Nice to hear, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Post that recipe and water profile if you want, I'd like to see it, at least.
OK, this recipe is based around JZ's recipe from 'Brewing Classic Styles'. But, in anticipation of higher efficiency due to the decoction, I adjusted my grains as I saw fit and deviated slightly from his recipe.
As a quick side note, I've focused on water chemistry this year (about 16 batches) and I feel like I'm brewing much better beer. Here my recipe:
50% Mountain Valley Spring Water (I live in Northwest Arkansas so have easy access to this water)
50% Distilled water
~3g CaCl for every 5 gallons of brewing water
~2g CaSO4 for every 5 gallons of brewing water
Based on Palmer's Residual Alkalinity worksheet, the above ratios yield:
Ca - 102ppm
Mg - 4ppm
Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 95
Na - 1ppm
Cl - 78ppm
Sulfate - 64ppm
Weyermann German Pilsner - 4#
Briess Munich 10L - 3.5#
Briess Vienna - 2.5#
Crystal 60L - 0.5#
Belgian Cara45 - 0.5#
Hochkurz Double Decoction. First Sacc rest at 146F for 60minutes. Second Sacc rest at 158F for 30min. 85% efficiency. Preboil gravity on 7.5 gallons was ~1.044.
90 minute boil to reduce to 6 gallons, racking 5.5 gallons to primary. 6 gallon OG was 1.055.
1.1oz Hallertau (5.7AA) at 60min
0.4oz Hallertau at 20min
My cooling setup is pretty pathetic and I was only able to cool to about 65F.
Pitched WLP820 Oktoberfest yeast which I had built up off one vial and a 2-stage starter. 1 liter to get the viability up and the yeast active, then cooled and decanted. Pitched into a 2 liter starter to get cell count where I wanted it.
Obviously pitched warm but put in fridge set at 49F (I don't have an O2 stone or anything like that...when I rack to my primary fermentor I keep the vinyl tubing at the opening of the carboy so the beer splashes and tumbles into the fermentor, has worked well for me in my opinion). Took almost 48 hours to show good signs of fermentation (i.e. krausen). Primary for 3 weeks. Diacetyl rest at 60F for 4 days then cooled slowly to 40F over the next 3 days and racked to secondary on day 28. Gravity was ~1.017 when racked.
Lagered for 9 weeks (this wasn't premeditated, rather just when I was able to finally keg based on other life activities) at 34F before kegging. Put into kegerator under 12psi at 45F for 17 weeks until my Okto party.
I think that covers most of the recipe....any questions let me know. Again, this was my favorite beer I've ever made and I plan to do it again, on a larger scale. It demanded patience but was worth it.