decoction mashing

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uglygoat

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anyone done it yet? i am really facsinated by the dopple bocks (the six pack of salvador lasted about two hours :D ) and as it's winter here in the frozen tundra of ohio, i'd like to do a lager or two this season.

i don't know about a triple decoction right off the bat, maybe a single or double. the majority of the grain is gonna be standard two row with about four pounds of the specialty grain for the deep color and malty flavor.

i'm just curious to know if you think my picnic cooler will suffice as a tun, or if i should get another burner and mash in the large brew kettle, with a smaller kettle to decoct in, and then transfer to the tun.

i'm leaning towards the cooler as the mash/lauter and just decocting in my large kettle, then recombining. i don't experience any significant heat loss outside when i open the cooler lid, even outdoors in the blizzard.

any thoughts, tips, experience would be appreciated.
 

david_42

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I've done a few, mostly from necessity. This was before I purchased a burner for the mash tun. You shouldn't have any problem with using the cooler, just start your mash at the low end of the temperature range.

I've noticed an improvement in efficiency and maltiness, so I might do it intentionally soon.
 

eolle

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Decoction mashing will work fine with a cooler set up. I've done them before. A single decoction is more than enough and I couldn't detect a major differnce between a single, double or triple decoction except for time. One problem I've seen with decoctions is the grain bed being way too dense to allow for good run-off. Nothing a little bit of rice hulls can't fix.

For a good melanodin production/malty/carmel taste found in the dopple bocks start at a protein rest. After about 30 min take 30-40% of your mash and slowly raise the temp to boiling. You can stop at saccrification for 15-20 min if you choose and it will be converted. Bring the entire mix to boiling and boil for around 30 min. Make sure you stir to prevent schorching! Mix it back in....cool color difference between the cooked and uncooked grain. Make sure you get to the bottom/in the corners of the cooler. Close the lid and wait around 5 min to check the temp. Have some cold water/hot water on hand to adjust as necessary. After the sac rest I would throw some rice hulls if you boiled for the 30 min. Mash out and recirc until clear. For additional "carmel" flavor preheat your boiling kettle and when you put in the run-off it will carmelize a bit.

If you mash gets stuck....you can knive the mash with a standard butter knife about 1-2" into the grain bed. A buddy of mine also used a grilling fork and it worked great!

Hope this helps.

-Eric
 
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uglygoat

uglygoat

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thanks mate! i'm worried about the manifold on the botom, it's not too hard to knock loose, but i'll rig something up so stirring down to the bottom doesn't cause a problem.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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t1, you tried it yet? curious to know how your experience w/ your 1st decoction mash was....
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i just wondered if he ever tried, being there was no follow up? it's not too bad. just have to control two mashes at once, plus get the sparge water heated up.....
 
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uglygoat

uglygoat

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naw i haven't done it yet. the cold spell snapped, and we're enjoying middle fifties to low sixties in the north east of ohio! wtf that is all about i don't know. after the next big freeze i'll try the decoction and lager the beer in the garage.

we gots a bitter and ipa up next off a burton ale yeast, then i'll dry me dopplebock.
 

Baron von BeeGee

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DeRoux's Broux said:
i just wondered if he ever tried, being there was no follow up? it's not too bad. just have to control two mashes at once, plus get the sparge water heated up.....
My thinking was to mash in at protein rest temp and then use my HLT (turkey fryer pot in my case) to do the decoction while the mash sits in the cooler. After stirring the decoction back in and ensuring the sacc. temp is correct I would start heating the sparge water on the turkey fryer since it only takes 5-10 minutes for the 3-4g.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i haven't done one by myself on my system, but i plan on using my old stove top brew kettle for doing the decoction on my systems bottom burner.

you idea would work great too!

i changed my dunkel again....i'm a freak........
 

eolle

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Thought I'd clarify a bit to help out its really not that bad to manage. BeeGee is on the right track. I'll give a little more detail of what I do.

