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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: miguelpanderland on April 01, 2011, 01:51:41 AM

Title: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 01, 2011, 01:51:41 AM
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Hokerer on April 01, 2011, 01:57:11 AM
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: euge on April 01, 2011, 02:20:24 AM
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.

I do it but not for step-mashing. 
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 01, 2011, 02:23:21 AM
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.

I do it but not for step-mashing. 

Say more, euge.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: euge on April 01, 2011, 02:44:44 AM
Well, traditionally it was done to raise the mash temp in step-mashes. The maillard reaction is a happy by-product. I do it for the subtle change in flavor this produces.

However, this is argued back and forth as to whether it (decoction) really does much at all for the flavor and is probably unnecessary. I believe it does have an effect.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 01, 2011, 03:00:38 AM
Thanks, I appreciate the response.

I get the sense I'm about to go through a wheat phase, so at some point soon, I'm sure I'll give it a go and have my own experience to draw on.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: nateo on April 01, 2011, 05:23:08 AM
I agree with Euge. Not "necessary" in a strict sense, but it will make a better product, if done properly. I use decoction mashes on any beer that will have a low hop presence, where I want a strong and nuanced malt character. It is also a good way to hit  multi-step temps without throwing your grain/grist ratio way off.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: tygo on April 01, 2011, 05:29:23 AM
It is also a good way to hit  multi-step temps without throwing your grain/grist ratio way off.

This is why I've recently started to play around with decoctions.  I don't have enough experience with it yet to make a judgment on how it affects the flavor profile but it seems to be an effective way of moving between step temperatures.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 01, 2011, 11:56:28 AM
Necessary?  No.  Beneficial?  IMHO, Yes.  I do a single decoction in my German wheat beers.  I like the character.  Can't really put my finger on it, but they always seem to score better in competition.  My gold medal hefe two years ago was decocted (and really, really fresh).
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: glastctbrew on April 01, 2011, 12:13:34 PM
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Tim McManus on April 01, 2011, 12:44:49 PM
It's like wearing pants at a wedding...optional.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 01, 2011, 01:11:18 PM
Necessary?  No.  Beneficial?  IMHO, Yes.  I do a single decoction in my German wheat beers.  I like the character.  Can't really put my finger on it, but they always seem to score better in competition.  My gold medal hefe two years ago was decocted (and really, really fresh).

When using a single decoction, do you use it early in the mash or late in the mash?

Edit: Found the answer on Kai's site.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 01, 2011, 01:14:29 PM
I'm assuming by late you mean a thin decoction for mashout.  No, I do it in the middle.  I do a short protein rest, then ramp it up to low saccharification temps, pull the decoction and remix to hit high sacc temps.  Then ramp for a mashout.  The full recipe was published in Zymurgy, and it will be in my book.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: glastctbrew on April 01, 2011, 01:20:14 PM
I'm assuming by late you mean a thin decoction for mashout.  No, I do it in the middle.  I do a short protein rest, then ramp it up to low saccharification temps, pull the decoction and remix to hit high sacc temps.  Then ramp for a mashout.  The full recipe was published in Zymurgy, and it will be in my book.

Ah, a typical author, always looking to plug their book ;)  Actually, I'm really looking forward to it and will be putting in my pre-order next week. Getting back to the thread, Is the protein rest really beneficial with today's malts?  I ask this in general as well as specifically for wheat beers.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 01, 2011, 01:27:23 PM
I usually do 10-15 min at 131F/55C when I use continental malts or starchy adjuncts.  My hefe is usually just Durst wheat and pils.  I almost never to rests at 122F/50C.

I get better clarity when I do this, but that's not really an issue with this style.  Again, I've done it this way for a long time and it doesn't cause problems.  I've tried my recipe with just a straight single infusion but I don't like it as much and it doesn't seem to score as well.  Not really sure why; I think it's something with the mouthfeel.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Hokerer on April 01, 2011, 01:32:48 PM
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?

I do just a single and when I do, I've been using Jeff Renner's method from a couple months back issue of Zymurgy that uses my pressure canner - no constant stirring required :)
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: gordonstrong on April 01, 2011, 01:42:05 PM
I've never used that technique but it really sounds interesting.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Kirk on April 01, 2011, 01:53:54 PM
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?

