Small Kitchen Vienna Triple Decoction

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jlangfo5

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Hey all! It's fall time so that means I have time to brew again, and for me that means Vienna Lager :D

I made a thread earlier inquiring about how much color creation could I expect from performing a triple decoction mash on a grain bill that is supposed to nominally have an SRM of 5.6, so to answer the question, I decided to just go for it!

So here is the recipe.


9 lbs------ Vienna Malt (Weyermann)------(3.0 SRM)--85.7%
1 lbs------ Borlander Munich Malt (Briess)--(10.0 SRM)-9.5%
8.0 oz----- Carafoam (Weyermann)--------(2.0 SRM)--4.8%

1.50 oz-----Saaz-[3.75 %]---Boil-60.0-min-20.9-IBUs
0.75 oz-----Saaz-[3.75 %]---Boil-30.0-min-8.0--IBUs
0.50 oz-----Saaz-[3.75 %]---Boil-0.0--min-0.0--IBUs

2.00 Items--Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.0 pkg----Southern German Lager (White Labs #WLP838) 3.5 Liter Starter

It had an estimated SRM of 5.6 for a 5.5 gallon batch. When I did my decoctions I brought them up to 155 for 15 minutes before boiling them for 30 minutes each. Except the last decoction after the sach rest which I pulled the liquid part and boiled it for 40 minutes to try and create more color!

While the wort was cooling and separating from the proteins it looked a very nice dark red color, I am very excited to see what this beer looks like after it clears!

Oh also, small apartment kitchen brewing is underated, I mean how else can you sit on the couch and watch futurama while you are boiling your decoctions? Oh, and it only took like 12 hours from start to clean up, to pitch haha.

On a secondary note, a 20 gallon plastic tub filled with 40 lbs of ice can really chill down the wort in my kettle quite quickly!




 

wobdee

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Great sounding brew. I'd be interested in your color outcome as well. Sounds like you had lots of boiling going on there so it should turn out darker.

12 hours is too long a brew day for me that's why I'm tinkering around with a single decoction called the Schmitz process.
 
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jlangfo5

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Thanks! I was wanting to experiment with making a pretty much an all Vienna Vienna lager and still get the color and malty flavor that I am supposed to get. Although, I did cheat a bit with a touch of insurance with a lb of munich malt and some carafoam. I am performing a forced fermentation test as well that way I can know when to perform the D rest, perhaps that sample will be able to tell us about the color.
 

wobdee

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How long did you boil your wort? I've been doing 90 min but been thinking of trying 120 to see what difference if any that makes.
 
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jlangfo5

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For the wort I just did a standard 60 minute boil. I had already boiled the two thick decoctions for 30 minutes each and the final thin decoction for 40 minutes, gotta draw the line somewhere right?
 

wobdee

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Yeah, that should be plenty of boiling but I have seen a few Bock recipes with 3-4 hour boils.
 

VladOfTrub

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The beer should turn out nice. A tri-decoction produces a clean, bright wort.
Mash darkens during conversion, we're stuck with that. After the mash darkens from converting, it will again darken when the malliard reaction begins. After malliard reaction, comes melanoidin. It takes a while. Create melanoidin in the 1st decoction, during the acid rest of the main mash. The 1st decoction can be boiled longer because very little enzymatic action is taking place in the main mash. Reduce the boil time of the 2nd decoction, especially when the main mash is resting in the proteolytic or beta temp ranges. Try to preserve enzymes for as long as possible by controlling mash thickness and temps and utilize the enzyme at the right time. Beta denatures quickly, how fast it denatures depends on temp. Alpha is tougher than beta.

If you like to experiment, try this in your next tri-decoction. Instead of converting both decoctions at 155F. Rest the 1st decoction at 155F, just like you did in the Vienna and rest the 2nd decoction in the beta range, 145F is good. It's a good idea to ensure mash pH is at 5.8 before pulling the 1st decoction, if you aren't already.
 
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jlangfo5

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I was not able to verify the PH on my mash sadly. I just finished my D-rest and the SG is currently just north of 1.008 which is a touch on the dry side, next time I will try and get some more complex sugars from my mash. I am speculating that my mash tun was not able to hold temperature very well.

Here is a picture of my forced fermentation sample. As a side note, wlp838 does seem to flocuate very well just as advertised.



It smells promising, i'm not really sure what the SRM really is.
 
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jlangfo5

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Alright! So right now the beer is lagering at 32 degrees with gelatin added to it to help it clear out better. I had a TON of loss due to hope sediment, I didn't have any hop bags for the brew :(. I ended up going to a crafts store and bought a TON of clear glass marbles, I washed and boiled them and used them to top off the last half gallon or so of my carboy.

I will probably only get to lager this beer for 4 weeks, I know many people say that you should lager a beer like this for at least 6-7 weeks, but I share my fermentation chamber and the grape harvest will be ready soon.
 
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jlangfo5

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Oh, when I racked to my laggering vessel, I had maybe a half gallon of head space because I had more trub losses than I expected, so in order to fill it up the rest of the way, I topped my laggering vessel off with clear glass marbles that I had boiled.

Glad to see a post from KC, I just got back from there, I spent my summer working in the area. Boulevard has some pretty decent beers epecailly in their stack 7 series I think :)
 
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jlangfo5

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Alright, here we go! It has been close to the 5 week mark of bulk lagering. Since I bottle my beer, I will let it condition for 2-3 weeks and then store my bottles in the fermentation chamber to keep the beer at serving temperature as well as to help it clear up after bottle conditioning.

So, here is a picture of the beer that I bottled, anyone want to take a guese at SRM by looking at it?




The beer taste very crackery/bready while still remaining dry. I think I might have slightly overdone the hops on this one, the bitterness is on the high side of firm I think.

I can not wait for this one to carbonate, I plan on submitting it to a competition at the end of October.
 
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jlangfo5

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Yeah, I really kinda wondering what is a good way to measure SRM at home, what kind of lighting should I be using, how thick should the glass be ? Beer smith gave my grain bill an SRM of 5.6, so if it is 12 ish, it does show that you can expect significant darkening from long decoctions.
 

wobdee

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So far in my single decoction (Schmitz Decoction) expirements it seems I get little or no extra darkening with a 20 min boil, about 2-3 extra SRM with a 30 min boil and I'm waiting to tap a Dunkel that had a 40 min boil but I'm pretty sure it darkened as much or a little more than the 30 min boil. These were all different beer styles but going off my Promash SRM color you can see there's a difference.

I also have to say since I started decoction mashes the malt flavor and aromas are better than my old single infused or step mashes.
 
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jlangfo5

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Sorry it has taken so long everyone, I had a really busy last semester at school that got in the way of really updating here like I should.

I submitted the beer into competition and it didn't do nearly as well as I think it could have, the judges thought that the fermentation was squeaky clean, but the beer was way to bitter for style that said. Also, they mentioned that they thought my water had a bit of metallic flavor to it.

I agree with it being too bitter, the beer finished quite bit drier than I thought it should have and it lost a lot of its maltieness in those last few gravity points it dropped.

After doing some research, it turns out that my water chemistry with this grain bill could have actually pushed my mash pH greater than 5.8 which I have heard could attribute some harshness, also my water profile might exaggerate hop bitterness.

So, I have stocked up on brewing salts, lactic acid, and a few water chemistry spread sheets, and I shall attempt to make a festbier next!
 
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