Author Topic: Edit: I did a decoction, damm!t...  (Read 8641 times)

Offline nateo

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2011, 06:46:49 PM »
Like infusion amounts for a step mash, I haven't yet found any calculations that are accurate for pull amounts for decoctions in a cooler.  I pull a lot more than Promash recommends just to be on the safe side.

+1 to that. It was mentioned here before, but it's easier to heat more than you need and cool it down before you add it, than it is to dump your whole decoction in the mash, miss your temp, say "oh crap" and scramble to heat up water. Not that that has ever happened to me. . .
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Offline dbarber

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2011, 06:06:45 AM »
Like infusion amounts for a step mash, I haven't yet found any calculations that are accurate for pull amounts for decoctions in a cooler.  I pull a lot more than Promash recommends just to be on the safe side.

it's easier to heat more than you need and cool it down before you add it, than it is to dump your whole decoction in the mash, miss your temp, say "oh crap" and scramble to heat up water.

That sounds familiar.  My first decoction I blindly followed the amounts that Promash suggested and my temps were off...still made tasty beer though. :)
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2011, 06:32:50 PM »
Today was brew day.  All in all, the decoction went pretty well.  I hit my temps really well, except for mashout, which I'm not too concerned with anyway.  I ended up getting an efficiency bump (BHE = 87.5%) which resulted in a higher than anticipated O.G. of 1.055 (I was shooting for 1.051).  It was a LONG brew day, but it was fun to finally delve into the world of decoction mashing.  It will be interesting to compare this beer to a regular step mash version to see if it's worth the extra effort.

Some takeaway points from the experience:
- Pull a bigger decoction volume than you think you need and have boiling water at the ready in case you undershoot a step.  A lot of people in this thread suggested as much, and I took this advice seriously today.  If I hadn't, this session could have turned out to be a disaster.
- Decoction mashing seemed to give me an efficiency bump, which is fairly common from what I understand.  Next time I brew a decocted beer, I'll factor this in when designing the recipe.
- Decoction mashing doesn't seem to be very exact.  I felt like I was relying much more on instinct and my ability to problem solve on the fly than on calculations/predictions/etc.  I think it definitely helped to be a pretty seasoned AG brewer.
- I need to learn more about how alpha- and beta-rest temps/duration affect wort fermentability.  I formulated my recipe based on rests I've seen in other brewers' recipes (such as Kai's).  But I really don't know what to expect as far as how fermentable the resulting wort will actually be.
- The wort color is definitely a little darker than I anticipated.  Next time, I probably won't use any color malt at all.  I think it will be a nice golden color with that slightly orange hue characteristic of hefeweizens with just wheat/pils.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 06:18:18 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline nateo

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2011, 07:43:18 PM »
- Decoction mashing seemed to give me an efficiency bump, which is fairly common from what I understand.  Next time I brew a decocted beer, I'll factor this in when designing the recipe.

My efficiencies with barley-based beers are about 10-15% higher when using decoctions. My wheat beers take a 10-15% hit with efficiency anyway for some reason (probably my grind), so they tend to pretty much balance out.

- Decoction mashing doesn't seem to be very exact.  I felt like I was relying much more on instinct and my ability to problem solve on the fly than on calculations/predictions/etc.  I think it definitely helped to be a pretty seasoned AG brewer.

I actually like that about decoction mashing. It's kind of like cooking without a recipe. I think you get a better feel for your ingredients and how the mash works.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2011, 11:22:44 AM »
I agree. It was fun to feel like I was letting experience and instinct guide my brew day.

Going forward, I'm not going to just do a regular (read: non-decocted) step mash version of this recipe for comparison. I want to really dial in my hefeweizen recipe and decoction procedure first. So, my next brew will be a slightly revised hefe recipe with a slightly different decoction program (more like what anthony suggested earlier in this thread).  I will start with a ferulic acid rest and decoct up to beta- and alpha-rest temps. I'll likely skip mashout.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 09:00:55 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2011, 11:55:53 AM »
When you decoct, the small starch granules get gelantinized.  These will then convert.  The small granules are talked about in Kai's site.

