How necessary is decoction and step mashing for lagers? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How necessary is decoction and step mashing for lagers?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-22-2013, 01:04 AM   #1
Flipadelphia
Recipes 
 
May 2013
Posts: 441
Liked 92 Times on 69 Posts



Hey all - just getting into lagers now that I have a temp controlled ferm chamber.

I've been looking up recipes on the database on here and most of them note some sort of mash at various increasing temperatures and/or decoction mashing.

My question is, I really don't want to do all that if I don't have to. What am I missing out on, and what disadvantages are there if I just mash like an ale? i.e.153 for 60 minutes or whatever....or are those techniques so important that's it's not worth brewing without doing them?

thanks

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 01:11 AM   #2
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,416
Liked 7843 Times on 5496 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flipadelphia View Post
Hey all - just getting into lagers now that I have a temp controlled ferm chamber.

I've been looking up recipes on the database on here and most of them note some sort of mash at various increasing temperatures and/or decoction mashing.

My question is, I really don't want to do all that if I don't have to. What am I missing out on, and what disadvantages are there if I just mash like an ale? i.e.153 for 60 minutes or whatever....or are those techniques so important that's it's not worth brewing without doing them?

thanks
There is a healthy debate about even if decoction makes a noticeable difference in the beer. Some well-known brewers say no, some say yes.

For many lagers, a single infusion mash is usually appropriate. Unless using undermodified malts (highly unlikely), a protein rest isn't needed. Still some brewers do them!

I guess the best thing to do is to consider a recipe and if you want to post it up and ask for our opinions, you'll get a bunch of them!
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 01:20 AM   #3
Flipadelphia
Recipes 
 
May 2013
Posts: 441
Liked 92 Times on 69 Posts


Thanks Yooper!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 03:59 AM   #4
Cyclman
I Sell Koalas
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Cyclman's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Aurora, CO
Posts: 6,197
Liked 739 Times on 615 Posts


Try it both ways, twice the beer, three times the fun. My Dunkel Doppelbock (trippel decocted) is awesome. Lots of work, I thought it was great fun!
__________________
Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quote

Why does Happy Hour limit happiness to 1/24 of the day?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
VladOfTrub
Recipes 
 
Oct 2011
, Pa
Posts: 738
Liked 170 Times on 115 Posts


Certain nutrients and chemicals are created in a decoction. Amino acids, albumin and FAN. Protein gum is boiled away and starch is broken down and put into solution in the decoction kettle. The filter bed from a decoction settles better than an infusion and is less prone to sticking. Less hot break is formed from a decoction. Less hops are needed in wort from a decoction. The shelf life of the beer is greater from a decoction. But, it doesn't matter if the beer is going from boiler to belly in 6 weeks. IMO, there's more artistic license in the decoction method, than an infusion. If you decide on doing a decoction, try to pay attention to the mash pH, before you boil any mash.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
Liked 205 Times on 167 Posts


I don't do decoctions, but I do use step mashes - including two different saccharification steps. For some lagers I do include either aromatic or toasted malt, to mimic a little the flavors of a decoction. I think one can make a pretty good lager with a single infusion, but I think using a step mash can take the beer up a notch or two. Many folks are fine with a brewing a decent lager. At this point though I've brewed many, many lagers (most of what I brew these days) and decent is not good enough for me

Go ahead with a single infusion as you are just getting your feet wet with lagers. I'm assuming this is what you are doing for your ales. You don't want to change too many things to the process you are used to all at once. Once you are comfortable with the new fermentation process, then start messing with the mash process - if you want to - or not.
__________________
On Tap: Doppelbock O'fest, Pale Ale, cider
Kegged and Aging/Lagering: CAP, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Amer. Wheat, Rye IPA, Saison
Secondary:
Primary: Ger Pils, CAP
Brewing soon: Pale lager, Amer. wheat
Recently kicked : (
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Single decoction for lagers Griff777 General Techniques 0 10-01-2012 04:36 AM
Mashing Oats - Proper Temperature (2 step or single step) tmm0f5 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 11-23-2011 08:46 PM
Mash/decoction profiles for lagers bannonb All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 03-11-2011 10:07 PM
Steam Mashing vs Decoction Mashing Spine All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 08-28-2008 06:40 PM
Lagers - Single Infusion or Step Mashing? sonvolt General Techniques 6 10-02-2006 01:25 AM


Forum Jump