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General Category => Zymurgy => Topic started by: alan_marks59 on June 30, 2011, 12:14:43 pm

Title: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: alan_marks59 on June 30, 2011, 12:14:43 pm
Here's a simple question about mash volume for the triple decoction formula on page 36 of the latest Zymurgy. The mash in formula listed in the magazine is ALMOST 24 GALLONS for a 5 gallon batch. That's 11 quarts water per pound of grain!?!?! Should this be 3.775 gallons instead?

Is this a typo or what?

...help...

Alan
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 30, 2011, 01:00:43 pm
I skimed the article, and had not looked at the recipe.  That has to be a mistake.

He has 4 gallons on the Multi-step mash option on page 37.  I would go with something like that, which is closer to 1.82 qt/lb, which is not too thin.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: narvin on June 30, 2011, 07:35:53 pm
Here's a simple question about mash volume for the triple decoction formula on page 36 of the latest Zymurgy. The mash in formula listed in the magazine is ALMOST 24 GALLONS for a 5 gallon batch. That's 11 quarts water per pound of grain!?!?! Should this be 3.775 gallons instead?

Is this a typo or what?

...help...

Alan

Don't have the magazine yet, but it sounds like it should be quarts.

If your PU clone has 12 pounds of grain and you mash thin for a decoction, 2 qts/pound would be 24 quarts.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: tygo on June 30, 2011, 08:47:14 pm
I looked at the article again tonight.  It does say gallons but as stated it must mean quarts.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: thomasbarnes on July 05, 2011, 01:08:11 am
I didn't want to comment on this, since this is basically Zymurgy's reader forum and I don't like making blanket criticisms, but take anything that Horst Dornbusch writes with a 50 lb. bag of halite. His beer history is (mostly) rubbish and his brewing articles are riddled with errors. You can practically take it as a given that the recipe is incorrect.

While I haven't brewed a Czech Pils, I have to wonder why you'd bother with a triple decoction. Historically, the only reason for the low doughing in temp is the phytase/acid rest, which isn't necessary given modern malts and water pH adjustment techniques. Likewise, even with somewhat undermodified malts, I'm not sure that a protein rest is necessary. A double or triple decoction would just take more time and energy, give more chances to screw up the beer and might result in excessive darkening of the mash/wort. This would be especially true if you then direct fire the wort kettle (as is typical for most homebrewers). You can get your caramelization and malty notes from sources other than decoction.

This isn't to say that you should blow off doing decoctions. They can give very nice subtle caramel and malty notes. You just shouldn't be slave to technique.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: alan_marks59 on July 11, 2011, 01:56:58 am
After reading Gordon Strong's book I would tend to disagree with you. My original question was as to whether the original mash volume was accurate for a tripple decotion. This was based on what I read as Gordons description of the decotion process for pilsner beers. Having not personally done a decotion mash I would reserve judgement untill I try the process for myself.

That being said, I would have to take the editors and copy reviewers to task for not accurately fact checking their writers information before publishing.Since the SAME GROUP PUBLISHES MR. STRONG'S BOOK I REQUEST YOU GET YOU ACT TOGETHER.

My apologies for shouting but there was a definate lack of attention from the editors of the ...ahem..."journal".

The credibility of the organization takes a nose dive when the basic science of what is reported as fact does not make sense.

This was the intention of my original question.

I'm a bit concerned that it did not get their attention.

Regards,
Alan
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 11, 2011, 11:24:25 am
I've done a few Triple-Ds and regularly use a decoction-like step of removing grain to raise the overall temperature of the mash.  Here's what I've learned:

Have a calculator or brewing software handy in the brewery during brew day.  Your mash temperature may be off by a few degrees and you'll need to adjust the volumes accordingly.  Pour the boiling mash into the cooler mash a little volume at a time and stir.  It is entirely possibly that you will overheat the mash because volume calculations are not precise.  So a little at a time with a stir will go a long way.  Your mash temp will rise quickly with the initial infusion but squeaking out the last few degrees takes the longest.  Be patient when you add the boiling mash back in and watch your overall mash temp.

