I'm brewing a German Weizen next weekend and want to try a decoction mash-out. Those of you who do it, HOW do you do it? Do you just ladle a portion of the mash out and boil? How much of the mash? Thanks in advance.
You basically got the procedure right. A traditional decoction is done with the thickest part of the mash. So scoop out a bunch of grains and boil them you will want some wort in there as well, about 15min from everything I have seen, then add them back to the mash.
As for how much, there is a decotion calculator built into beersmith, that is what I have done. It will tell you how many quarts you need to scoop out and bring to a boil in order to raise your mash temp up to 170. I am sure that any of the other software's available have that function built in to them as well.
quick search found this decoction calculator:
I do this on all my viennas ,bocks, and anything I want x-tra malty.Are you just wanting to reach mash out temp or trying to extract something more from the grain?
The way I do it isn't fully authentic but it's a hell of a lot easier and IMHO-does the same thing.I'll go into detail if you are interested.
Last edited by Steve Urquell; 06-30-2009 at 07:23 PM.
And thanks, WOP, for the link and info. I played around in BeerTools and calculated my decoction step there.
OK, here we go.
From what I've read on decoctions and all(and if I'm wrong someone please correct me) is that they were originally done to help in the conversion of under modified malts.
Since our malts are now fully modified and OK for a single infusion mash-the decoction for conversion is un-necessary.
BUT, those beers aren't just malty b/c of the grain bill.In heating the highly concentrated, enzymatic mash you cause a maillard reaction-carmelization/darkening of the wort and are supposed to end up w/ more dextrins.
SO,this is where I start talking out my ass.I figured,if my grain is fully modified,and I know conversion is complete--then why boil the grains?
So,I don't.When I get ready to mash out,I will run off-thru the mash tun spigot- about 1.3gals. into a pot and put it on the stovetop,boil it for 15-30 mins(depending on how dark I want the beer to be) and then pour it back in to the mash tun/stir like hell/check temp and let sit for about 20mins.Then sparge and brew as usual.For my grain bills of 11-12lbs. doughed in @ 1.25qt/lb. this hits pretty close to a 166-170F mash out temp.
Just keep in mind that what you are decocting is VERY concentrated.I don't leave it for 1 second on the stovetop.I believe you could scorch it quickly.I also keep stirring the whole time when the heat is on it.When you get done ,if you let the pot sit-it will have an amber candy coating on the bottom of it.Thats when you realize just how much sugar is actually in there.
I've done D/Cs both with and w/o the grain in it and had no difference in efficiency either way-and either way my beers ended up pretty good,so that's why I just omitted the grain from the D/C.
Something I need to do and haven't done yet is to put a little wort in a shot glass and set it aside and do a before and after tasting of the decocted amt. just to see what difference it makes.
Good luck and hope this helps.
I'll be brewing a mexican style vienna lager on saturday-probly about the same time you're brewing your weizen.
Funny you should post this, the whole reason I started this thread is that I was thinking of doing exactly what you describe, why boil the grain? Why not just run off and boil that?
I plan on brewing Friday, so I'll be 24 hours ahead of you. Yay, 3-day weekend!
Funny you should post this, the whole reason I started this thread is that I was thinking of doing exactly what you describe, why boil the grain? Why not just run off and boil that?[QUOTE]
Yeah, the first one I did-I was scooping out the grain and thinking"Man the sugar is down on the bottom and this blows"
So,the next one is when I just drew out of the spigot.
This holiday has got me messed up--I've got people coming out Sat. Will brew on Sunday.You'll have your feet up when I'm doughing in.I plan on brewing Friday, so I'll be 24 hours ahead of you. Yay, 3-day weekend!
I am in concurrence with the first part of Steve's historical reasoning behind decoction. But, if my understanding is correct, you also get some "graininess" and possibly other flavors (perhaps some tannin extraction which is not enough to negatively impact flavor? I don't know) from boiling the whole mash and other flavors that are pulled from the process of boiling the whole grains. Granted, carmelization will indeed occur with the process of boiling the decoction portion hard but I don't think it's that simple. There are other things going on, of which I don't know all the details, but do believe that you'll produce different end results if you don't pull the grain with it. I think a side-by-side would be a good experiment (albeit not definitive) to test what goes on with flavors. At any rate, I have two versions of Oktoberfest this year, one decocted and the other single infusion. I am going to let my guests give blind feedback