Double Decoction (modified Hochkurz schedule). Mashed in at 143 for an hour, pulled a decoction, held at 158, boiled for about 12-15 minutes, raised to 158 for another hour. Pulled another decoction and boiled for 12-15 minutes to reach mash out. Batch Sparged.
Can you clarify this, please?
Your understanding of what I said appears to be correct.
Mash in at 143 F for 1 hour, pull a decoction, raise the temp of the decoction to 158 and hold at 158F for about 20 minutes IIRC, boiled the decoction for 12-15 minutes, added it back to the the mash, which raised the mash to 158 F. Mash rests at 158 for another hour. Pulled another decoction and boiled for 12-15 minutes then added it back to the mashto reach mash out.
This was my first decoction. I added some boiling water to the mash after adding the first decoction back in to get to 158 since the decoction I pulled (around 3.5 gallons IIRC) wasn't enough.
WLP800 Pilsner Lager yeast pitched at 39 F and let rise to 45 F. Let it rise to 50 F toward the end. About 3 weeks in the primary and a week in a bright tank with gelatin. Then to the keg.
What is the Wyeast equivalent? Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils? Wyeast 2007 Pilsen Lager Yeast?
According to mrmalty.com, it is the Wyeast 2001 strain.http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm
Forgot to mention. I think I did about a 6L starter for this 11 gallon batch. Probably undersized, but did the trick.
For next time, I may try to do either a single infusion mash at 154 with all other variables the same or a step mash between 143 and 158. I may still do a single decoction to see if it makes a difference. In the end, if I can get this same beer without decoction, I'll be glad to shorten the brew day. But, if future batches don't bear this out, I'll just have to set aside time for the long brew day because the product is worth the trouble to get the results I got.
For a single infusion mash, I'd think the temp should be lower, like 150-151 F max given the desire to get it more crisp and dry. You've got plenty of residual sugars with your 8.7% carapils/dextrine. Not doubting your results, but your 2+ hour mash essentially gave the enzymes more time to work on your sugars before the sugar profile was fixed at mashout.
You may be right on the money there. The only thing I can think is that the higher level of sulfates versus chlorides might give it a bit of crispness. The dextrine level is really high in this recipe, but it doesn't come off as too sweet. Part of me wants to bump it down slightly, but the flavor seems to be right on. So I must resist. I have done JZ's Bopils at 154 before (roughly the same recipe, but with about 5.8% carapils) and have never been satisfied with the mouthfeel or malt flavor. I know I am only supposed to do one change at a time if I want to know what made the biggest difference. The above recipe was a complete departure from just about everything I have done before. So I still have a lot of questions about what made the biggest difference.