Decoction question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

LLBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
34
I do single infusion batch sparge beers. Is there a way to do a decoction without having to to any steps? Will this even be worth the trouble?
 

BigEd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
2,942
Reaction score
460
Any decotion will start with an infusion as the first step. So, no, there is no such thing as a decotion without multiple steps. Is it worth the trouble? Only you can answer that question.
 
OP
L

LLBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
34
Any decotion will start with an infusion as the first step. So, no, there is no such thing as a decotion without multiple steps. Is it worth the trouble? Only you can answer that question.
What would happen if you pulled off some thick mash after the initial infusion at about 20-30 minutes, boiled then cooled it and then added it back to the mash?
 

Adam_Selene

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
73
Reaction score
12
It's a usefull skill to have if your strike goes horribly wrong. Haveing said that, I haven't done one in about seven years.

I do remember that adding water to the decoction helps atchive a more even temprature, if you can't pull out enough wort without drying the grain bed. Just enough so that the grain can roll a little, and so your total portion decocted is more or less at the same temprature when you add it back.

Cheers.
--Adam Selene
 

Roundhouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
135
Reaction score
17
What would happen if you pulled off some thick mash after the initial infusion at about 20-30 minutes, boiled then cooled it and then added it back to the mash?
This is essentially what a single decoction is. Dough in at 1.25 qts/ lb grain. Mash at your temp for 45 minutes. Pull 1/3 of the thick part of the mash and bring it to a boil for 10-30 minutes. Add decoction back to main mash to hit mash out temperature. Hold 15 minutes, recirculate then sparge.
 

BigEd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
2,942
Reaction score
460
What would happen if you pulled off some thick mash after the initial infusion at about 20-30 minutes, boiled then cooled it and then added it back to the mash?
The pull is not cooled after boiling it is added back to the main mash at boiling temp raising the mash to the next step. That is the essence of the decoction method. If you don't want to do a multi-rest mash within the conversion temperature range you can do a decoction to mash out temp post conversion.
 

jdm61

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
127
Reaction score
20
Location
St. Petersburg
The pull is not cooled after boiling it is added back to the main mash at boiling temp raising the mash to the next step. That is the essence of the decoction method. If you don't want to do a multi-rest mash within the conversion temperature range you can do a decoction to mash out temp post conversion.
I understand that stepping up the temperature was the original purpose of decoction. We don't need to do that anymore, but the act of boiling the mash changes the mash. What do you think would haven if you decocted and cooked, but didn't rely on that to hit your temps. would the result be different or do you think that change in flavor would be the same?
 
OP
L

LLBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
34
This is essentially what a single decoction is. Dough in at 1.25 qts/ lb grain. Mash at your temp for 45 minutes. Pull 1/3 of the thick part of the mash and bring it to a boil for 10-30 minutes. Add decoction back to main mash to hit mash out temperature. Hold 15 minutes, recirculate then sparge.
Thanks roundhouse, this is exactly what I want to to.
 
OP
L

LLBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
34
The pull is not cooled after boiling it is added back to the main mash at boiling temp raising the mash to the next step. That is the essence of the decoction method. If you don't want to do a multi-rest mash within the conversion temperature range you can do a decoction to mash out temp post conversion.
As Jdm61 said, because of todays well modified malt it is no longer required to do a step mash. That doesn't mean that there is nothing to be gained by doing a decoction. That is what my question was. And I believe one can absolutely cool the decocted mash before adding it back into the main mash. Why not?
 

jdm61

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
127
Reaction score
20
Location
St. Petersburg
As Jdm61 said, because of todays well modified malt it is no longer required to do a step mash. That doesn't mean that there is nothing to be gained by doing a decoction. That is what my question was. And I believe one can absolutely cool the decocted mash before adding it back into the main mash. Why not?
Even if you are doing a step mashing, today you can hit those temps with your gas or electric setup and digital controls instead of having to go all Bavarain voodoo and try to hit them by adding a known quantity of mash at 200F plus back to the big pot. But you haven't "caramelized' that mash at 212F MOL which for sure changes the color and the taste along with it.
 

VladOfTrub

Banned
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
770
Reaction score
183
Take a look at Wobdees posts about the Schmitz decoction method.

Here's what will happen if thick mash is pulled, boiled and added back to the main mash in order to reach mash out temp. The thick mash contains hard starch that is stuck in the tips of the husk. The temperature at which hard starch begins to burst and enters into solution is around 168F. The boiling of the mash causes the starch to burst. The starch laden mash is dumped into the main mash to reach mash out temp. Enzymatic action has ceased due to denaturing by heat. Excess starch carry over occurs, reducing stability and shelf life of the beer. Mash pH needs to be considered before mash is boiled. Usually, the thinnest part of the mash is removed, boiled and added back to the main mash to reach mash out temp..

Part of the decoction thing is to extract as much as possible from the malt. Starch is one of the things extracted. Throughout the process, the starch laden mash is rested at various temperatures to activate certain enzymes. The action of the enzymes reduces the excess starch into sugars. This is a reason why a tri-decoction will produce a higher gravity wort than a wort drawn from the English method.

You can cool a decoction. Unless, you are dead set in doing a decoction for mash out, maybe consider this. Do an hot water infusion to reach a beta rest temp of the main mash. Soon as the mash temp is stable. Pull a thick decoction. Heat the decoction to 153F and rest for 10. Then, take it to a boil. Boil the mash for at least 10 minutes. Realize, it takes longer than 20 minutes of boiling to begin forming melanoidin. Cool the mash to a temp so that when it is added back into the main mash, the mash temp will be in the alpha range. The process will add a little more character to the beer. It might take a while to dial in the timing....Anyway, just some ideas....Good luck, brew on!
 

Latest posts

Top