Triple-D brings out a lot of dextrins (in my experiences), so you'll have a pretty full-bodied beer.  With something like a Pilsner, be sensitive to your sweet / hop bitterness.  You'll obviously know how it tastes when it's done, but if it's too sweet then it might be due to the extra dextrins from the Triple-D.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 11, 2011, 12:50:34 pm
Tim, what is it about decoctions that brings out dextrins?
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: jeffy on July 11, 2011, 02:04:01 pm
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 11, 2011, 02:56:49 pm
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.

That's what I was wondering about.  I'd think there would actually be fewer dextrins, but I'm not certain.  I'm guessing that whatever added "sweetness" there might be would be due to Maillard reactions, not dextrins.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: jill on July 11, 2011, 03:44:28 pm
Hi Alan,

I apologize for not responding to your post earlier. I was on vacation from June 30-July 8.

I have emailed Horst for clarification and will report back with his response ASAP. Apologies for the confusion on the recipe.

Jill Redding
Editor-in-Chief, Zymurgy
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 11, 2011, 04:11:18 pm
Alan, do you know who the technical editor of Zymurgy is?  Gordon Strong.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 11, 2011, 05:35:58 pm
Alan, do you know who the technical editor of Zymurgy is?  Gordon Strong.
I was going to say that earlier, but  ::)
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: alan_marks59 on July 12, 2011, 12:17:27 am
Hmmmm...

Now it seems like there is a lack of communication in the process of producing the journal. While I understand that there is a 3 month time lag between "putting an issue to bed" and printing and distibution to the membership, I'm am concerned that there are some fact checking issues that may or may not be addressed. THAT was the point I was going toward.

Jill, my apologies for showting as I did not understand you were on a well desreved break, especially after NHC.

Oh, Gordon...huh...?!?! Perhaps you did not get this copy for your review. I cannot believe this might get past your scrutiny.

To the editorial staff, I am freely volunteering my services as a proofreader for the magazine going forward. If I am able to catch this perhaps there are other things that may be reviewed.

Regards,
Alan
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: jill on July 12, 2011, 10:18:49 am
Hi all,

Upon investigating, this error occurred during the production process of the magazine. The information originally presented by Horst was correct. Our technical editor, Gordon Strong, sees the original copy, not the final layouts, so he wouldn't have caught this error (and I'm quite certain that this article was not sent to him for a technical edit in the first place due to time constraints.)

The table should have read: “Boil about six to seven gallons (roughly 23 to 26.5 liters) of water so that there is enough for both mashing and sparging to reach the target of five gallons (19 liters) of net kettle volume at the end of the boil.“

The mash-in volume should be approximately 4 gallons or 15.25 liters, not the 23.775 gallons that was listed in the table. I think things somehow got rearranged in the table during the layout process so that the volume amount ended up in the wrong place.

I cross-checked the rest of the info, and everything else is correct.

I apologize for the error; I should have caught it.

Jill


Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: alan_marks59 on July 12, 2011, 10:43:09 am
Jill,

Thank you for your response and checking into this matter.This clarifies things greatly. I wouldn't have been so concerned normally; since it was the cover story for the issue it really had me scratching my head.

Thank you to all that responded for your assistance and passion for brewing.

It's my day off from the restaurant...time to dough in...

Alan
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 12, 2011, 11:58:34 am
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.

That's what I was wondering about.  I'd think there would actually be fewer dextrins, but I'm not certain.  I'm guessing that whatever added "sweetness" there might be would be due to Maillard reactions, not dextrins.

It was a little of both.  Definitely had some Maillard reaction stuff going on, easily identified in the flavor.  However, and I don't have the recipe details in front of me right now, it didn't ferment all the way out as we had expected.  The gravity was still high (1.100 fermented down to 1.068), and we used a high-gravity lager yeast (yes, made a starter; yes, starter was chilled and pitched into the wort at around 50°F; yes, aerated with oxygen).  My assumption was that there were residual dextrins in the wort that weren't fermented out.

