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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: bassriverbrewer on November 23, 2010, 09:21:04 PM

Title: Decocotion mash
Post by: bassriverbrewer on November 23, 2010, 09:21:04 PM
I'm planning on doing my first decocoction mash.  Everything I've read says to take the decocoction from the thickest part of the mash.  Nothing explains exactly what that means or where it is in the mash tun.  Am I to assume that it is the part of the mash nearest the bottom of the tun?  Any answers will be helpful.  Thanks
Title: Re: Deconcotion mash
Post by: denny on November 23, 2010, 09:23:42 PM
It means to use a strainer to pull out grain and leave liquid behind.
Title: Re: Deconcotion mash
Post by: Kaiser on November 23, 2010, 09:31:17 PM
Check this out: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Decoction_Mashing. Especially the YouTube video links at the bottom. I feel that most brewers make decoctions unnecessarily complicated by using too thick of a decoction and/or attempt to calculate the needed decoction volume too precisely.

BTW, you may also want to fix the title unless you intended to spell it that way ;)

Kai
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: denny on November 23, 2010, 09:36:13 PM
I feel most brewers make decoction mashes to complicated by doing one in the first place!   ;D
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: Tim McManus on November 23, 2010, 10:30:29 PM
I love doing decoction mashes.  I brew with another guy so it makes the labor easy.

We bought a 2-quart pyrex measuring bowl and use that to extract the mash.  "Thickest part" is an ambiguous term but there's a reason behind it.  The grist holds temperature better than the liquid.  So in order to increase the temperature of your mash, you want to extract as much solid material as possible; hence "thickest part".  Too much liquid and you won't be able to hit your target temperature.  Too much grist and you run the risk of scorching what you are trying to boil.

Have a calculator or brewing program handy when you decoct.  You'll find that sometimes your temp will drop between phases and that will affect the volume you need to pull from the mash.
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: pyrite on November 24, 2010, 12:23:57 AM
I feel most brewers make decoction mashes to complicated by doing one in the first place!   ;D

Maybe the fella want's some depth in his brew, from the flavor through to the finish.  Think of it as a gourmet recipe. 
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: bonjour on November 24, 2010, 01:04:02 AM
I pull my decoctions with a picture and just pull of the surface liquid.  I pull the liquid that is between the grains. 
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: Kaiser on November 24, 2010, 02:15:53 AM
I pull my decoctions with a picture and just pull of the surface liquid.  I pull the liquid that is between the grains. 

Does it matter who's on the picture? ;)

Kai
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: mthogan1997 on November 24, 2010, 02:49:31 AM
I pull my decoctions with a picture and just pull of the surface liquid.  I pull the liquid that is between the grains. 

Does it matter who's on the picture? ;)

Kai

Yes, it is suggested that he use a picture of Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preu├čen.
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: bluesman on November 24, 2010, 03:11:09 AM
This thread is one blooper and blunder after the next starting from the misspelled title.   8)

Kai,  do you decoct your dopplebock?

I'm planning to brew one soon and was wondering which level of decoction you used...double?
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 24, 2010, 03:55:59 AM
If I do decoction I do single decoction from 143F to 160F.
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: beveragebob on November 24, 2010, 06:21:59 AM
I think about the word decoction as I add some meloidan malt and cara-pils to my mash tun ::)
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: denny on November 24, 2010, 02:40:57 PM
I feel most brewers make decoction mashes to complicated by doing one in the first place!   ;D

Maybe the fella want's some depth in his brew, from the flavor through to the finish.  Think of it as a gourmet recipe. 

Then why is he doing a decoction?   ;D
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: Malticulous on November 24, 2010, 02:52:12 PM
When I decoct pulling thin enough wort is not a problem. The mash is thin. Stiring is not a big deal. Light stiring to saccharification  rest and again through the hot break is all I do. The rolling boil keeps it from scorching. I don't ever add water. I want to boil the highest gravity wort possible. I'll loose over six quarts with triple 30 minute decoctions.

