to help me.

Protein rest at 125 for 25 mins
Decoct 10qts then bring to a boil at 154 45mins (boiling is much hotter)
Add decoction back to tun for a rest of 10 min at 168.

With those in instructions I was super confused I tried watching youtube for tips and was still lost. I did do the protein rest, then I pulled 10qts held at temp 154 for 45 mins, brought to boil, added decoction back to tun. My temp only raised to 140, I added more hot water to bring it to 144. Then I gave up held it at 45 mins to attempt to snag sugars. Then fly sparged and started to boil as normal. I did not hit my OG infact my og was to be 1.047ish but I hit 1.037 . I have a feeling I did not do this decoction correctly. When you pull out what ever is needed for the decoction. Do you instantly bring it to a boil then add it right back. Should take no less the 15 mins or so. So that the tun does not cool down. Please help me so when I brew this brew again I can succeed.

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Gah. You need to know the purpose of a decoction before you attempt to do it. You are removing mash, boiling it, then putting it back in to get to your next step temp. Aside from maybe holding your decoction at 168 for a few minutes, there is no reason to do anything other than bring it to a boil then put it back in the tun.

I just did a double last night on a hefe so I'll retrace my steps.
-Bring ~4gal water to ~138 degrees
-Add water to grain shooting for a step temp of 122-123
-Half hour later remove ~2.5 gal mash bring to boil slowly but steadily to avoid scorching
-Add decoction back to mash aiming for ~153 sacc step temp
-Half hour later remove ~2 gal mash bring to boil slowly but steadily to avoid scorching
-Add decoction back to mash aiming for ~168 mash out temp
-Sparge

A triple decoction would add an acidification rest so your initial dough in temp would be ~105 then you would do a decoction to get to your 122-123.

I do triples for pilsners and doubles for hefes (though last night was my first hefe brew), and a single decoction on every batch to mash out. I aim for about 45 minutes per rest (including the time the remaining mash sits in the tun while the decoction is being boiled). Like I mentioned some people advocate letting your decoction rest at 168 to terminate enzyme reaction but I don't. Also, for light beers you don't want to boil your decoction too long. For something like a dunkelweizen you could lengthen your rests to an hour each and do a good hearty 10-15 minute boil on each decoction.

Once you get a feel for decoctions, they are really fun to do, and eventually really easy too. You do add some time on to your brew day but what's so bad about that? I say nothing.

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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You just hit it right on the head to where I thought I messed up. I have read about decoctions but it was all confusing to me. Thanks for clearing this up for me. Until I get around to brewing the dunkelweizen again im stuck with a really low abv but great tasting belgian.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
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As a bit of advice from some one not very experienced ( like 5 times ),

Decoct quite a bit more than you need. Add it back to the mash right off the flame, it cools quickly. leave the pot on the burner if you can because the stuff cools as you stir the mash and reach equilibrium. Let the unused decoction cool to the new mash temp +2 degrees or so then add it back in to the mash.

I did the same thing as you first try. Watch braukaiser's youtube seminar.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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Getting ready to do my first decoction mash....this thread has been quite helpful...so thanks!!

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Old 03-10-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharp3 View Post
Getting ready to do my first decoction mash....this thread has been quite helpful...so thanks!!
Glad we could help
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