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Author Topic: Decoction - The Toast Test  (Read 11863 times)

Offline MDixon

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 04:02:07 pm »
I personally have never seen anyone decoct to that level. When you do, snap some photos or take a video. ;)
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T100

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2015, 04:15:05 pm »
I've seen people come close.  When there's not much liquid in the boil kettle the mash really has to be stirred as it is in effect being boiled down.  That's where the strainer experiment would come in to play.

Offline wobdee

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2015, 05:44:01 pm »
I've seen people come close.  When there's not much liquid in the boil kettle the mash really has to be stirred as it is in effect being boiled down.  That's where the strainer experiment would come in to play.
What do you mean by strainer experiment?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2015, 06:54:14 pm »
Another purpose of the decoction mash is to attempt to extract more starches (and proteins!) than can be had by simple infusion.  That point seems to be left by the wayside and is perhaps not as well tested.

Running a decoction mash using a strainer to pull the decoctions would be an interesting take.  In doing so, a good thick mash should be had, combined with constant stirring - a very malty flavor would be developed ::Shocked:: along with a mass of caramel ;)

I'm neither for or against a decoction, just attempting to look at it through the critical eyes of a scientific point of view - What really happens during a mash boil?

As an aside, I'd like to know how the whole 'decoctions make for a maltier beer' thing got started.

On the strainer thing - that is how we do it. You do need to get some liquid in there too.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2015, 07:00:44 pm »
Sure, if water is present, however in a very dry decoction with a very low to no volume of wort on the bottom of the kettle, it is conceivable that caramelization does in fact occur.
Can you give references to back that up?

Even in vigorous boils, you have about +10C on the kettle surface, so about 230F at best. We are in the nucleate boiling regime. If you get hotter, well that takes alot of heat flux, and you get into the Leidenfrost boiling and film boiling ranges - not good.

German brewers that decoct mash thin and pump a slurry over - grain and liquid.
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T100

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2015, 07:14:17 pm »
I'm not making claims nor am I speaking from a position of authority.  I said it was conceivable (Able to be grasped mentally though perhaps not in reality).

How much liquid do you purposefully place in your decoction when using the strainer?

Are you boiling on a stove top or a gas flame.  Depending on the pot type, an electric element would create hot spots at a temperature capable of caramelization.  I know it does when I boil down a volume of wort and end up with spots of charred/caramelized material (A thin stainless pot.)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2015, 07:29:48 pm »
I'm not making claims nor am I speaking from a position of authority.  I said it was conceivable (Able to be grasped mentally though perhaps not in reality).

How much liquid do you purposefully place in your decoction when using the strainer?

Are you boiling on a stove top or a gas flame.  Depending on the pot type, an electric element would create hot spots at a temperature capable of caramelization.  I know it does when I boil down a volume of wort and end up with spots of charred/caramelized material (A thin stainless pot.)

I have read up to 1/3 liquid and 2/3 grains. I eyeball it. Pulling with the strainer you don't get enough liquid and it can be a b**** to stir. With the right amount of liquid it can be stirred before it loosens up at high temperature. Too little liquid and you can scorch a decoction - not recommended.

Lately the decoctions have been on a gas stove, and in a 5 gallon Revere Ware pot - copper clad bottom. Stirred, no scorching or deposits on the bottom.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2015, 07:37:57 pm »
Check out these videos by Kai Troester, check out the decoction appearance. Much to be learned.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V1zt0mW084
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5u_nJhMD4w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VcZRVw2k_o

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T100

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2015, 07:42:25 pm »
I often hear about scorching decoctions but does anyone have any experience in actually scorching a decoction?

Too thick is difficult to stir until it gets up to temperature, that I can understand especially for a big grain bill.

T100

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2015, 07:45:47 pm »
Check out these videos by Kai Troester, check out the decoction appearance. Much to be learned.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V1zt0mW084
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5u_nJhMD4w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VcZRVw2k_o

Yes, thank you.  I have seen those and the other videos on YouTube concerning decoction.  Watched them before I tried my first several years ago.

Offline dkfick

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2015, 07:46:35 pm »
I often hear about scorching decoctions but does anyone have any experience in actually scorching a decoction?

Too thick is difficult to stir until it gets up to temperature, that I can understand especially for a big grain bill.
I've burnt up a decoction pretty bad (my first one) the thick portion was too thick.. lol no amount of constant stirring helped... I even chucked the pot afterwards lol.
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T100

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2015, 07:54:56 pm »
Sounds like a nightmare with the burnt decoction... :(

Question though, how thick was too thick?  How much liquid was in the decoction? How did you manage to not get enough liquid?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 07:57:05 pm by T100 »

Offline dkfick

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2015, 08:04:33 pm »
I used a large ladle and just scooped up grains and then used the side of the mash tun to pour the liquid out of the ladle. There was very little liquid actually in there... Lesson learned lol.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2015, 06:13:45 am »
When I have decocted, there is always some moisture present (enough to avoid scorching with a medium heat to raise the mass to a boil relatively easily but not rapidly).  And as the temperature rises, the mass becomes more easily stirred, which I take to mean that moisture is being released as perhaps cell walls are breaking down, but I have nothing conclusive on that. 

An acquaintance with a German brewing background says that Helles and Maibock require a decoction to achieve the complexity of the malt flavor (avoids one dimensional flavor profile), but bocks are permissible to be decocted or even double decocted to enhance the malt complexity and bread like flavor as are Dunkel styles.  Newer malts are modified sufficiently to mash without temperature steps, but decocting to raise the mash temp at the end achieves both aims of the step mash and decoction malt effect.  He favors a protein rest despite the evidence that it is not necessary, suggesting that it still has a subtle effect on the Helles and Maibock flavor profile.  So, I guess reasonable minds can differ on this one.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Decoction - The Toast Test
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 06:33:22 am »
Somewhere above it asked how the "decoction makes maltier" idea got started.  My take on that question (with likely, little basis in fact 8^)  ) is the original lagers were malty and were decocted so "decoction = malty".  We all know that decoction was originally the only way to get poorly malted grains to convert enough starch to make a decent beer.  With today's malts decoction isn't really required but is traditionally the way you brew certain beer styles.  It does seem to make minor contributions in flavor but isn't really required to get the results you are looking for.

Basically it fits in the do it the way you want category for me.  RDWHAHB.   :D

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