Question about Decoction Mashing

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Question about Decoction Mashing

Postby seanshankus » Wed May 21, 2008 8:32 pm

Okay I understand that with decoction mashing that I pull out a set amount of mash, bring it to a boil, then return it to the main mash. What I don't understand is the reference material and reciepes all refer to pulling the "think" or "thin" part of the mash. Are these terms quatifiable? or do we just guess at what is meant by thick or thin. Any help in this area would be appreacated as I'm wanting to do a Belgian Wheat ale with about 65% wheat in the bill.

THanks in advance,
Sean
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Re: Question about Decoction Mashing

Postby coder » Thu May 22, 2008 9:33 am

seanshankus wrote:Okay I understand that with decoction mashing that I pull out a set amount of mash, bring it to a boil, then return it to the main mash. What I don't understand is the reference material and reciepes all refer to pulling the "think" or "thin" part of the mash. Are these terms quatifiable? or do we just guess at what is meant by thick or thin.


It is just like with the soup - thick on the bottom, thin on the surface.
I just use a strainer to pull out the mash, that ensures me that I have really the thick portion of the mash.
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Postby seanshankus » Fri May 23, 2008 1:28 pm

THanks Coder. I also found a good article http://www.strandbrewers.org/techinfo/decoct2.htm

The only thing that I found different from this article and what I've read in the past is that he uses a liquor/grain ratio of 1.3 qt/lb where in most other articles I've read they recommend a 2-3 qt/lb. Does anybody have thoughts they'd like to share on the advatages/disadvatages of different grain-to-liquor ratios?

Thanks again, Sean
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water/grain ratio

Postby coder » Sun May 25, 2008 5:47 am

In thicker wort enzymes survive better, you get better fermentabilty and often efficiency, but is is harder to mainain even temperature.
I usualy use 1kg:3liters ratio, in english ales thicker: 1:2.

In decocted beer they usualy use thinner mash - 1:3.5, 1:4, I dont know why, but I obediently do the same.

One more tip: with modern malts, don't make more then one step of decoction, they convert too quick.
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Decocting for missed temps

Postby seanshankus » Mon May 26, 2008 8:11 am

I've use either a one or two step depending on the grain bill. I decided to try decoction mostly because I have no way of heating my mash directly. So if I have a protein rest I use a double decoction, from protein to sac rest, then sac rest to mash out, other wise I just use a single to go to a mash out temp, and dough in at my main mash temp.
I actually found that its very convenant. It does add time to the brew day but if you miss a temperature, just grab an old pot, some mash, and cook it up :-) I was amazed at how easy it really is.

Actually last week I had to use a triple decoction but mostly because I mismeasured how much mash I decocted in the first step. I had finished with my protein rest and took out 6 qts for my first decoction (I was suppose to take up 8 :shock: )which would have brought me up to 152 F, intead I hit 144 F. I put the lid back on my mash tun waited about 30 minutes then took out 3 qt decocted (2nd), to bring me to 154. I waited another 30 to finish out my sac rest then did the third to get me to 170 for a mash out. I ended with decoting between protien an beta-amlyse, then beta-amylse to alpha, then from alpha to mash out. I ended with a 83% mash utililzation. So I'm acutally becoming a big fan of this method. Since I was doing a lighter style I didn't let it boil that long, but it diffently got me thinking about doing a more traditional bock or big ole double-bock.
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Release of tannins?

Postby DTS78KC » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:52 pm

Here is my question. When you pull out the grains and bring them to a boil does this release any of the tannins in the grains and will it add bitterness to the wort? I thought I had read before that if you take grains above the 160 mark for a long period of time it can release tannins is this true and how much will this affect the flavor? Or have I been misinformed?

I have in the past strained some of the liquid from the grains and boiled the liquid as a decoction method. Then added it back to the grains but this didn't add as much heat as I would of liked and this thick method seems like the perfect trick.

Thanks in advance.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour, teach him to brew and he'll waste a lifetime- Nuco Gordo
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Re: Release of tannins?

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:04 am

DTS78KC wrote:Here is my question. When you pull out the grains and bring them to a boil does this release any of the tannins in the grains and will it add bitterness to the wort? I thought I had read before that if you take grains above the 160 mark for a long period of time it can release tannins is this true and how much will this affect the flavor? Or have I been misinformed?
PH is much more important than temperature as far as extracting tannins is concerned. In a typical mash the pH is around 5.2-5.4 which is below the threshold for extraction. That's why tannins aren't extracted in a decoction.
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