Care to explain your brew process? Very curious, and I like details.. prefermentation mostly.
Sure... My "Dave's Double Decoction with Minimal Minutes and Minimal Messing Around Method" is similar to Kai Troester's double decoction method, with personalized tweaks. Like I said, it's been a few years, so these notes actually date back to 2013 (copy & paste):
0) This is a no-sparge process. If you don't have enough volume after the decoctions, just add more water. Expect an efficiency hit for this, and add extra malt up front to compensate. More malt = more malt flavor!
1) Calculate the strike volume using about 1.5 to 1.75 qts/lb -- maximum for small beers, minimum for bigger beers.
2) Treat the strike volume with salts as necessary, then bring 1/3 of it to a boil.
3) Meanwhile, use the other 2/3 of the strike volume to moisten the crushed grains cold at room temperature.
4) Add the boiled volume into the moistened grains. Resultant temperature should be 95 to 105 F.
5) Immediately pull 2/3 of the thick mash using a colander, and add heat to hit 154 F for 15 minutes.
6) Add 1-2 qt warm water (exact temperature not too important) to the first decoction per 5-gallon batch size (disregard exactness of preboil volume at this point), then bring to boil for 15-40 minutes -- maximums for dark beers, minimums for light.
7) Add first decoction back into the main mash and rest at average >=148 F for 15 minutes (exact temperature not terribly important, between 148-158 F should be fine).
8 ) Pull 1/3 of thin mash and bring to a boil.
9) Immediately upon the second decoction reaching a reasonable boil, add the second decoction right back into the main mash -- no waiting around. Resultant temperature should be ~170 F for mashout.
10) Immediately pull the grain bag (if BIAB) or runoff and continue brewing as normal.
Honestly I can't say I've done this process with no sparge yet. Last time I sparged and it turned out great. But in future I intend to try it as a no-sparge process, as part of my underlying and continuing theory that less sparging = more malt necessary = more malt flavor in the final beer!
The universe can debate the merits of this process or lack thereof all you want. This is the way I shall do it for at least the next couple batches, until such time as I might continue to tweak the process again. To each their own.
EDIT: By the way..... a good 6 months of lagering and/or aging seems to help, too. Good thing I'm lazy and don't drink heavily.
Oh, and other thing: Boil all your noble hops for a full hour. Tastes yummy that way. You don't need any late hop additions.