Author Topic: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction  (Read 14026 times)

Offline alan_marks59

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Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: June 30, 2011, 11:14:43 AM »
Here's a simple question about mash volume for the triple decoction formula on page 36 of the latest Zymurgy. The mash in formula listed in the magazine is ALMOST 24 GALLONS for a 5 gallon batch. That's 11 quarts water per pound of grain!?!?! Should this be 3.775 gallons instead?

Is this a typo or what?

...help...

Alan

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 12:00:43 PM »
I skimed the article, and had not looked at the recipe.  That has to be a mistake.

He has 4 gallons on the Multi-step mash option on page 37.  I would go with something like that, which is closer to 1.82 qt/lb, which is not too thin.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 06:35:53 PM »
Here's a simple question about mash volume for the triple decoction formula on page 36 of the latest Zymurgy. The mash in formula listed in the magazine is ALMOST 24 GALLONS for a 5 gallon batch. That's 11 quarts water per pound of grain!?!?! Should this be 3.775 gallons instead?

Is this a typo or what?

...help...

Alan

Don't have the magazine yet, but it sounds like it should be quarts.

If your PU clone has 12 pounds of grain and you mash thin for a decoction, 2 qts/pound would be 24 quarts.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 07:47:14 PM »
I looked at the article again tonight.  It does say gallons but as stated it must mean quarts.
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 12:08:11 AM »
I didn't want to comment on this, since this is basically Zymurgy's reader forum and I don't like making blanket criticisms, but take anything that Horst Dornbusch writes with a 50 lb. bag of halite. His beer history is (mostly) rubbish and his brewing articles are riddled with errors. You can practically take it as a given that the recipe is incorrect.

While I haven't brewed a Czech Pils, I have to wonder why you'd bother with a triple decoction. Historically, the only reason for the low doughing in temp is the phytase/acid rest, which isn't necessary given modern malts and water pH adjustment techniques. Likewise, even with somewhat undermodified malts, I'm not sure that a protein rest is necessary. A double or triple decoction would just take more time and energy, give more chances to screw up the beer and might result in excessive darkening of the mash/wort. This would be especially true if you then direct fire the wort kettle (as is typical for most homebrewers). You can get your caramelization and malty notes from sources other than decoction.

This isn't to say that you should blow off doing decoctions. They can give very nice subtle caramel and malty notes. You just shouldn't be slave to technique.

Offline alan_marks59

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 12:56:58 AM »
After reading Gordon Strong's book I would tend to disagree with you. My original question was as to whether the original mash volume was accurate for a tripple decotion. This was based on what I read as Gordons description of the decotion process for pilsner beers. Having not personally done a decotion mash I would reserve judgement untill I try the process for myself.

That being said, I would have to take the editors and copy reviewers to task for not accurately fact checking their writers information before publishing.Since the SAME GROUP PUBLISHES MR. STRONG'S BOOK I REQUEST YOU GET YOU ACT TOGETHER.

My apologies for shouting but there was a definate lack of attention from the editors of the ...ahem..."journal".

The credibility of the organization takes a nose dive when the basic science of what is reported as fact does not make sense.

This was the intention of my original question.

I'm a bit concerned that it did not get their attention.

Regards,
Alan

Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 10:24:25 AM »
I've done a few Triple-Ds and regularly use a decoction-like step of removing grain to raise the overall temperature of the mash.  Here's what I've learned:

Have a calculator or brewing software handy in the brewery during brew day.  Your mash temperature may be off by a few degrees and you'll need to adjust the volumes accordingly.  Pour the boiling mash into the cooler mash a little volume at a time and stir.  It is entirely possibly that you will overheat the mash because volume calculations are not precise.  So a little at a time with a stir will go a long way.  Your mash temp will rise quickly with the initial infusion but squeaking out the last few degrees takes the longest.  Be patient when you add the boiling mash back in and watch your overall mash temp.

Triple-D brings out a lot of dextrins (in my experiences), so you'll have a pretty full-bodied beer.  With something like a Pilsner, be sensitive to your sweet / hop bitterness.  You'll obviously know how it tastes when it's done, but if it's too sweet then it might be due to the extra dextrins from the Triple-D.

Hope that helps.
Tim McManus
Haskell, NJ

Offline denny

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 11:50:34 AM »
Tim, what is it about decoctions that brings out dextrins?
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 01:04:01 PM »
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.
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Offline denny

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 01:56:49 PM »
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.

That's what I was wondering about.  I'd think there would actually be fewer dextrins, but I'm not certain.  I'm guessing that whatever added "sweetness" there might be would be due to Maillard reactions, not dextrins.
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Offline jill

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 02:44:28 PM »
Hi Alan,

I apologize for not responding to your post earlier. I was on vacation from June 30-July 8.

I have emailed Horst for clarification and will report back with his response ASAP. Apologies for the confusion on the recipe.

Jill Redding
Editor-in-Chief, Zymurgy

Offline denny

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 03:11:18 PM »
Alan, do you know who the technical editor of Zymurgy is?  Gordon Strong.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 04:35:58 PM »
Alan, do you know who the technical editor of Zymurgy is?  Gordon Strong.
I was going to say that earlier, but  ::)
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Offline alan_marks59

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2011, 11:17:27 PM »
Hmmmm...

Now it seems like there is a lack of communication in the process of producing the journal. While I understand that there is a 3 month time lag between "putting an issue to bed" and printing and distibution to the membership, I'm am concerned that there are some fact checking issues that may or may not be addressed. THAT was the point I was going toward.

Jill, my apologies for showting as I did not understand you were on a well desreved break, especially after NHC.

Oh, Gordon...huh...?!?! Perhaps you did not get this copy for your review. I cannot believe this might get past your scrutiny.

To the editorial staff, I am freely volunteering my services as a proofreader for the magazine going forward. If I am able to catch this perhaps there are other things that may be reviewed.

Regards,
Alan

Offline jill

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Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 09:18:49 AM »
Hi all,

Upon investigating, this error occurred during the production process of the magazine. The information originally presented by Horst was correct. Our technical editor, Gordon Strong, sees the original copy, not the final layouts, so he wouldn't have caught this error (and I'm quite certain that this article was not sent to him for a technical edit in the first place due to time constraints.)

The table should have read: “Boil about six to seven gallons (roughly 23 to 26.5 liters) of water so that there is enough for both mashing and sparging to reach the target of five gallons (19 liters) of net kettle volume at the end of the boil.“

The mash-in volume should be approximately 4 gallons or 15.25 liters, not the 23.775 gallons that was listed in the table. I think things somehow got rearranged in the table during the layout process so that the volume amount ended up in the wrong place.

I cross-checked the rest of the info, and everything else is correct.

I apologize for the error; I should have caught it.

Jill