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Mash Temps and Water Profile - Bock

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I'm planning on making a traditional bock this weekend. I'll be trying a decoction for the first time  :) What temps should I use for each step? I am thinking a triple decoction is the way to go, with steps of 97, 122, and 154. Am I in the ballpark? My recipe is 100% Munich II.

Also, my water profile is:
42.1 Ca
8.2 Mg
85 Na
41 SO4
100 Cl
195 HCO3
7.5 PH

Is this profile suitable for a bock? I know the high carbonate is good for the style, and I've never really concerned myself with my water profile, so I just want to make sure it's acceptable...


I think you'll be fine. The residual alkalinity is ~100 ppm as CaCO3 which will work with a all 100% Munich Malt grist.

The decoction steps seem fine too.


I'm going to have to differ with Kai on this one.  Although alkalinity is needed to moderate mash pH when dealing with darker grists, it needs to be within limits.  The alkalinity of this water is too high for a beer that will end up around a color or 11 to 12 SRM.  I calculate that about 0.4 to 0.5 ml/gal of 88% lactic acid should be added to the mash water to bring the alkalinity more in line with successful mash pH. 

The elevated sodium and chloride are troubling, but not to the point of distraction.  This water appears to be from a water system that softens their water with ion-exchange.  The water hardness is reduced to about the level that most users find acceptable (140ppm).  My municipal water system and many others in the midwest use this type of softening on their extremely hard water.  This brewer is fortunate.  My tap water can have up to 250 ppm sodium and it still has significant hardness.

Another option would be to add gypsum to decrease the residual alkalinity, but the sulfate and chloride concentrations are already too high.  So, nix that option.   

The third option is to dilute with RO or distilled water.  It appears that 50% dilution would work.  The calcium content would be a little low and about 0.1 g gypsum and 0.2 g CaCl would be neeeded for each gallon of mash water.   No lactic acid would be required for the mash water if dilution is used.

Its a tough water to start with.

My reasoning was that the Munich malt is likely to have a distilled water mash pH of 5.3-5.4. And a water with ~100 ppm RA in a 2 qt/lb mash will bump this pH by about 0.13 which puts the mash pH into the 5.45 – 5.55 range. In a 1.5 qt/lb mash the pH rise will be lower.

I did miss the low Ca, which I don’t think will be too much of a problem, and the high Na. Adding some gypsum and/or calcium chloride is a good idea though.

In my calculations, 0.4-0.5 ml 88% LA would eliminate all alkalinity which seems to be a bit much for a 100% Munich malt beer.


Wouldn't you want individual alpha and beta rests in your schedule?  I figure 122F is a protein rest, I don't even know what a 97F rest is there for unless its just doughing in.  I'd be inclined to go 122F, 146F and 156F.  But I'm no decoction expert, just throwing this out for discussion.

Also, will Munich II self-convert?

I'd use CaCl2 for the malt flavor profile.  And I'm using more lactic than that for acid adjustments and don't taste anything.


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