Mash in (1.25 to 1.4:1 is good for decoction) target between 120 and 128 (122 for lager and 128 for a doppleweisen bock similar to Aventinus). Wait 20-30 min and take 30-40% of the thickest part and raise the temp. I stop at 144-148 for 10-15 min and then boil (10 min for helles and 30 min for bock/dopple bock). Make sure you stir but don't splash!

During this entire time the other 60-70% can sit in the cooler. Dump it back into the protein rest and mix. Wait 5 min for temp to stabilize adjust as necessary I am for 152 to 154 (good idea to have hot/cold water). Once you learn the system little to no adjustments are necessary.

Wash out the decoction pot and use it to heat up sparge water. When sparge water to temp check for conversion. If convereted dump in some rice hulls and hot water (~.5 gal of 185) to loosen up the mash.

For run off...it will be slow! Don't rush decoction mashes....the grain bed is denser and can pull away from the sides causing channeling. Slow/stuck mashes can be knifed by using a butter knive at stiking it in about 1-2" deep space them evenly about equal to 2-times the depth (i.e. 1" deep space every 1-2 inches) . How deep depends on your grain bed depth but don't excede 1/2 grain bed and try to stick to 1/8-1/4 grain bed depth.

A single decotion will add about 45min-1 hour to the mash and maybe 10-15% on the sparging though my last one was no different. I look at it as a way to extend the homebrew drinking time :).

-Eric
 

DeRoux's Broux

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yep good stuff. pretty much like the way we have done them. i just haven't done one on my brew system, by myself, so it'll be more time consuming. but, like BeeGee, another hour or so w/ my toys doesnt bother me :~)
 

ALPS

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t1master said:
thanks mate! i'm worried about the manifold on the botom, it's not too hard to knock loose, but i'll rig something up so stirring down to the bottom doesn't cause a problem.
What did you use for the manifold?

I'm putting a MLT together myself and would like to know how your system worked for you.
 

Kaiser

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DeRoux's Broux said:
yep good stuff. pretty much like the way we have done them. i just haven't done one on my brew system, by myself, so it'll be more time consuming. but, like BeeGee, another hour or so w/ my toys doesnt bother me :~)
Are you using your keggle to boil the decoction? I can image it being quite arkward to dump it back into the mash-tun.

Kai
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Kai said:
Are you using your keggle to boil the decoction? I can image it being quite arkward to dump it back into the mash-tun.

Kai
nope. i used my old stove top kettle from when i did grain/extract brews. worked really well.
 
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uglygoat

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ALPS....

i just used cpvc tubing that mates up with the bulkhead/ballvalve... i didn't use any glue, just fit the pieces together, and then drilled holes on the bottom side, to let the wort out and keep the grain in.

based on my recent gravity readings i'm about 75 percent effecient with the set up.
 
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uglygoat

uglygoat

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i finally did a single decoction this weekend.

9 lbs of pilsner
.5 lbs of wheat
.5 lbs of carapils

i mashed in at 125 for about twenty minutes... ladled out about forty five percent of the grist, heat it to about 150ish, covered it and let it rest for twenty minutes. brought it to a boil for twenty minutes stirring constantly, then recombined... it went up to about 155 then tapered off at 152... i let it rest another hour then sparged.

seems like a lot of hot break was in the tun, instead of my kettle, and it was much much sweeter than my single infushions.

i forgot to take gravity readings, oh well...:ban:
 

Kaiser

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t1master said:
i mashed in at 125 for about twenty minutes... ladled out about forty five percent of the grist, heat it to about 150ish, covered it and let it rest for twenty minutes. brought it to a boil for twenty minutes stirring constantly, then recombined... it went up to about 155 then tapered off at 152... i let it rest another hour then sparged.
I hope you had fun.

If you just want to convert the decoctions, you can do this around 160F. That's what I do and it takes about 15-20min to fully convert. But you should not get much Maltose from this step (which is not necessary either).

Did you have it at 152F for 60 min or did it drop to 152F over the 60 min rest.

t1master said:
seems like a lot of hot break was in the tun, instead of my kettle, and it was much much sweeter than my single infushions.
You may have a higher Maltose/Dextrin ratio than for your single infusions. Can you keep us posted on the FG of this batch?

Kai
 
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