I'll have to check the recipe details to be sure.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 12, 2011, 12:00:31 pm
It was a little of both.  Definitely had some Maillard reaction stuff going on, easily identified in the flavor.  However, and I don't have the recipe details in front of me right now, it didn't ferment all the way out as we had expected.  The gravity was still high (1.100 fermented down to 1.068), and we used a high-gravity lager yeast.  My assumption was that there were residual dextrins in the wort that weren't fermented out.

I'll have to check the recipe details to be sure.

OK, but why would that be due to decoction?  Or did I misunderstand you?
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 12, 2011, 12:09:09 pm
It was a little of both.  Definitely had some Maillard reaction stuff going on, easily identified in the flavor.  However, and I don't have the recipe details in front of me right now, it didn't ferment all the way out as we had expected.  The gravity was still high (1.100 fermented down to 1.068), and we used a high-gravity lager yeast.  My assumption was that there were residual dextrins in the wort that weren't fermented out.

I'll have to check the recipe details to be sure.

OK, but why would that be due to decoction?  Or did I misunderstand you?

Nope, you understood correctly.  The "Why" part is subject to debate.  We had 4 steps, 122°F, 148°F, 156°F and 168°F.  Went through each during each phase of decoction, 15 minutes a step per phase.

It shouldn't have extracted so many dextrins, but it did.  We tend to have beers ferment out from OG 1.060 to FG 1.020 and higher with a triple-D or decoct-infusing.  So somewhere we're getting something that is increasing the body of the wort, and my assumption is that it's dextrins coming from the decocting.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 12, 2011, 12:26:43 pm
But are there dextrins produced by the decoction?  And if so, how?
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 13, 2011, 09:39:50 am
But are there dextrins produced by the decoction?  And if so, how?

If I had to guess, it would be due to this:

"A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer."

From http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

Since I am pulling out the thickest part of the mash for each decoction, that volume will produce more less fermentable sugars if Palmer is correct.  I should pull out Noonan's book and cross reference, but this would be where I would start looking for additional dextrins.

Oh, and to note, we can pull out up to 40% of the mash for a decoction step, so that is a good amount of mash volume and could be what's contributing to the significant rise in dextrins.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 13, 2011, 09:42:14 am
If I had to guess, it would be due to this:

"A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer."

From http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

Since I am pulling out the thickest part of the mash for each decoction, that volume will produce more less fermentable sugars if Palmer is correct.  I should pull out Noonan's book and cross reference, but this would be where I would start looking for additional dextrins.

Thanks for that, but I don't know if that really makes much difference.  At least in my experience, it's a stretch to relate mash thickness to wort profile in more than a very minor way.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: jeffy on July 13, 2011, 09:56:24 am
If I had to guess, it would be due to this:

"A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer."

From http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

Since I am pulling out the thickest part of the mash for each decoction, that volume will produce more less fermentable sugars if Palmer is correct.  I should pull out Noonan's book and cross reference, but this would be where I would start looking for additional dextrins.



Thanks for that, but I don't know if that really makes much difference.  At least in my experience, it's a stretch to relate mash thickness to wort profile in more than a very minor way.

On the other hand, if one pulls a thick decoction of 40% and raises that to high sacc rest of 156-160F, then that would account for it, eh?
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: a10t2 on July 13, 2011, 10:18:09 am
On the other hand, if one pulls a thick decoction of 40% and raises that to high sacc rest of 156-160F, then that would account for it, eh?

Wouldn't it be the other way around? The thicker the decoction, the more wort is left in the mash, and the fewer enzymes are denatured by boiling. That's why it's generally recommended to pull the thickest decoction you can manage.

Tim: What was the grist? If it was enzymatically weak then 15 min rests might not have been enough for full conversion regardless of the method used. Either way, I'm with Denny - I've only done a few decoctions, but I've seen *increased* fermentability as a result. For a beer to stop at 1.068 I think some other factor would have to be in play. Did you do a forced ferment test?
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 13, 2011, 10:59:02 am
On the other hand, if one pulls a thick decoction of 40% and raises that to high sacc rest of 156-160F, then that would account for it, eh?