It's neither difficult or complicated. It just takes time.
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: Kaiser on November 24, 2010, 02:58:13 PM
Kai,  do you decoct your dopplebock?

I do, but I'm not convinced that this is the key to a good Doppelbock.

Quote
I'm planning to brew one soon and was wondering which level of decoction you used...double?

I'm using the double decoction that I demonstrate in the YouTube videos. This is the decoction where the 1st decoction is about 2/3 of the mash and pretty much all the grain.

Kai
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: gordonstrong on November 24, 2010, 05:12:05 PM
I pull decoctions using a saucepan.  Act like you're in college and trying to get all the good stuff from a big pot of soup.  Sort of scoop up the grain and let some of the liquid drain back. It shouldn't be totally dry -- it would scorch if you did that. You need some liquid, but less than as in your main mash.

Don't preheat your decoction pot.  Put the grain in there and then give it some flame.  You really, really, really want to avoid doing anything to scorch it.  Otherwise it will taste like the bottom of an ashtray, and it won't go away.  Stir constantly as you apply the heat, and feel for any sticking on the bottom of the pot.  I find a long metal spoon works better than a wooden spoon for the "feel" of the pot.

I generally use 33-40% of the mash in a decoction. How long you decoct is up to you. Depends on the style. You'll get more color and flavor development the longer you do it.

Think about your rest temperatures, particularly what temperature your main mash is resting at while you're doing the decoction.  I tend to have the main at beta-amylase conversion temps while doing this, not protein conversion temps.  Google 'hochkurz' for more info.
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: bluesman on November 24, 2010, 05:24:08 PM
I pull decoctions using a saucepan.  Act like you're in college and trying to get all the good stuff from a big pot of soup.  Sort of scoop up the grain and let some of the liquid drain back. It shouldn't be totally dry -- it would scorch if you did that. You need some liquid, but less than as in your main mash.

I use a 2qt saucepan.


I generally use 33-40% of the mash in a decoction. How long you decoct is up to you. Depends on the style. You'll get more color and flavor development the longer you do it.

+1

The longer the decoction, the darker and richer the wort. That's the thinking.
Although some opinions (Denny, Kai, etc..) vary on the flavor contribution from a decoction.
I'm not convinced one way or the other at the moment.

Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: gordonstrong on November 24, 2010, 05:34:52 PM
Yes, 2 qt saucepan.  I use the same thing for emptying the mash tun into buckets for composting rather than killing my back lifting the whole thing.

The OP didn't ask about the merits of decoction, just how to do it.  I thought I'd try the novel approach of just answering the question  ;D
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: bassriverbrewer on November 24, 2010, 09:25:58 PM
Thanks for the help.  And yes the merits don't bother me I tend to be a traditionalist in a world of shortcuts and convenience.  To me the care and love of process comes through in the finished beer.  It is a meditative experience.  Plus I want to see how much flavor impact it has.  Again thanks to all for the help and sorry about the misspelling in the title.  A couple of IPA's tends to do that to me. :) ;)
Title: Re: Decocotion mash
Post by: CASK1 on December 04, 2010, 10:07:44 PM
I love doing decoction mashes.  I brew with another guy so it makes the labor easy.

We bought a 2-quart pyrex measuring bowl and use that to extract the mash.  "Thickest part" is an ambiguous term but there's a reason behind it.  The grist holds temperature better than the liquid.  So in order to increase the temperature of your mash, you want to extract as much solid material as possible; hence "thickest part".  Too much liquid and you won't be able to hit your target temperature.  Too much grist and you run the risk of scorching what you are trying to boil.

Have a calculator or brewing program handy when you decoct.  You'll find that sometimes your temp will drop between phases and that will affect the volume you need to pull from the mash.

I also love decoctions. You can't get a really complex malt profile any other way. There is another reason for using the "thickest part". Once you dough in, most of the enzymes are extracted to the liquid. By boiling the thicker portion, you avoid denaturing the enzymes and keep a higher diastatic power in your mash.