Author Topic: Step Mash For Oktoberfest  (Read 2234 times)

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:13:50 AM »
I'm a little late in brewing my Oktoberfest, but better late than never!  I'm planning on doing a hochkurz double decoction mash and am wondering whether my step times are likely to yield my desired result.  In particular, I'm wondering if my proposed beta rest time is too short.  I don't want the beer to be too sweet or too heavy on dextrines.  I'm looking for a medium mouthfeel with a pronounced malt character.

Here are the relevant recipe specs:
60% Vienna
25% PIlsner
10% Dark Munich
5% Caramunich II

Beta step: 145F [20 min]
Alpha step: 160F [40 min]
Mashout step: 168 [10 min]

Yeast: WLP833 German Bock Lager

Target O.G. 1.055
Target F.G. 1.013
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 06:16:03 AM »
I am no expert on decoction mashes but will throw something out for the sake of discussion.

I would personally switch your times and give the beta rest the longer period, and the alpha rest the shorter.  This will let it get significant activity on the grist before you pull your first decoction.  I don't think the beta enzyme works quite as quickly as the alpha, or maybe its just the number of cleavages that the beta has to accomplish versus the alpha.  Of course the time it takes to bring the first decoction to alpha temp, rest, then boil for 15min+ will give more time for conversion back in the MLT.  You're just minus a significant percentage of the starch at that point.
Lennie
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 06:45:01 AM »
The only thing I would do differently is drop your alpha to 156F and as Lennie suggested increase your beta time. You're going to love that yeast. We have a Dopplebock in the finals at NHC with that yeast. Otherwise looking good Matt.  :)
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 07:18:06 AM »
I think using that Bock yeast you'd be more likely to hit your apparent attenuation number if you increased the beta conversion a little, it should still be plenty malty.  It shouldn't be sweet either way, as long as you get a good full attenuation (for the given wort fermentability) the mash temps/times won't really make it sweet.  Your temps are classic Hochkurz temps and I wouldn't change the 160* F rest (I often shoot for 161* F there and for a similar time).

For me, the hardest part of your mash schedule would be to get the first decoction converted and boiled in that 20 minutes.  Your 145* F (or whatever you choose) rest may end up being as long as it takes to finish boiling the decoction.  I don't think you're going to get much higher than 76% AA (which is your target) with that yeast unless you mash for really high attenuation.

If you're concerned with the beta rest going too long you can always lower the beta rest temp a little to slow it down a bit.  Conversely you can increase the beta rest temp a tad (to 147*-149* F) and it will work a little faster.  Everyone's system is a little different, I tend to get high attenuation for a given mash and I'd prob rest at that beta temp for 30-40 minutes, then another 30-40 at 161* F, then mash-out.

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 08:31:58 AM »
I'm with Lennie.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 12:18:39 PM »
Maybe I'll just increase the beta rest time to 30 min.  FYI, I've been pulling my decoctions after the mash has rested for the specified time at a given temp.

Also, the first decoction will get a 15 minute rest at 155* on it's way up to boiling.

I think I really like this yeast. I fermented a double decocted helles with it a few weeks ago. I'll be tapping it soon.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:28:48 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 12:31:26 PM »
Maybe I'll just increase the beta rest time to 30 min.

Also, the first decoction will get a 15 minute rest at 155* on it's way up to boiling.

I think I really like this yeast. I fermented a double decocted helles with it a few weeks ago. I'll be tapping it soon.
I like that yeast a lot too.  It's perfect for an O-fest imo.

But think about the time; it will take a few minutes to pull the decoction, then a few more to heat it to 155* F, then 15 minutes rest at 155*, then heat up to boiling, then boil for however long you intend to boil the decoction.  That may end up being more than 30 minutes.  If you heat it up to 160* F and rest for just 5 minutes it should be mostly converted.  I have a quart or two of boiling water ready so I can infuse the decoction up to 161* F really quickly, rest for 5 minutes, then heat to boil.  I did a Hochkurz Decoction on a Pils a few weeks ago and the beta rest was exactly 25 minutes (12 minute decoction boil) and that was about as quickly as I could do it (and I infused the decoction and only rested it for 5 minutes).
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:33:40 PM by SpanishCastleAle »

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 12:43:22 PM »
SpanishCastle, your point is well taken, but I don't decoct like that. I edited my post above to reflect how I've been doing decoction mashes.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:42:50 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 06:31:13 PM »
You're going to love that yeast. We have a Dopplebock in the finals at NHC with that yeast.

Congrats, Ron!  Are you headed to San Diego for the conference? 
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 06:48:40 PM »
Subquestion:

My fermentation chamber is a converted mini fridge.  It's only big enough to ferment/lager one beer at a time.  I don't want to tie it up until the third weekend in September when I tap the Oktoberfest.  Is it acceptable to just let it condition in the keg at room temp for a few months before cooling to serving temp and carbonating?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2011, 06:52:38 PM »
You're going to love that yeast. We have a Dopplebock in the finals at NHC with that yeast.

Congrats, Ron!  Are you headed to San Diego for the conference? 

Thanks.

Yes sir. I'm flying out on Wed. morning. Can't wait. Are you coming?
Ron Price

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 06:56:04 PM »
Subquestion:

My fermentation chamber is a converted mini fridge.  It's only big enough to ferment/lager one beer at a time.  I don't want to tie it up until the third weekend in September when I tap the Oktoberfest.  Is it acceptable to just let it condition in the keg at room temp for a few months before cooling to serving temp and carbonating?

Sure can, but keep in mind that the cold lagering temps help round out the malt flavor profile so you won't quite be getting that effect but the beer will be fine. The colder the beer the more delayed the staling reactions (oxidation process, etc...).
Ron Price

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Re: Step Mash For Oktoberfest
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 07:44:38 PM »
You're going to love that yeast. We have a Dopplebock in the finals at NHC with that yeast.

Congrats, Ron!  Are you headed to San Diego for the conference? 

Thanks.

Yes sir. I'm flying out on Wed. morning. Can't wait. Are you coming?

I wish :-\  I'm planning on it next year.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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