Author Topic: Decoction versus Temperature Mash  (Read 5051 times)


  • Guest
Decoction versus Temperature Mash
« on: April 28, 2006, 07:37:52 AM »
I bought more equipment this week.  I now have a 14 gallon brew pot and I converted my 10 gallon brew pot into a mash tun.  I will be doing my first Temperature mash this weekend.  I am now an all-metal brewer.

My question is, what is the difference in Decoction and Temperature step mashing when it comes to the final product?  I did a decoction mash last weekend but I will not be able to taste the results for a couple months.

Offline BeerSmith

  • Brewer, Author, Patriot
  • BeerSmith Administrator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5569
  • BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!
    • BeerSmith
Re: Decoction versus Temperature Mash
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 07:50:14 AM »
In a temperature mash you keep your mash tun on the burner and control the temperature by adjusting the burner.

In a decoction mash you actually remove a portion of the mash and bring it to a boil - then you add that portion back to the mash and mix to bring the temperature up for the whole mash.

Get a free trial of BeerSmith 3 here


  • Guest
Re: Decoction versus Temperature Mash
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2006, 08:22:48 AM »
But what is the difference with "the final product"?  

Also, if the idea of Temperature Mash if for efficiency and Decoction is to get a Carmel or malty flavor in the beer, would it work as well to crush on pound of pale malt, boil it with two quarts of water for 15 minutes, then add it to the last step of the Temperature Mash?  You would get no conversions from the boil but you would get carmelization.  

Offline bonjour

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
    • Beer du Jour
Re: Decoction versus Temperature Mash
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2006, 06:18:11 PM »
That is the whole Decoction vs. not debate.  
Decoction will make the same recipe somewhat darker (not much, but it's there)  Supposedly it produces a somewhat maltier brew, with a bit more kettle carmelization because you are boiling the decoction in addition to the wort.  Malliard reactions are more prominent in decoctions than in any other method which is the cause of most of the differences.

A decoction may be simulated via a no-sparge process as well as several others.  But the only way you can see for sure is to brew two identical brews, one decoction, one not, and see for yourself.



  • Guest
Re: Decoction versus Temperature Mash
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 03:17:14 PM »
You will also find that your efficiency goes WAY up.  I was getting in the low 70's, then did a decoction for a Maerzen/Oktoberfest, and ended up with about 85% efficiency.