Wouldn't it be the other way around? The thicker the decoction, the more wort is left in the mash, and the fewer enzymes are denatured by boiling. That's why it's generally recommended to pull the thickest decoction you can manage.

Tim: What was the grist? If it was enzymatically weak then 15 min rests might not have been enough for full conversion regardless of the method used. Either way, I'm with Denny - I've only done a few decoctions, but I've seen *increased* fermentability as a result. For a beer to stop at 1.068 I think some other factor would have to be in play. Did you do a forced ferment test?

10-gallon batch

2# Rice hulls
20# Munich Malt
12.5# Vienna Malt
6.25# Dark Munich Malt

Decoction Steps:

100°F
127°F
149°F
168°F

We used Wyeast Bavarian Lager #2206 to ferment with.  It's a temperamental strain, but we had a good starter and a strong ferment.

We did not do a force ferment test, and I'm not sure what that exactly is.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: blatz on July 13, 2011, 11:16:06 am
looks pretty enzymatically weak to me - the vienna and light munich should be okay on their own, but IIRC, the dark munich has a DP of 25 (assuming weyermann or best - I think its lower with some other brands). 

That grist needs some pils malt, or much longer rests...
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: a10t2 on July 13, 2011, 11:19:59 am
I'd put money on that mash being low in enzyme content. Do you have the actual lot analyses? It would probably hinge mostly on the DP of the Vienna. Munich I can be <50 Lintner, and Munich II <20. Unless the Vienna was very high (>100) then the mash as a whole would be <60 and 15 min probably wouldn't be enough time for conversion to finish.

A forced ferment test is simply reserving a small portion of the wort, pitching several times as much yeast as normal, and fermenting it warm (on a stir plate if available) so that you can determine the FG after just a couple days.

FWIW I haven't found 2206 to be temperamental, and I've certainly never had it stall out significantly above the FFT result.

Edit: Paul beat me to it...
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: denny on July 13, 2011, 11:29:43 am
Yep, I agree with everything Paul and Sean have said.  Especially the part about 2206 not being temperamental.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 13, 2011, 12:06:54 pm
Each decoction step varied, but the temperature steps in between them were 15 minutes.  Tough to explain, but this might help:

Mash Temp
100°F - decoction removed, heated to 127°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 149°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
127°F - decoction removed, heated to 149°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
149°F - decoction removed, heated to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
167°F - , held for 15 minutes, mash out

So each mash step held the temperature for longer than 15 minutes, but the decoction steps were held for 15 minutes each, if that helps with the explanation.  Our saccrification should have occurred optimally at 149°F and was held for at least 30 minutes.

I got the feeling 2206 was temperamental from Designing Great Beers.  Although it isn't called out by name and manufacturer, I interpreted it as the yeast we were using, 2206.  We took extra care to cool the starter and pitch at near fermentation temperature (wort was chilled to the same fermentation temp. as the starter).

Good to know about the enzymes.  At least now I know where to focus next in formulating the recipe.  Any grain suggestions to augment the low enzymes?  I don't have the lot analysis.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: a10t2 on July 13, 2011, 01:02:41 pm
Good to know about the enzymes.  At least now I know where to focus next in formulating the recipe.  Any grain suggestions to augment the low enzymes?  I don't have the lot analysis.

If the base malt is anything other than a pale or pilsner malt, and you don't have the lot analysis for it, I'd use the lightest-colored base malt that would be stylistically appropriate to make up at least 20% of the fermentables. In this case that would be your pilsner malt of choice. In an ale, probably a domestic 2-row pale malt.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: hoser on July 13, 2011, 01:28:34 pm

I got the feeling 2206 was temperamental from Designing Great Beers.  Although it isn't called out by name and manufacturer, I interpreted it as the yeast we were using, 2206.  We took extra care to cool the starter and pitch at near fermentation temperature (wort was chilled to the same fermentation temp. as the starter).


