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-   -   I'm Contemplating Decoction... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/im-contemplating-decoction-37513/)

Evan! 08-30-2007 06:15 PM

I'm Contemplating Decoction...
I was just going to do a 2-step direct-heated mash on my amber lager on Saturday, but after posting the recipe, I'm leaning more and more towards 2-step decoction. It sounds like it'll add some time and effort to my mash, but if I wake up an hour earlier, I could make it work.

Is it really worth it? I've searched HBT and lots of people say it makes a big difference. The problem, though, is that I was planning on brewing 2 batches side-by-side, and this seems like it requires a lot of attention.

I'm torn. I really want to make a great amber lager, but I also have to make my basil IPA before my cinnamon-basil plant dies off...

the_bird 08-30-2007 06:19 PM

Decoctions are a lot of work, when I decocted my hefe, it took an extra two hours (but I had a lot of trouble getting to my sac rest temp). I wouldn't try and do another batch at the same time, nor do it when you have the pressure of needing to be done by a certain time. Decoctions are fun and enjoyable if time's not an issue, if it is, it'll just be extra stress and work.

Brew the Basil IPA (if you must :rolleyes:) this weekend, do the Amber Lager when you've got a full day.

Drunkensatyr 08-30-2007 06:24 PM

I do em every once in a while. Great results, but really I would only do it with certain recipes. I hear Ralph Nader does em in his sleep.

bradsul 08-30-2007 06:29 PM

I've done a couple of them now. I agree with the_bird, they're a lot of fun if you have the time to do them, but I wouldn't want to do one in a hurry. And they definitely demand your full attention.

I'm honestly not sure how much difference I saw between a single infusion hefe and a decocted one, but sometimes I like to do procedure for procedures sake. :)

Yeast Infection 08-30-2007 06:31 PM

i dont think decoction are all that much more work, at least not an extra 2 hours as posted above. When I tried mine (a single decoction, raising from a protein rest to sac. rest), I did all the math, planned it out before hand and executed it. Probably added....oh maybe 30 mins more. I say try it, and then you know for your self what its all about. Now if you are doing a double brew day....with a double decoction...that maybe a little over whelming because once your decoction starts boiling, you need to basically stir it constantly. I would recommend trying a single decoction first. Just my 2 cents

the_bird 08-30-2007 06:36 PM

It only took me an extra two hours because I was doing an acid rest, and there was an extra thirty or forty minutes while I futzed around getting up to 152° (or whatever temp I was going for). I basically ended up doing like three decoctions instead of one... :( :rolleyes:

Evan! 08-30-2007 06:39 PM

So...okay, help me out here. With my Amber Lager recipe, will I get a marked improvement from a single decoc? Or is a double step really where it's at?

I'm actually leaning more towards holding off on the IPA and just doing the lager by itself. If I mash in at 5am, is it realistic to be done (in the fermenter) by noon?

EDIT: If I were to just do the Amber Lager, and I wanted to do a double decoc just because lagers take so long to be ready and I want it to be as good as it can be...then what should my mash schedule look like? I'm getting mixed signals from the various google results.

Ryanh1801 08-30-2007 07:49 PM

I like doing them a lot, not sure if it makes a beer any better. But the beers I have done one on have turned out very good. Just remember when you remove the grains take about 1 1/2 times more than you think you need to take out. I just generally think its a cool process,that and I mash in a cooler so it is my only way to step mash.

Yeast Infection 08-30-2007 08:01 PM

this is where i got most of my info from


Rhoobarb 08-30-2007 08:09 PM

Do it if you have the time. If it were me, I'd think a two-step infusion would be fine. IMO, with today's modified malts, I don't think decoctions are as necessary as they once were. However, some styles might benefit from it.

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