The boil will develope malanoidins, which have brown color, and you also get flavor from the Maillard reactions.  Enough flavor to convince everyone it is worth the work - no.
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Offline nateo

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2011, 12:11:31 PM »
From Brewing With Wheat (Awesome book, btw, you should pick up a copy if you haven't already):

Schneider's mash schedule for Aventinus and Original:
95* for 10min
113* for 10min (ferulic acid rest, important for 4-vinyl guaiacol)
122* for 10min
147* for 5min
>Pull 1/3 of mash for decoction
Decoction rests:
152* for 10min
158* for 20min
203* for 5min
>Transfer back to mash to hit:
167*

They also acidify the wort during the boil. It doesn't specify how much, but it says the pH going into the boil kettle is 3.0. Seems low to me, so I'm not sure if 3.0 is the pH of total wort, or if that's the pH of the acidified wort they add to the rest of the wort, in the kettle.

Something I've noticed about a lot of the wheat beer decoction schedules I've found is they have relatively short rests. If you try to hit the temps and times exactly, you'll be very busy and have a hard time hitting them exactly, and some of the steps will go a little long.

I usually use the Boulevard mash schedule, just because it's a little easier to handle:
104* for 6.5min
122* for 25min
145* for 12min
163* for 15min
169* knockout
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 02:13:07 PM by nateo »
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Offline nateo

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2011, 12:13:33 PM »
Enough flavor to convince everyone it is worth the work - no.

Worth the WORK? Making beer isn't work. It's fun.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2011, 12:31:42 PM »
From Brewing With Wheat (Awesome book, btw, you should pick up a copy if you haven't already):

That's actually what inspired me to try decoction mashing.  8)

Because I mash in a cooler, step/decoction mashing is a little limited. I'm most inclined to do the enhanced and hochkurz double decoction programs due to these limitations.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:45:24 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2011, 01:33:46 PM »
Enough flavor to convince everyone it is worth the work - no.

Worth the WORK? Making beer isn't work. It's fun.

Sometimes I get worn out from all of the fun. 
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2011, 01:40:42 PM »
I'll admit that it was a long brew day (compared to what I'm used to) and it wore me out. But I was also operating on about 4 hours sleep due to going out the night before to see my brothers' band (I'm getting too old for club shows!).

Next time I do a decoction program, I'm going to get enough sleep the night before and start a little earlier.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 01:43:55 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline anthony

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2011, 08:03:15 PM »
...

I usually use the Boulevard mash schedule, just because it's a little easier to handle:
104* for 6.5min
122* for 25min
145* for 12min
163* for 15min
169* knockout

This is really close to the schedule I was suggesting earlier.. if you pull out the protein rest and the mash out, the overall time it adds to your brew day really isn't too bad.

Offline nateo

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2011, 09:56:40 AM »
I thought the ferulic acid rest was pretty important, but then I came across this:

http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=130&blogId=1
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2011, 10:10:20 AM »
I thought the ferulic acid rest was pretty important, but then I came across this:

http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=130&blogId=1

I know. I've read that too. But I want to give it a shot to see if I think it makes a difference. I kind of hope it doesn't, to be honest! ;D

Edit: on second thought, I may hold off on incorporating the 4VG rest until after tasting the hefe I just brewed (which did not include the rest).  If I have a satisfactory amout of clovey phenols, I'll probably skip it next time too.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 10:13:25 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline jeffy

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Re: I'm going to do a decoction, damm!t...
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2011, 10:31:33 AM »
I was pleasantly surprised at the pH drop after doing my first rest at about 103F in my decocted O'Fest last weekend.  It really does make a difference.  I didn't have to add any acid to the mash.  It was 100% Vienna Malt.
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