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Old 08-21-2007, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default Why Decoct?

I assume that it is for a better final product, Durr, but how much difference does it make? Does anyone actually do it religeously? or even sometimes? It sounds like somewhat of a pain.

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Old 08-21-2007, 07:20 PM   #2
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Nope. Never have. Too much work IMHO.

Here's what John Palmer has to say about it.


Quote:
Decoction Mashing is a way to conduct multi-step mashes without adding additional water or applying heat to the Mash Tun. It involves removing about a third of the Mash to another pot where it is heated to conversion temperature, then boiled and returned to the Mash Tun. The portion removed should be pretty stiff, no free water should be showing above the top of the grain. This procedure accomplishes three things. First, the addition of boiling hot gruel to the main mash raises the temperature of the mash to the next rest. Second, the boiling process breaks up the starch molecules of the unconverted grist and produces a higher degree of extraction from moderately-modified continental malts. Lastly, it makes it possible to achieve the crisp, dry maltiness characteristic of German Oktoberfest and other continental lagers. For more information on Decoction Mashing, see the Recommended Reading Section in the Appendix.


His book How to Brew is highly recommended!
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:31 PM   #3
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I've done a decoction on a hefe, and I really liked the final product. You can pretty much replicate a decoction mash by using things like melanoidin malt, but I like doing the process. It does bring out another layer of maltiness, I think. I enjoy the process, even though it IS a lot more work. It's not something for every batch, unless your name is Kai.

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Old 08-21-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Ive used decoction on a wheat beer because I have a cooler tun and to do a multistep mash I had to. If I did infusions I would end up with too much water on my hands to try to boil off.

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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This question comes up every once in a while. I don't decoct and really don't have much desire to. Question for anyone who may know. Do professional breweries even decoct in the 21st century?

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #6
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Is infusion raising a separate grain to a higher temp and then adding it to the larger mash?

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:29 PM   #7
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doing a multistep infusion mash is by adding boiling water to your mash to raise it throughout the steps. So for a wheat if you wanted to start your mash off at 130 and raise it to 154 you would add an amount of boiling water to raise the temp. If you have a tiered set up with a keg tun and a burner you can simply turn up the heat. Using a cooler tun you have to raise the temp by adding water. The problem for me is Im still scrappin with 2 small pots and 5 gallon batches. Rather than end up with 10 gallons of wort to boil down to 5.5 gallons I remove a amount of water from the mash when its at say 130 then boil it and add it back in to raise the mash temp to 154. This is all easier to understand if you experiement with a brew program. I recommend brewsmith. You can pick from list of mashes and it will figure all the volumes and temps for you. Also check out the wiki which has more info on mulitstep mashes. As much as many people say its a pita i found it really easy and it only added about 10 minutes to my mash time because i have a pretty nice propane burner to heat up the decocted water.

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Old 08-21-2007, 09:50 PM   #8
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I did my first decoction on my annual bock this past year. the improvement was so marked that I am going to decoct every bock and Oktoberfest that I brew from now on. I'm not smart enough to know why it improved my beer so much , I only know that it did. I have said in the past that I never would do it, it's just a fancy step- mash, but I am obviously changing my tune.

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Old 08-21-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
I did my first decoction on my annual bock this past year. the improvement was so marked that I am going to decoct every bock and Oktoberfest that I brew from now on. I'm not smart enough to know why it improved my beer so much , I only know that it did. I have said in the past that I never would do it, it's just a fancy step- mash, but I am obviously changing my tune.
I am really going back and forth on whether I want to do a decoction on my upcoming first lager (some type of malty German lager).

Most malt you buy today is very well modified, I think if you have a good crush and mashing system you won't extract too much more sugar from the grain. So to me I think the promise of a better flavor is what I am after. I have read about it quite a bit and the best I can come up with is that a decoction promotes Maillard reactions which will lend a darker color and possibly better flavor.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:28 PM   #10
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One thing I've always wondered....

Decoctions are supposed to add maltiness.

Water over 170 degrees is supposed to bring tannins out of the husks of the grain.


How do you reconcile these two statements?

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