Originally Posted by Dgonza9
Interesting. I tend to think the effect is pretty small, if at all. Plus, if you don't like a feature of your beer, you can tweak the recipe. Beyond certain obvious no no's, I don't think there is a"right" way to do this. After all, a decoction is adding boiling mash to the mash tun. The enzymes the boiling mash touches must get above 176 degrees for a time before stirring. Even the external RIMS tape system has to heat the pipes up higher than your mash temp if you are ramping from 120 degrees.
It's an interesting concept though and may have some merits. Kind of like sous vide cooking, where you attempt to cook food using the temperature you would like to eat it at, and hence cook it for days.
I'm not knocking the science here. But in an operation this complex, I'm not sure that it matters or that I could isolate the variables involved in producing a beer to this one thing. I certainly don't think my beer has suffered (other than the one scorching incident) since I went to an electric system.
It's probably not huge given the surface area of contact. But it is something to consider - some designs maybe have more an issue than others.
You really can't adjust a recipe to fix something like this. Enzymes are active in certain temp ranges regardless of recipe.
As for decoction - that is why nobody does it anymore
It was formerly used for temp rises - great. We don't need that anymore though - we have the technology!