« on: April 27, 2011, 11:49:25 PM »
Looks pretty good... I kind of feel like any additional comments I make are a double edged sword... I think it is important that you explore decoction, find your own way, etc. but I also think it would be a shame if there were some less than optimal outcome and you blamed that on the decoction... not that what I am suggesting below is optimal.. it just works on my system for these sorts of beers... so just a couple of more comments:
* Hefe IV is already really clovey. I don't think you will need the 4VG rest, unless you really like clove in your hefeweizens (and later vanilla... one of the reasons I like 4VG rest + Hefe IV in Weizenbock)
* I would change the rests a little bit to make the first pull bigger in volume. The more grain you boil, the more those decoction flavors are going to be emphasized. To that end, if it were me, I'd dough in lower, at acid rest range (95-97) with what will seem like a ton of liquid (2.5qts per pound), do a pull around 10 quarts, on the way to boiling, stop for a alpha rest at 155F for 10-15 minutes, then boil for ~15 minutes... then return to bring the mash up to beta at 144 for 25-30 minutes... then pull a smaller decoction, skip the alpha rest in the pull, boil for ~10 minutes, return to mash to take the entire mash up to alpha, rest for 30-40 minutes, and then sparge (skip mash out). I guess this is more like an 'Enhanced Double Decoction' if you're following parlance on Kai's page. I think overall, this schedule will be faster than your proposed schedule while still delivering on the flavor side of things.
* The chocolate wheat is fine; many German recipes use a Carafa for color adjustment.. but if you follow the more intensive decoction schedule I posted above, I would be surprised if you didn't end up with a beer with a more golden hue than the calculated SRM would suggest.
* On the pulls themselves, don't take the words 'thick mash' too literally... you can save yourself a lot of headaches, scorching and sore stir arms by pulling a little thinner so that the pull can boil without scorching (this is another one of the advantages of doughing in at 2.5qts per pound, you have extra liquid to boil off).. you don't want something so thin it looks like chicken noodle soup but you don't want it so thick that it looks like a steaming pot of granola either.
Just my 2c... above all, enjoy the process, if after all of this you find out that it didn't make a difference for you or you figure out a way to replicate or exceed the flavor by using a tweaked grain bill with more specialty malts... awesome, move on to the next new thing :-)