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Old 02-07-2008, 01:23 PM   #1
TerapinChef
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Default New to Step Mashing...

I have several all-grain brews under my belt using my 54Q Igloo mash/lauter tun using only single step infusion mashes. I really want to make a bock that will be able to age until the fall, when the perfect time to drink a bock arrives. My question is that I apparently need to either step mash or decoct this particular style. I don't feel comfortable attacking the decoction mash just yet, and was planning on doing a step mash. Can I do this stovetop in a brewpot, then just dump everything into my cooler to lauter and sparge? Is there any reason not to do this? (Carefully to avoid HSA of course...)

Here's my recipe if you're interested...
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Ed's Bock
Brewer: Ed Carpus
Asst Brewer:
Style: Traditional Bock
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 8.17 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 18.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.3 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 120 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
6 lbs Lager Malt (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.86 %
6 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 42.86 %
12.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 5.36 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.57 %
8.0 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 3.57 %
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.79 %
0.50 oz Nugget [12.00 %] (60 min) Hops 17.8 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer [3.20 %] (30 min) Hops 4.0 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.30 %] (15 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.30 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs German Bock Lager (White Labs #WLP833) Yeast-Lager

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Old 02-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #2
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With that large of a cooler, Id just infusion mash it, really... unless you have a SERIOUS stove, it will take alot of time to direct heat this thing on your stove.

If I knew what steps (temps) you wanted to rest at, I could give you a mash schedule in about 60 seconds... How many steps? What temps? Maybe Beer Smith will calculate that for you too.

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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Decoction is not as hard as people make it seem. I did a single decoction for my last batch and it only added about 30 minutes to the brew day. Wasn't difficult at all. I just used Beersmith to dial in my numbers and everything went quite smoothly.

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:27 PM   #4
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I actually missed my mash-out temp a bit low, so I had no choice but to use the decoction method to bring the heat up. (didn't have any more water ready) It's pretty easy. I just used a pot that held about a gallon (5qt dutch oven) and put it on high heat, watching the temp as I stirred. When it reached 200*, I dumped it back into the MLT, and stirred it in very well, all the while checking the temp. I had to pull 3 pots out, heat and redump into the MLT before I got it to my mash-out temp.

On another note, I used to do all my AG batches on my stove top. This last batch was my first with an MLT. So, it can be done, but it does take some time. I straddled my pot across the two burners on one side of the stove, and had them cranked full throttle. I then put it in the oven to help maintain the step temp I wanted. My batches took anywhere from 10 - 12 hours too. You might want to rethink your process, and figure out how much water @ what temp you need to raise the grain bed temp, and use your MLT. IMO

Good luck

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Old 02-09-2008, 03:45 AM   #5
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I tried doing it in beersmith but the numbers look wierd to me, so maybe you guys can help me out...I'm apparently looking for steps at 100, 122, 150, and 160...if this sounds strange also, maybe someone can help me figure this whole thing out. I normally just single step at about 156.

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Old 02-09-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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I found that beersmith's numbers were consistently low. I would add atleast 5 degrees hotter than beersmith says if I were to do it again. I would have 2 HLT's standing buy in case you come out low, just add more hot water. I did this with a hefeweizen and it turned out great, even though I missed my mash out temperature by a couple degrees. I'm drinking it now and it's one of the best beers I've made.

It had similar step temps as yours and had no problem in my igloo MLT, other than missing temps by a few degrees.

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