I do a double, but I think the critical factor is to do at least one decoction prior to conversion.  The single post-conversion decoction doesn't have near the effect, IMO.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: blatz on April 01, 2011, 02:03:39 PM
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?

I do a double, but I think the critical factor is to do at least one decoction prior to conversion.  The single post-conversion decoction doesn't have near the effect, IMO.

so decoct from say a ferulic acid rest to sac rest? (if that's possible 111 to 150+ seems impossible).
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Hokerer on April 01, 2011, 02:37:52 PM
so decoct from say a ferulic acid rest to sac rest? (if that's possible 111 to 150+ seems impossible).

Not impossible, you just might have to also infuse some water.  That is, mash in somewhat thick, draw off and decoct a portion, and then, when you add the decotion back to the main mash also add as much boiling water as necessary to hit the next rest.  By mashing in thick, once you add the infusion water, you can still keep your water/grist ratio from getting too high.


Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Kirk on April 01, 2011, 03:04:50 PM
There are varieties of ways to get there.  Gordon, on his El Hefe, pulled the decoction at mash-in temp, ramped up to 150, then returned the decoction to get to 158.  That's only 8 degrees, and he hit the dextrin half of conversion, not the maltose half, but it's still better than just a mashout decoction.
I'm still experimenting, but usually I infuse from acid to protein, decoct to maltose, decoct again to dextrin, then direct heat to mashout.  By adding HLT water to the decoction kettle to prevent scorching, my mash gets thinner each time I return the decoctions, so that direct heating to mashout is not a problem, and it saves a little time.  But it all still takes a long time, no doubt about that.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Will's Swill on April 02, 2011, 03:44:35 PM
Joe,

Were you referring to the pseudo-decoction article in Zymurgy?  I've been meaning to try that.  Do you like the results?
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Hokerer on April 02, 2011, 07:53:00 PM
Joe,

Were you referring to the pseudo-decoction article in Zymurgy?  I've been meaning to try that.  Do you like the results?

Yes, that's the article to which I was referring.  So far, I've done a Hefe and a Dunkelweizen using that method.   Thought the Hefe turned out great and the Dunkelweizen, well, it's one of my entries in the NHC so I'm interesting in seeing the feedback.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: bassriverbrewer on April 03, 2011, 04:39:49 PM
I haven't done a wheat beer but with my german style Lagers I mash in at 140 deg pull a decoction to get to my intended temp of 150-158 deg depending on what i'm making.  The conversion at 140 is fairly slow and doesn't seem to affect the body too much.  I pull a thin decoction for mashout
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: narvin on April 03, 2011, 10:23:02 PM
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?

I do a double, but I think the critical factor is to do at least one decoction prior to conversion.  The single post-conversion decoction doesn't have near the effect, IMO.

so decoct from say a ferulic acid rest to sac rest? (if that's possible 111 to 150+ seems impossible).

Very possible.  I've done the "Enhanced Double Decoction" from Kai's decoction wiki page for a Hefeweizen, which goes from 111 to 152 using a thick decoction.  It required maybe 50% of the grist to be pulled and boiled. 
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Pi on April 07, 2011, 01:26:39 PM
When I decoct I always get better results both in efficiency and mouthfeel/maltyness. I'm getting ready to do a Maibock and someone suggested doing a single decoction after the alpha conversion to get up to mashout. So dough in at131 for 20 min.; 30 min. at 148; 30 min. at 153, then decoct the thin part and return to mash/raise to 170.
Any suggestions?
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Bret on April 07, 2011, 06:28:00 PM
When I decoct I always get better results both in efficiency and mouthfeel/maltyness. I'm getting ready to do a Maibock and someone suggested doing a single decoction after the alpha conversion to get up to mashout. So dough in at131 for 20 min.; 30 min. at 148; 30 min. at 153, then decoct the thin part and return to mash/raise to 170.
Any suggestions?
I have done this for pilsener with good results--overshot my OG.  It is a bit more work though.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 07, 2011, 07:54:13 PM
When I decoct I always get better results both in efficiency and mouthfeel/maltyness. I'm getting ready to do a Maibock and someone suggested doing a single decoction after the alpha conversion to get up to mashout. So dough in at131 for 20 min.; 30 min. at 148; 30 min. at 153, then decoct the thin part and return to mash/raise to 170.
Any suggestions?

