Yesterday was my first AG batch. Above & beyond the stupidity of trying such a task when I should have been getting real work done, I ran into an issue where the temperature of the mash didn't rise sufficiently (because the infusion temps were too low). Thankfully some helpful folks were in the chat and advised me to do a decoction, which helped raise the temperature to where it needed to be.
My question is this:
What should have these temperatures have been?
Helles Belles (ale-ger)
Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 10.00 gal
Boil Size: 12.55 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Amount Item Type % or IBU
16 lbs 5.1 oz Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) Grain 100.00 %
2.00 oz Hallertauer [6.20 %] (60 min) Hops 20.9 IBU
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
2 Pkgs European Ale (Wyeast Labs #1338) Yeast-Ale
Mash Name: Double Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 16.32 lb
Sparge Water: 4.95 gal
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Double Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
20 min Protein Rest Add 14.70 qt of water at 141.0 F 129.4 F
20 min saccrification Add 13.69 qt of water at 170.2 F 147.2 F
30 min Saccrification Add 13.05 qt of water at 170.3 F 154.0 F
For your first all grain, I would have suggested a single infusion mash at 152. Double infusion can be a bit much for the first time. Sounds like you did good with the decoction. If I don't hit my mash temps, thats usually what I do.
For a step/decoction I would use 131*F then straight to 152*F for sacc rest.
What you did will work fine as well, it's just a little more complicated. Step mashes are always hard to hit your temps, since there are so many variables (biggest one being the heat absorbed by your MLT) so a good rule of thumb is to have 20% over what BeerSmith says at the ready in case you miss your temps.
This should come out nice n tasty. I love a good Helles!