Im actually using 2-row. This will be my first decoc actually. Any suggestions or tricks of the trade would be appreciated.I think the decoction/mash temperatures really matter if you're using Marris Otter. I read somewhere (Noonan I think), that decoctions on Marris Otter can negatively affect the beer due to the very high protein content (SNR). If you do it with MO, I'd keep the initial rest temperature as high as you can (upper 130s).
My MLT is a cooler, and the brand is from AHSLike ohiobrewtus, I've only decocted German-style beers. The first thing I can say is to watch Kaiser's videos if you've not already done so. Two questions: is your MLT a cooler or direct-fired? And... what brand of malt is it?
Holy crud, that sounds ridiculously malty! Gives me something to think about.Three things you can do to mimic a true PITA decoction:
- Mash it at 160 degrees.
- Mash it for only 40 minutes.
- Boil the first 1 1/2 gallons of runoff for 20-30 minutes to concentrate and caramelize.
I did a mild at 159 for 40 minutes and at 2.8%, it was one of the maltiest beers I'd ever done.
Sadly, I dont have good brewing software. I have a mac and that means BeerAlchemy (which I cant figure out too well) or Qbrew (which I use because of its simplicity).Eamus, it's actually fairly easy. Here's how I do it and it's pretty much per Noonan:
-Strike in your mash as you would normally, except aim for a target mash temp in the low 130s.
-Let that rest 5 minutes.
-Pull your decoction (however many qts your brewing software states... this will be determined by your next mash temp.) Make sure it's relatively thick, but not too thick to help prevent scorching. Because of what I have on hand, I just split this up into two kitchen sized stock pots (6-8 qts). But I make 11 gallon batches, so you might fit it into one 8-qt stock pot.
-Then let the mash do it's thing (low 130s) and put your decoction on a burner or stovetop. Heat the decoction medium-slowly (like Kaiser states in his videos) until it reaches the next temp in your mash schedule. This should be in the mid to upper 150s, depending on the level of attenuation you want. Remember to stir. I stir more than Kaiser because I'm paranoid after scorching my first decoction.
-Once the decoction reaches temp. (careful not to overshoot), hold the decoction at that temp. for 10 minutes.
-Then heat the decoction to boiling (remember to stir) and boil for 5 minutes.
-Return decoction to mash. This should increase the mash temp to your target mid-upper 150s. Let this rest for 20 minutes.
-Then mash-out and sparge however you want.
It's not so bad and it only adds maybe 1/2 hour to an hour onto my brew day.
I'm sure you can but that will reduce the reliability of hitting your next mash temp. I've found Beersmith to be pretty darn accurate with decoction amounts and hitting mash temps. I'm sure there is a calculation somewhere, but worst case scenario, pm your recipe to me and I'll plug it into Beersmith and give you the amount to pull.Anyway, I have read that you can just pull ~40% out for decoction without accurate measurement? I suppose if im wrong then I can just use the same equations Kaiser uses from Palmers book. Are there good calculators online anywhere?
The low 130's rest is really based on the Soluble Nitrogen (Protein) Ratio of your malt. Yours is probably around 42, so 132-134 would probably be a good number. Maybe just aim for 133. It's important to hit (and keep) this temp because this will determine hitting your next temp. If you think you'll lose a degree or two, then your decoction amount should be calculated for 131 or 132, for example.As far as rest temps, what attributes do the low and high ares of them have (ie, low 130's as opposed to mid 130's, low 150's as opposed to high 150's). Im assuming the higher temp. you mash at the more malty it is on all levels?
As long as your efficiency is relatively accurately predicted and you're confident in your crush, 20 minutes is plenty of time. I've done this several times and still get over 90% efficiency.Would mashing more than 20 minutes be more or less beneficial? Or is this just your personal preference?
You sure can... by infusing with boiling water. You just start with a thicker mash. It might thin the mash a little too much (and overflow your MLT) if you were to do like a 4-step mash, (acid rest, protein rest, sacch rest, dextrin rest), but you can probably get away fine with a 2 or 3 step.for multi-temp mash schedules, can you do them if you dont have a direct heating element for your MLT? Ive been racking my brain trying to figure how I could do them but besides doing decoctions I cant.