Author Topic: Decoction mashing with a cooler  (Read 4786 times)

Offline gmac

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 10:10:44 AM »
I know I'm treading on sacred ground here but why is it always lagers?  Can you do a decoction with an ale?  I'm planning on a cream ale as soon as my yeast gets here, could I give that a go at decoction?  What would it do to the flavour?  This will be my first beer with flaked corn to lighten the body slightly.  Looking for a lighter, session beer to have on tap over the summer and two of my regular store bought beers are cream ales.
So, what would happen if I decocted an ale?

Offline tygo

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2011, 10:29:10 AM »
So, what would happen if I decocted an ale?

The sky will rip open and the earth will end in a torrent of fire. 

 ;)

Give it a shot.  Sounds tasty.
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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 10:31:25 AM »
I decoct some of my ales. Am I not supposed to?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2011, 10:31:28 AM »
So, what would happen if I decocted an ale?

It would be darker in color and taste maltier or richer.  And take longer to make.  Just like a lager.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2011, 11:06:00 AM »
And if you consider German Wheat beers ales, then you're good to go as they're traditionally often decocted.
Joe

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 11:15:54 AM »
Yes, you can do a decoction for an ale.  In addition to the effects above, you also might get a few more points out of the malt, due to the small starch granuales being burst by the boiling. 

With NA malts it is a little overkill.

Fred might chime in on this one, as he sometimes does decoction for his big beers, trying to get everything out of the malt and to make a fermentable wort..
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Offline anthony

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 12:43:24 PM »
Decocting ales works too... but again try and use a simple, deliberate malt bill, using the decoction to add additional complexity... like an all British base malt English Barleywine... or a Wheat+Pilsner+Dark Munich Weizenbock... or Wheat+Pils Weizen.

I think in a lot of those examples, a decoction can smooth out sharp spots that will eventually smooth out with age.

Offline gmac

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 01:00:32 PM »
So, what would happen if I decocted an ale?

It would be darker in color and taste maltier or richer.  And take longer to make.  Just like a lager.
And Gordon, can I come up with my own name for the decocted ale style?  Canadian Hordeum Hootch or something?  Or maybe PCDA (pale cascadian Canadian dark ale)
I need to go brew something and stop spending so much time thinking about beer.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 01:41:02 PM »
I need to go brew something and stop spending so much time thinking about beer.

I think that's the best advice I've read all day on the forum.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2011, 04:31:14 AM »
Decocting ales works too... but again try and use a simple, deliberate malt bill, using the decoction to add additional complexity... like an all British base malt English Barleywine... or a Wheat+Pilsner+Dark Munich Weizenbock... or Wheat+Pils Weizen.

I think in a lot of those examples, a decoction can smooth out sharp spots that will eventually smooth out with age.

I'd never really thought of decoction as a way to replace specialty malts as a source of melanoidins and the slightly darker/breadier flavor components, that makes some sense.  And using the specialty grains in your bill then decocting, I could see where that would be tougher to taste a difference since the specialty grains are probably more pronounced in their contribution, to the point where they might be a little over the top even.
Lennie
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Offline malzig

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2011, 02:31:46 PM »
I agree.  Adding a bunch of specialty malts to a German Pilsner is just going to taste wrong.  According to Weyermann, some of their commercial customers use a small amount of CaraHell, but you really need to keep any of these additions at or just below the taste threshold in a Pilsner.

I'd compare a Pilsner made with just a great Pilsner Malt to a decocted one.  If you can tell the difference in a blind tasting, and you prefer it, decide if it's worth the time.

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2011, 05:59:37 AM »
I've never done a decoction.  Now that that's out of the way, let me just say that I found it interesting in Brewing With Wheat, by Hieronymous, that some of the traditional weizen breweries in Bavaria tend to only do decoction mashes when the ingredients call for it (i.e., when using undermodified malt).  I found the takeaway point to be that while brewers can manipulate the wort profile with decoction mashing (breaking down proteins via protein rest -- when necessary, increasing wort fermentability, etc.), there are not enough flavor benefits to justify performing a decoction mash for every batch.  Of course, there are plenty of traditional weizen breweries who still seem to employ decoction mashing as a matter of course.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 06:13:43 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline sharg54

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2011, 11:46:44 PM »
Just my 2 cents and it don't account for much but this just blows me away...  Denny aren't you the one who was telling me a few months ago and anyone else who would listen about how fantastic a Decoction Mash was and basically took over the conversation???? Hummmmm......... ??? Remember when I was asking why everyone was always asking me why and making such a big deal when I said I stepped mashed and you got into how you have ran all the triple blind taste tests and such... And now you say it's not all that...
People keep telling me it's not rocket science... I like rockets..

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2011, 05:28:52 AM »
Just my 2 cents and it don't account for much but this just blows me away...  Denny aren't you the one who was telling me a few months ago and anyone else who would listen about how fantastic a Decoction Mash was and basically took over the conversation???? Hummmmm......... ??? Remember when I was asking why everyone was always asking me why and making such a big deal when I said I stepped mashed and you got into how you have ran all the triple blind taste tests and such... And now you say it's not all that...

Obviously, Denny can answer for himself, but in the six years that I've been acquainted with him online (through both the NB and AHA forums), I have never heard him espouse the virtues of decoction mashing.  I have always understood his position to be that he has found no appreciable benefit to doing a decoction mash, but that others should try it for themselves to see if their opinions differ.  In other words, his position has been completely consistent with his comments in this thread and others on the subject.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 06:34:21 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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ccarlson

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Re: Decoction mashing with a cooler
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2011, 07:33:40 AM »
I can't see why anyone would be against decoction. It works great, but it's a royal pain in the butt to do.