Author Topic: Decocotion mash  (Read 2578 times)

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Decocotion mash
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2010, 05:12:05 PM »
I pull decoctions using a saucepan.  Act like you're in college and trying to get all the good stuff from a big pot of soup.  Sort of scoop up the grain and let some of the liquid drain back. It shouldn't be totally dry -- it would scorch if you did that. You need some liquid, but less than as in your main mash.

Don't preheat your decoction pot.  Put the grain in there and then give it some flame.  You really, really, really want to avoid doing anything to scorch it.  Otherwise it will taste like the bottom of an ashtray, and it won't go away.  Stir constantly as you apply the heat, and feel for any sticking on the bottom of the pot.  I find a long metal spoon works better than a wooden spoon for the "feel" of the pot.

I generally use 33-40% of the mash in a decoction. How long you decoct is up to you. Depends on the style. You'll get more color and flavor development the longer you do it.

Think about your rest temperatures, particularly what temperature your main mash is resting at while you're doing the decoction.  I tend to have the main at beta-amylase conversion temps while doing this, not protein conversion temps.  Google 'hochkurz' for more info.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline bluesman

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Re: Decocotion mash
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2010, 05:24:08 PM »
I pull decoctions using a saucepan.  Act like you're in college and trying to get all the good stuff from a big pot of soup.  Sort of scoop up the grain and let some of the liquid drain back. It shouldn't be totally dry -- it would scorch if you did that. You need some liquid, but less than as in your main mash.

I use a 2qt saucepan.


I generally use 33-40% of the mash in a decoction. How long you decoct is up to you. Depends on the style. You'll get more color and flavor development the longer you do it.

+1

The longer the decoction, the darker and richer the wort. That's the thinking.
Although some opinions (Denny, Kai, etc..) vary on the flavor contribution from a decoction.
I'm not convinced one way or the other at the moment.

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Decocotion mash
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2010, 05:34:52 PM »
Yes, 2 qt saucepan.  I use the same thing for emptying the mash tun into buckets for composting rather than killing my back lifting the whole thing.

The OP didn't ask about the merits of decoction, just how to do it.  I thought I'd try the novel approach of just answering the question  ;D
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline bassriverbrewer

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Re: Decocotion mash
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2010, 09:25:58 PM »
Thanks for the help.  And yes the merits don't bother me I tend to be a traditionalist in a world of shortcuts and convenience.  To me the care and love of process comes through in the finished beer.  It is a meditative experience.  Plus I want to see how much flavor impact it has.  Again thanks to all for the help and sorry about the misspelling in the title.  A couple of IPA's tends to do that to me. :) ;)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:27:42 PM by bassriverbrewer »

Offline CASK1

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Re: Decocotion mash
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 10:07:44 PM »
I love doing decoction mashes.  I brew with another guy so it makes the labor easy.

We bought a 2-quart pyrex measuring bowl and use that to extract the mash.  "Thickest part" is an ambiguous term but there's a reason behind it.  The grist holds temperature better than the liquid.  So in order to increase the temperature of your mash, you want to extract as much solid material as possible; hence "thickest part".  Too much liquid and you won't be able to hit your target temperature.  Too much grist and you run the risk of scorching what you are trying to boil.

Have a calculator or brewing program handy when you decoct.  You'll find that sometimes your temp will drop between phases and that will affect the volume you need to pull from the mash.

I also love decoctions. You can't get a really complex malt profile any other way. There is another reason for using the "thickest part". Once you dough in, most of the enzymes are extracted to the liquid. By boiling the thicker portion, you avoid denaturing the enzymes and keep a higher diastatic power in your mash.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:10:02 PM by CASK1 »