Author Topic: Decoction Mashing  (Read 7095 times)

Offline BeerSmith

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Decoction Mashing
« on: January 12, 2004, 10:41:30 AM »
Pete Gregar started an interesting discussion about decoction mashing.

When I built BeerSmith I found several references that quote traditional decoction mashing as using a much higher water to grain ratio than traditional mashing.  Various sources quoted anywhere from 1.5 as high as 3 qts of water per pound (versus a normal infusion mash of around 1-1.5 qts/lb).  I used 2.0 as a basis for most of my decoction mashes.

After Petes question I started poking around the web quite a bit and found that while a lot of people do use a ratio of 2.0 or higher, quite a few homebrewers are mashing at the lower end around 1.5 qts/lb as well.

My thoughts are that the thinner mash will result in a lighter tasting beer characteristic of many German beers, but I thought I would throw this up for discussion.

Any thoughts?

Cheers!
Brad
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Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2004, 01:19:40 PM »
My MLT setup is a 48-quart rectangular cooler. This limits me to either single infusion mashes or decoction mashes. Multi-temperature stepped mashes might be possible, but only if I do 5-gallon batches with them--and I don't plan on doing this. However, even though I haven't even attempted a decoction mash yet, I like the sounds of what it will or at least can provide me. Being able to work with less water in the MLT would be helpful, so I'm interested, as well, in any feedback on this.

I've still got a ways to go yet before I try a decoction mash--I've just started infusion mashing!

darell bowman

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004, 07:46:01 AM »
i only do decoction mashes, even for stouts.  i guess i am a kraut to my beery core.

i used to mash at about a 1.5 to 1 ratio for the water.  however, experimenting, i found that  2:1 ratio allows for an easier lauter.  i find that a decoction mash makes a big difference in the malt character of my finished product: my beers are super malty, which is what i like.  also, head retention is excellent.

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004, 01:15:17 PM »
Darell,
 Thanks for the comment - I think a thinner decoction is better according to all of the literature I have read on the subject.  The only limiting factor is the size of your mash tun and secondary boiler.

Cheers!
Brad
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nynor

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2004, 12:39:18 PM »
i am also known as darell...

i have a 12.5 gallon mash tun and a 4 gallon secondary.  i will also use a 12 quart tertiary, sometimes, just to be sure that i have enough decoction to reach the desired temp.  i usually do a 3 step decoction and end up using the tertiary to maintain the mash temperature for a very long third step, usually about 45 minutes, after two 30 minute steps.

if the mash doesn't look thin enough at the end of the mash, i will add to boiling water to get the mash up to, or closer to, 170 F for sparging.  i figured it out once that my actual ration was about 2.2:1.

long winded...

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2004, 02:16:13 PM »
Great!

 Thanks for the tips - I have not done a lot of decoction mashing myself but I have heard it can produce excellent results with German beers in particular.

Cheers!
Brad
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Pete Gregar

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2004, 04:23:53 AM »
I was the original person requesting information on the water volume on a decot mash.

I have been doing 1.25 ratio on my mashes.

This weekend I will be kicking off my brewing season with a decot mash.

I will try the beersmith formula.

I will let you know how it turns out (I am entering it in a contest)

steve

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2005, 03:21:25 AM »
When I take a thick decoction with the volume recommended by beersmith, I don't get the rise in temperature I am looking for.

Last time I nearly doubled it with liquid (after I took the thick grain) and it came pretty close.

Does anyone else have any experience of this?

darell bowman

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Re: Decoction Mashing
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2005, 05:11:51 PM »
i usually take a very large decoction (a lot more than the 30%).  then, i add until i reach the desired temperature, holding the left overs (if any) at a very slight boil.  i then add this back to main mash over time, as the temperature naturally drops, to keep the main mash at  the desired temperature.