Author Topic: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?  (Read 8517 times)

Offline miguelpanderland

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How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« on: March 31, 2011, 06:51:41 PM »
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

Offline hokerer

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 06:57:11 PM »
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.
Joe

Offline euge

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 07:20:24 PM »
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.

I do it but not for step-mashing. 
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Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 07:23:21 PM »
I'm getting ready to do one tomorrow night and I've heard arguments for and against.  What say you?

For German wheats (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, etc), I like to do the decoction.  For American wheats, no way.

I do it but not for step-mashing. 

Say more, euge.

Offline euge

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 07:44:44 PM »
Well, traditionally it was done to raise the mash temp in step-mashes. The maillard reaction is a happy by-product. I do it for the subtle change in flavor this produces.

However, this is argued back and forth as to whether it (decoction) really does much at all for the flavor and is probably unnecessary. I believe it does have an effect.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 07:46:43 PM by euge »
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Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 08:00:38 PM »
Thanks, I appreciate the response.

I get the sense I'm about to go through a wheat phase, so at some point soon, I'm sure I'll give it a go and have my own experience to draw on.

Offline nateo

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 10:23:08 PM »
I agree with Euge. Not "necessary" in a strict sense, but it will make a better product, if done properly. I use decoction mashes on any beer that will have a low hop presence, where I want a strong and nuanced malt character. It is also a good way to hit  multi-step temps without throwing your grain/grist ratio way off.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 07:42:36 AM by nateo »
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Offline tygo

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 10:29:23 PM »
It is also a good way to hit  multi-step temps without throwing your grain/grist ratio way off.

This is why I've recently started to play around with decoctions.  I don't have enough experience with it yet to make a judgment on how it affects the flavor profile but it seems to be an effective way of moving between step temperatures.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 04:56:28 AM »
Necessary?  No.  Beneficial?  IMHO, Yes.  I do a single decoction in my German wheat beers.  I like the character.  Can't really put my finger on it, but they always seem to score better in competition.  My gold medal hefe two years ago was decocted (and really, really fresh).
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Offline glastctbrew

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 05:13:34 AM »
For those that are doing a decoction on the wheat's, are you going single, double or , I shudder, triple?
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Offline Tim McManus

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 05:44:49 AM »
It's like wearing pants at a wedding...optional.
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Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 06:11:18 AM »
Necessary?  No.  Beneficial?  IMHO, Yes.  I do a single decoction in my German wheat beers.  I like the character.  Can't really put my finger on it, but they always seem to score better in competition.  My gold medal hefe two years ago was decocted (and really, really fresh).

When using a single decoction, do you use it early in the mash or late in the mash?

Edit: Found the answer on Kai's site.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 06:24:28 AM by miguelpanderland »

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2011, 06:14:29 AM »
I'm assuming by late you mean a thin decoction for mashout.  No, I do it in the middle.  I do a short protein rest, then ramp it up to low saccharification temps, pull the decoction and remix to hit high sacc temps.  Then ramp for a mashout.  The full recipe was published in Zymurgy, and it will be in my book.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline glastctbrew

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 06:20:14 AM »
I'm assuming by late you mean a thin decoction for mashout.  No, I do it in the middle.  I do a short protein rest, then ramp it up to low saccharification temps, pull the decoction and remix to hit high sacc temps.  Then ramp for a mashout.  The full recipe was published in Zymurgy, and it will be in my book.

Ah, a typical author, always looking to plug their book ;)  Actually, I'm really looking forward to it and will be putting in my pre-order next week. Getting back to the thread, Is the protein rest really beneficial with today's malts?  I ask this in general as well as specifically for wheat beers.
Scott
Still Hill Brewery

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How Necessary is Decoction Mashing in Wheat Beer?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2011, 06:27:23 AM »
I usually do 10-15 min at 131F/55C when I use continental malts or starchy adjuncts.  My hefe is usually just Durst wheat and pils.  I almost never to rests at 122F/50C.

I get better clarity when I do this, but that's not really an issue with this style.  Again, I've done it this way for a long time and it doesn't cause problems.  I've tried my recipe with just a straight single infusion but I don't like it as much and it doesn't seem to score as well.  Not really sure why; I think it's something with the mouthfeel.
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