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Old 06-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by highgravitybacon View Post
Denny, the rational part of me suspects this is true. But I still don't want to admit it.

I do think there's a difference for a ferulic acid rest. Or maybe not. But I still do it anyway.
Do what I did...experiment and use a blind triangle tasting to assess the results.


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Old 06-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #12
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I have experimented many times making the same recipe using step infusion mashes, decoction, and single infusion. I have never found any improvements (and minor, if any differences) by using step infusions or decoctions.

Might depend on whether taste buds are stunned. Or, there is a failure within the processes used in the experiment. Experimenting means just that, experimenting. Experimenting would prove little, it it was done according to the way a person figured it should be done, if the person figured the wrong way. Perhaps, that's why you see minor, if any differences.
Tasting was done by a panel of experienced homebrewers, commercial brewers and BJCP judges.


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Old 06-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
Thanks for the replies thus far.

The people who have done the same recipe both ways, were they lager recipes?
Just asking if a light lager would show through any taste differences for a step vs single infused mash.

thanks Kevin
I brew quite a few lagers - especially helles, dortmunder, and pilsner. I have done decoction, step and infusion mashes. I have listened to all the podcasts and read many, many posts. I have done as Denny has suggested and experimented with various methods......

All, said and done..... I now do all my lagers with a straight infusion mash. Looking back over the past year or so, I can honestly say that I have brewed the 3-5 best lagers I have ever brewed in my life (based on personal tasting notes as well as competition results, as well as feedback from friends who are both knowledgeable about beer, and others who know nothing about it). Every one of those lagers was a simple infusion mash - 2 helles, 2 dortmunder, 1 pilsner. I have an oktoberfest lagering now, that I sampled yesterday, that I am really optimistic about - also infusion.

One danger, as mentioned earlier, with modern, highly modified malt - a protein rest that is even 15 minutes could leave you with a beer that has no head retention.

Overall, I think the potential reward of attempting step mashes, decoction mashes is somewhere between nonexistent and "maybe" perceived if you are looking for it(but probably not in a true blind tasting). On the other hand, there are a number of very real things that can go wrong in these processes that WILL screw up your beer, in very detectable ways. Plus, they take longer.

All said - I still recommend experimenting with each of the methods multiple times over the years. Decoctions are kind of cool to do if you don't mind taking some extra time. But, for brewing great lagers..... infusion can definitely do the job.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #14
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I've done them, I have a master brewer friend who swears by it. Although I don't think it's a huge difference between a single infusion and a decoction, why not try it? Why not brew the same beer twice over a weekend and see if YOU notice a difference? It takes an extra 5-10 minutes during your mash. Big deal. You're already in the beer for at least 3-5 hours. Just try it out and see what YOU like.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #15
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I do what is called a Hochkurz mash. (last section there)

Basically I it's a two step infusion mash (one at 145, a second at 158) that the German commercial breweries use. It works very well on my system, so I use it on all of my German lagers. I think it works quite easily, I can vary the first rest to influence my fermentability and I get tasty beers. I don't bother doing this on American style lagers. Why? Because I'm German myself and it makes me feel a slight bit more authentic to use the current German practices in my own brewery.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #16
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I do what is called a Hochkurz mash. (last section there)

Basically I it's a two step infusion mash (one at 145, a second at 158) that the German commercial breweries use. It works very well on my system, so I use it on all of my German lagers. I think it works quite easily, I can vary the first rest to influence my fermentability and I get tasty beers. I don't bother doing this on American style lagers. Why? Because I'm German myself and it makes me feel a slight bit more authentic to use the current German practices in my own brewery.
Right on, I love the Hochkurz mash. I did one just yesterday with infusions. The tricky part is getting the correct infusion volume to account for temp loss in mash. I had to adjust with a little more boiling water to get from 142 up to 158. Then pulled off about a gallon, brought to boil to raise to mash out.
I think a step infusion/decoction may benefit you if you're using 100% munich 10L in a dunkel, as a single infusion might not quite cut it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #17
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I have done may single infusionall Munich dunkels. They turned out great.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
I do what is called a Hochkurz mash. (last section there)

Basically I it's a two step infusion mash (one at 145, a second at 158) that the German commercial breweries use. It works very well on my system, so I use it on all of my German lagers. I think it works quite easily, I can vary the first rest to influence my fermentability and I get tasty beers. I don't bother doing this on American style lagers. Why? Because I'm German myself and it makes me feel a slight bit more authentic to use the current German practices in my own brewery.
Will BeerSmith 2.0 correctly calculate the amount of boiling water required for the next step? Or how do you calculate this?
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #19
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Right on, I love the Hochkurz mash. I did one just yesterday with infusions. The tricky part is getting the correct infusion volume to account for temp loss in mash. I had to adjust with a little more boiling water to get from 142 up to 158. Then pulled off about a gallon, brought to boil to raise to mash out.
I think a step infusion/decoction may benefit you if you're using 100% munich 10L in a dunkel, as a single infusion might not quite cut it.
I use a heat stick to increase my temperature. I mash at 2qts/gal.

I also think perception is subjective, so we're all going to have different opinions on this one. What works for me may not work well for someone else., e.g. not having a heat stick.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #20
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Are you raising the temperature very slowly from the beta to alpha rest? I've had issues with denaturing enzymes with past brews in a bag where the bottom of the kettle is much hotter than the temp I'm recording near the top, even with stirring. A heat stick would be nice, but they're a little pricey.


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