I have become a fan of the Hochkurtz decoction - High short.
http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Decoction_Mashing#Hochkurz_Double_Decoction

Or you can follow the single decoction schedule listed above on that page.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: resto3 on April 12, 2011, 12:02:27 AM
My Recipe was as follows:

5.7# Pilsner
2.1# Malted Wheat
2.0# Raw Wheat
0.2# Munich Malt

0.3 oz Sorachi Ace (14.9 AA) 60 Min
0.4 oz Sorachi Ace (14.9 AA) 15 Min

WB-06 1/2 Gal Starter

Mashed at 104 at 2.0 qt/lb for 6.5 Min, infused with 4.5 qts of boiling water to raise to 122 for 25 Min, then pulled 2.6 Gal of thick mash and decoctioned at 145 for 15 Min then raised to 155 for 15 Min and then boil the decoction for 10 min, when reintroduced to main mash main mash stabolized at 145. Held main mash at 16 for 15 min and pulled 3.2 Gal of thick mash and raised to 156 for 15 min and then reaised slowly too a boil. Reintroduced the decoction to the main mash and it settled at 168 where it stayed for 15 Min. Sparged with 2.5 gal of 170 degree water really slowly about an hour.

After the boil chilled to 68 degrees and pitched 1/2 gal starter of WB-06.

Ended up with 5.5 Gal of wort at 1.056 (I was expecting 1.045)

This was my first time doing a Decoction Mash and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I would do it again.

I usually use 1/2 tsp of Wyeast yeast nutrients btu forgott to add it. Also I did not use kettle finings like Irish Moss as I was trying to make that cloudy look a Hefe should have.

If fermenting stronly in my basement at 64 degrees.

I will do this again.  It tastes great!  I will enter this in a few competitions.

Richie

Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: Malticulous on April 12, 2011, 01:31:26 PM
For my lagers I dough in in around 145 and let it rest 30 minutes then pull all the thick mash. I bring it to a boil slowly with no rests. I add it back to hit around 158. You could skip the mash out or use an infusion. I pull most of the thin mash and boil it for a mash out. This is nice because even with a single decoction all the grain can be boiled.

For my last wheats I did triple decotions. The last three had poor head retention. I think it must be the protein rest but it's never been a problem before.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 19, 2011, 12:37:37 PM
Thought I'd mention that I ended up brewing a dunkelweizen using the "classic" double decoction method as described on Kai's site.  The hydrometer sample has me optimistic that the final product will be good beer.  I confess though to being pretty tempted to work my way through the whole gamut of decoction mashes to see how different the brews turn out.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: jeffy on April 19, 2011, 01:55:19 PM
I made a Weissbier Sunday using a single decoction from protein rest (131) to low sac rest (148) and then heated to get the high sac rest (158).  It worked out pretty well and didn't take too much extra time.  We'll see how it tastes eventually.
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: nateo on April 20, 2011, 03:55:36 PM
For my last wheats I did triple decotions. The last three had poor head retention. I think it must be the protein rest but it's never been a problem before.

That's really interesting that you had that problem. The last wheat I made has way too much head retention. It has dense, thick, clumpy foam that lasts through the whole beer.

Grist was 52% pale, 38% wheat malt, 10% raw wheat.

Here's the mash schedule I used, a modified double-decoction:
107* for 10min,
decoction
131* for 15min,
 infused water
136* for 10min
decoction
149* for 15min,
infused water
159* for 15min.

I assumed the crazy head retention was from too much protein degradation, and that the protein rest actually caused too much protein to break down into albumins that didn't precipitate in the boil as hot break. Am I right?
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: anthony on April 22, 2011, 08:00:17 AM
I assumed the crazy head retention was from too much protein degradation, and that the protein rest actually caused too much protein to break down into albumins that didn't precipitate in the boil as hot break. Am I right?

Right, since you stayed below and then above the peptidase range.... of course, can one really have too much head retention? :)
Title: Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
Post by: miguelpanderland on April 29, 2011, 08:11:15 PM
Dunkel update: bottled the brew that this thread begat.  "9 Hour" will be ready in two short weeks....Thankfully I've got two brews that'd be ready for drinking before then.