Batch Sparge Mash vs. Triple Decoction?

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Lilum

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Hello! I’m new to this forum and new to homebrewing. Lemme give a little backstory first.
Until 3 months ago, I was living in Germany as an au pair, which gave me an opportunity to try many different incredible beers. During my stay, my all time favorite was by far the Füchschen Alt, or Altbier in general. After some intense internet searching, I came across a clone brew recipe for it, which can be found here. Anyhoo, I’m pretty well set in terms of knowing what I need to do, except for my mash method. I found that a triple Decoction seems to be pretty effective in achieving a prominent flavor profile overall, but I’ve recently come across the batch Sparge method, which I found in this video.
So, my question is, which one is better? Is there one that’s more effective in extracting the sugars and achieving a more flavorful, fuller wort? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks :)
 

doug293cz

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Decoction and batch sparging are not mutually exclusive. Batch sparging is not a mashing process, but rather a lautering process. (Lautering is separation of the liquid wort from the spent grain.) Decoction is a method for doing a step (multiple rest temperature) mash. You can use them together, or not.

Brew on :mug:
 

Kent88

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Decoction vs infusion mashing is a bit of a contested topic.

Many brewers say that decoctions are obsolete with the development of melanoidin malts. Others insist that decoction adds a characteristic that can't be replicated just by using such an ingredient.

As far as converting starches and extracting sugars, both decoctions and infusion mashes are capable of doing so.

Which is better is completely up to your taste buds, and what you find enjoyable in the brewing process. If you end up loving the brewday process so much that you want to put a little more time and effort into it, then decoction is for you.

I've found that being able to preform a decoction is a handy skill to have. I've had a couple brew days that I went into not planning on doing a decoction and ended up doing so, as I didn't want to add any more water to my mash.
 

bracconiere

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+1 to what @doug293cz said...I personally fly sparge, with a two step mash. With store bought malt (seperate beta-amylase, alpha-amylase rests), and a three step mash with my homemalt (adding a protein rest)
 

doug293cz

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Since you are a new brewer, I would highly recommend that you start by doing single infusion (single rest temp) mashes until you are completely comfortable with that process. After that you can add in decoction, or other methods for step mashing. A decoction mash is going to seem very complex for someone brand new to all grain brewing, and have extra opportunities for errors. Start simpler, and learn your way to more complex methods.

Brew on :mug:
 

Pappers_

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+1 to all of the above - single infusion mash, batch sparge, add a little melanoidan malt to that recipe and you'll be good to go!
 

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