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View Poll Results: Should I Decoct My Amber Lager?
Yeah, it'll make a huge difference. Do it, without a doubt! 10 18.87%
No, it's not worth the extra time and effort. 13 24.53%
Maybe...but only if you have the extra time to burn 24 45.28%
Other... 6 11.32%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-30-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default I'm Contemplating Decoction...

I was just going to do a 2-step direct-heated mash on my amber lager on Saturday, but after posting the recipe, I'm leaning more and more towards 2-step decoction. It sounds like it'll add some time and effort to my mash, but if I wake up an hour earlier, I could make it work.

Is it really worth it? I've searched HBT and lots of people say it makes a big difference. The problem, though, is that I was planning on brewing 2 batches side-by-side, and this seems like it requires a lot of attention.

I'm torn. I really want to make a great amber lager, but I also have to make my basil IPA before my cinnamon-basil plant dies off...


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Old 08-30-2007, 06:19 PM   #2
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Decoctions are a lot of work, when I decocted my hefe, it took an extra two hours (but I had a lot of trouble getting to my sac rest temp). I wouldn't try and do another batch at the same time, nor do it when you have the pressure of needing to be done by a certain time. Decoctions are fun and enjoyable if time's not an issue, if it is, it'll just be extra stress and work.

Brew the Basil IPA (if you must ) this weekend, do the Amber Lager when you've got a full day.


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Old 08-30-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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I do em every once in a while. Great results, but really I would only do it with certain recipes. I hear Ralph Nader does em in his sleep.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:29 PM   #4
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I've done a couple of them now. I agree with the_bird, they're a lot of fun if you have the time to do them, but I wouldn't want to do one in a hurry. And they definitely demand your full attention.

I'm honestly not sure how much difference I saw between a single infusion hefe and a decocted one, but sometimes I like to do procedure for procedures sake.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:31 PM   #5
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i dont think decoction are all that much more work, at least not an extra 2 hours as posted above. When I tried mine (a single decoction, raising from a protein rest to sac. rest), I did all the math, planned it out before hand and executed it. Probably added....oh maybe 30 mins more. I say try it, and then you know for your self what its all about. Now if you are doing a double brew day....with a double decoction...that maybe a little over whelming because once your decoction starts boiling, you need to basically stir it constantly. I would recommend trying a single decoction first. Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:36 PM   #6
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It only took me an extra two hours because I was doing an acid rest, and there was an extra thirty or forty minutes while I futzed around getting up to 152° (or whatever temp I was going for). I basically ended up doing like three decoctions instead of one...
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:39 PM   #7
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So...okay, help me out here. With my Amber Lager recipe, will I get a marked improvement from a single decoc? Or is a double step really where it's at?

I'm actually leaning more towards holding off on the IPA and just doing the lager by itself. If I mash in at 5am, is it realistic to be done (in the fermenter) by noon?

EDIT: If I were to just do the Amber Lager, and I wanted to do a double decoc just because lagers take so long to be ready and I want it to be as good as it can be...then what should my mash schedule look like? I'm getting mixed signals from the various google results.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:49 PM   #8
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I like doing them a lot, not sure if it makes a beer any better. But the beers I have done one on have turned out very good. Just remember when you remove the grains take about 1 1/2 times more than you think you need to take out. I just generally think its a cool process,that and I mash in a cooler so it is my only way to step mash.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:01 PM   #9
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this is where i got most of my info from

http://brewery.org/library/DecoctFAQ.html
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:09 PM   #10
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Do it if you have the time. If it were me, I'd think a two-step infusion would be fine. IMO, with today's modified malts, I don't think decoctions are as necessary as they once were. However, some styles might benefit from it.


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