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Old 09-04-2010, 05:49 AM   #21
winterparkmg
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Can you please help me understand this whole process? I just brewed an Oktoberfest and subsequently a Nut Brown with a schedule like this:
:25-:30 Dough in at ~40 iC
Step rest schedule at 50, 60, then 70 iC for :30
Fly sparge and boil, etc etc etc.


What I don't get is the difference between decoctions, rest times, and why you would effectively mash the decoction, then add that hot wort to the main mash later and do it all over again?

The nut brown, I had it in the boil kettle and just maintained the temps for the rest period, then kicked up the heat while stirring to reach the next increment. Should I expect something different/wrong/off about my final product?

Oddity to note was in the sparge. Even after 15 quarts of fly sparging, the runoff was still faintly to decently sweet. No numbers to help with, sorry.

So in the ways my process differs from yours, what major ramifications am I looking at? I guess I'm just still in the dark on the decoction process. I watched Kai's videos and have done oodles of reading, but I think it's just over my head...

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:18 PM   #22
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By boiling the mash in a decoction, you create melanoidins and other flavor compounds that wouldn't necessarily form in a normal step mash. You rest the decoction at the mash steps before boiling because once you boil it, the enzymes in it are denatured. Therefore, by resting the mash at the appropriate temps, you make the best use of the enzymes available. Otherwise, it would be up to whatever amount of enzymes remained in the original mash to convert the starches still there AND all the starches that are in the decoction. Does that make it more clear?
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #23
winterparkmg
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It does clear up the purpose of step mashing for me, but what I don't understand is: is the decoction necessary, or if I just bring the whole mash up to the correct temp with the burner and while stirring vigorously, then will that be any different?

The Oktoberfest was heated with no decoction, just boiling water additions. The Nut Brown was heated as a whole in the kettle.

Thanks for the help!

~Wm
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterparkmg View Post
It does clear up the purpose of step mashing for me, but what I don't understand is: is the decoction necessary, or if I just bring the whole mash up to the correct temp with the burner and while stirring vigorously, then will that be any different?

The Oktoberfest was heated with no decoction, just boiling water additions. The Nut Brown was heated as a whole in the kettle.

Thanks for the help!

~Wm
I guess you could do it that way but it may hurt efficiency unless you leave it at the saccharification temps for the full mash times and then bring the whole mash to a boil to develop the decoction flavors. That wouldn't allow the thick or thin decoctions as recommended for the different steps since youll be at the thickness of the mash the whole time. But it might work.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:33 PM   #25
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gerrywalsh, I don't know if you're following this thread but I can't respond to your pm about the recipe because your inbox is full.

Here's what I tried to pm:

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Originally Posted by gerrywalsh
Hi Brian,

I've been working away trying to get all my equipment together for making this Oktoberfest. The mashtun and the fermentation chamber is sorted so i suppose the a temperature controlled keggle would be the last piece of the puzzle. (If you think I need any other items let me know)

I just have a question or two with regard to the decoction process. Am i right in saying that when you deococt, you include the grain as opposed to filtering through a strainer. I'm sorry but I've come across conflicting advice on this site and said I'd ask somebody who has actually done one.

Also is there any PH requirements for the mash.
You definitely want grain in the decoction. I know it seems in complete opposition to everything we know, but the grain does need to get boiled. For the first two decoctions you'll want to pull a pretty thick aliquot to be decocted (meaning that there is a high proportion of grain to liquid. For the mash out you can pull a thinner aliquot. Be sure to decoct more than you think you will need for each step. I've found that you'll often need more than calculated to get the temp to rise as much as you want.

As far as pH, I would suggest just trying to keep it between 5.2-5.4.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #26
Brewer Gerard
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yup sorry Brian my limited messages folder rejected ur first pm. Anyhow that's great to get some clarity on that one. The material i read said pull from the thickest part of the mash, wasn't sure what that meant.

So I've decided when making my keggle since I don't have a false bottom to insert into it I'm gonna wrap the elements in a few layers of aluminium mesh. do you think this would be enough to avoid scorch. I have a PID temp controller for the keggle so surely the elements wont get that hot as i'm bringing up the temp
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:15 PM   #27
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I would imagine that you didn't need to worry about scorching on the element, but I've never done any electric brewing, I'm on a propane burner. There are lots of people here who do have electric systems though, and you could probably get your questioned answered by someone more knowledgeable on the subject than me in the equipment subforum.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:37 PM   #28
Brewer Gerard
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Very close to where i need to be in terms of hardware at this stage Brian. Just wondering could you point me toward some reading material for doing all grain home brewing. Every time I read over the thread I realise there is more and more i don't understand. I cant make sense of how all the volumes relate to one another in terms of boil size, batch size, sparge volume etc. (Completely bewildered as to how the hops are added)

I just don't want to make a stones of it when it comes to brew day.

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:41 PM   #29
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Haha, I'm sure you won't make a stones of it. If you haven't already, take a look at John Palmer's How To Brew. He has made the 1st addition available for viewing on the internet for free. Here's a link to the all grain section.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/index.html

That explains everything pretty well, but if you have more questions just ask.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #30
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Great stuff, think i pretty much have my head around the process. Just wondering how are the hops added and do you aerate your wort like i saw on palmers site. These are the hops i got. They are they the hersbrucker ones, presume they are ok?


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