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Old 01-10-2013, 11:27 PM   #21
weirdboy
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For what it's worth I used Beersmith to plan my last decoction recipe and it completely nailed the numbers. I hit all my step temps right on the money. That was using my igloo ice cube MLT and a small 4 gallon pot for the decoctions. I use a cheapo $1 plastic pitcher that has measurements down the side to pull out the mash, so that it's easy to keep track of my decoction volume.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
For what it's worth I used Beersmith to plan my last decoction recipe and it completely nailed the numbers. I hit all my step temps right on the money. That was using my igloo ice cube MLT and a small 4 gallon pot for the decoctions. I use a cheapo $1 plastic pitcher that has measurements down the side to pull out the mash, so that it's easy to keep track of my decoction volume.
I ran it through Beersmith too, and all the numbers roughly jived with Palmer's formula. I'm assuming that because I mash in a kettle, it was temp loss. I expected it and tried to account for it, hence the larger pulls. Glad I did. But the point here is that the actual decoction volumes you need are going to be equipment-specific.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:39 PM   #23
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I usually do triple decoctions on pilsners, doubles on hefe's, light and dark, and I always do decoction mash outs. I usually pull thin decoctions to minimize scorching and have never had an issue. If anything my efficiency goes up with all the torturing the grist goes through. I'd bet there isn't much of a difference outside of a maltier and slightly darker beer. I just do them because it lengthens my brew day/zen time and they are fun once you get used to them.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:46 PM   #24
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I've done it twice and each time I've viewed it as an experiment. Not too concerned with the results more so just getting the process down. That said, my Oktoberfest was great!
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:14 AM   #25
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I did a double decoction on my first-ever Hefeweizen last year (this one), and while it's cool to be able to say I've done one, I don't think I would do it again.

One of the much-debated topics re: decocting is why to bother with it when modern malts are so well modified. One aspect of the debate is the necessity of the protein rest, and my experience actually gave me a side in the debate: my Hef had absolutely terrible head retention, and I'm pretty sure it's because I did an unnecessary protein rest; the purpose of the rest is to break down proteins, and proteins are responsible for head retention. Everything else about the beer (banana/clove taste, mouthfeel, color, turbidity, etc.) was great, but it would lose its head in less than a minute.

I'm going to re-brew the Hef this year and sub in a pound or so of melanoidin malt instead of decocting, to see once and for all whether the poor head retention was a fluke.

-Rich
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:29 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
And I did an experiment comparing decocted to non decocted beers. The result after a blind tasting was that there was not a preference for the decocted beers. The results start here on pg. 25

http://518124.cache1.evolutionhostin.../DennyConn.pdf
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
And I did an experiment comparing decocted to non decocted beers. The result after a blind tasting was that there was not a preference for the decocted beers. The results start here on pg. 25

http://518124.cache1.evolutionhostin.../DennyConn.pdf

Ahhh....this was the experiment I referenced earlier. I incorrectly recalled the specifics, but at least I had the overall conclusion right
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