I wouldn't call Wyeast 2206 tempermental.  It is the only lager strain I just and it produces very clean, consistent results  and clear beer everytime with 74-78% attenuation no matter the beer.  I set the fermenter at 48-50F for 3-4 weeks and then go straight into lagering.  I have never had this yeast kick off sulfur or diacetyl.  Maybe a little green apple/acetaldehyde when it is young, but that typically goes away quickly. 
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Tim McManus on July 13, 2011, 04:31:10 pm
Good to know about the enzymes.  At least now I know where to focus next in formulating the recipe.  Any grain suggestions to augment the low enzymes?  I don't have the lot analysis.

If the base malt is anything other than a pale or pilsner malt, and you don't have the lot analysis for it, I'd use the lightest-colored base malt that would be stylistically appropriate to make up at least 20% of the fermentables. In this case that would be your pilsner malt of choice. In an ale, probably a domestic 2-row pale malt.

Thanks, good to know.  That knowledge will come in handy the next time we make this batch and future batches.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: jake amo on January 19, 2012, 01:36:50 pm
Someone mentioned earlier; a substituion for decotion, not being decotion dependent and other ways to acheive a decotion flavor profile without hours of labor. I would be very interested in this as i am a slave to decotion! I do it all the time; Bock, marzen, pilz, Lambic, hefe allways and i have even tried it with american styles; brown, porter, and it makes a damn good hoppy american red.  I find i get a highly fermentable wort from a double or tripple but not with a single. By highly fermentable i mean 75/80 percent. I find the beers to have an unmatched body and sweetness compared to other beers that dry using infusion.  This continues to mystify me and i continue to be a slave to decotion.   I have however been doing 2 hour boil, single infusion IPAs mashing at 158/160 and getting a similar flavor but with a lower att. 65/70 percent. I would love to brew up a side by side taste test faux decotion vs real decotion. If anyone has a method or methods please help, Im a slave to the slow, slow, slow decotion!
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: thatleetboy on April 15, 2015, 09:30:01 am
Does anyone have a copy of this recipe that they could share with me?
Or know where it might be posted online somewhere?

Cheers
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: Iliff Ave on April 15, 2015, 03:27:02 pm
Does anyone have a copy of this recipe that they could share with me?
Or know where it might be posted online somewhere?

Cheers

No idea if this is close:
http://byo.com/stories/item/3030-pilsner-urquell-clone

all grain option is below
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: BrewArk on April 15, 2015, 04:59:00 pm
Also the July/August 2011 issue of Zymurgy had a good article on PU, and decoction.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: thatleetboy on April 15, 2015, 07:06:30 pm
Also the July/August 2011 issue of Zymurgy had a good article on PU, and decoction.

This is what I am looking for.... thanks.
Title: Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
Post by: brewinhard on April 16, 2015, 06:49:29 am
Someone mentioned earlier; a substituion for decotion, not being decotion dependent and other ways to acheive a decotion flavor profile without hours of labor. I would be very interested in this as i am a slave to decotion! I do it all the time; Bock, marzen, pilz, Lambic, hefe allways and i have even tried it with american styles; brown, porter, and it makes a damn good hoppy american red.  I find i get a highly fermentable wort from a double or tripple but not with a single. By highly fermentable i mean 75/80 percent. I find the beers to have an unmatched body and sweetness compared to other beers that dry using infusion.  This continues to mystify me and i continue to be a slave to decotion.   I have however been doing 2 hour boil, single infusion IPAs mashing at 158/160 and getting a similar flavor but with a lower att. 65/70 percent. I would love to brew up a side by side taste test faux decotion vs real decotion. If anyone has a method or methods please help, Im a slave to the slow, slow, slow decotion!

I have yet to do a side by side comparison experiment, but I do get a nice full mouthfeel that is reminiscient of a decoction when I perform a no sparge with my beers.