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Old 01-21-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
MaineLotus
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Default Mash Schedule Help

Jumping head first into all-grain brewing. Have done a few extract brews and now I am hooked. I built a HERMS system and would like to try it out with a Rochefort 10 clone recipe this weekend. The recipe calls for a decoct mash schedule. Is it possible to convert this to a mash schedule that works with my equipment? Sorry if this is a novice question, I am still in the learning stages.

Here's the original decoct mash schedule:

Step Time Description Step Temp
30 min Add 20.63 qt of water @ 143.5F 135 F
30 min Decoct 3.24 qt of mash and boil it 145 F
30 min Decoct 7.44 qt of mash and boil it 165 F
15 min Decot 3.71 qt of mash and boil it 172 F

Can I simply follow this mash schedule and instead of boiling would I bring the mash up the step temp and hold it for the specified minutes?

Thanks guys, learning a lot from this site.

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/deco...h-video-59872/

This is decoction. Sounds like you're thinking of a simple step mash with direct heat.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:54 PM   #3
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Thanks, I have watched this video. My question is whether it is possible to convert from a decoct mash to a step mash utilizing a HERMS system?

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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Stepping up the temps on a HERMS system is not the same as performing a decoction mash. With decoction, you're drawing off some wort and heating it, which adds some caramelization (sp?) to the taste equation. With HERMS, the recirculating wort never reaches a temp much higher than the mash temp, so theres no caramelization.
You can certainly try to use your HERMS to step through these temperatures, but the beer won't be exactly the same as if you decocted it. That said, it will still be pretty good beer.
Since this is your first time using the new equipment you may have trouble with dialing in your temp. I'd strongly recommend picking a recipe with a single mash temp (say, 153). That way you can learn about how your setup holds temp,and how to tweak it.

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Awesome man. I think that was the most helpfull post Ive gotten so far. Thank you!
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineLotus View Post
My question is whether it is possible to convert from a decoct mash to a step mash utilizing a HERMS system?
Apples and oranges.

Quote:
  • Because of the boiling, cell walls of the grains are destroyed. This allows an easier access for the enzymes to the starch. As a result the efficiency of decoction mashes is generally higher than for other methods. (This is probably the reason almost all megabrewers use this method)
  • Grains that need gelatinizing at high temperatures can be boiled separately in one of the decoction steps (can be useful if you use for example rice or rye).
  • Boiling part of the mash extracts more flavour from the grains. Especially beers made with a lot of pale malts improve by this effect.
  • A slight Caramelization can occur during the boil, giving a fuller flavour to the beer (I don't know why, but the effect of adding dark malt is not quite the same).
  • Part of the protein already coagulates during mashing, which helps to produce a clearer beer.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Thanks ANOldUR, I now see there is a definite difference between the two methods.

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