Author Topic: To step or not to step? That is the question  (Read 5999 times)

SAHomeBrew

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To step or not to step? That is the question
« on: October 29, 2004, 04:10:17 AM »
In my adventure of building my own brewing system, I started reading a lot about decoction mashing, and have found a 50/50 split on if it's even worth doing. Several articles refer to the "old days" of inferior malteries and why you had to do this. They go on to state that with "under modified" grains of the day, brewers pretty much had to finish the malting process before making beer. They went on to say that most breweries stopped, and went on to single infusion mashing when malteries straightened up and started producing higher quaility malts. Then they go on and state the following;

"Decoction mashing did not die. In fact, to this day most European lagers still use a decoction mash, even though their malts are now have a high degree of modification. And not just because they are steeped in tradition. Infusion mashing is not prohibited by the Reinheitsgebot. But, decoction mashing produces a richer malt profile with complex caramelized flavors that are the hallmarks of most continental European beer styles, particularly Pilsner, Marzen, Bock, and especially Dopplebock."

So what it boils down to is this; If you are building your own brew system, would you at least make the option to do decoction mashing, or with the quality of malts and the size of the batches 5-10 being the most common for home brewers, just use a cooler and do a single infusion and call it good? Or am I just wasting time and money in doing so?

hornbrau

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2004, 04:58:44 AM »
Hey, you can do a decoction with a cooler, I do it all the time, well not all the time but with some of my recipes.  The only hard part is to figure out how much the temp of the mash will be raised by adding the dococted portion back in.  I usually try to figure my number, subtract a couple degrees so I'm on the low side and then have some boiling water ready to add to bring it up to the right temp.  I think no matter how you set your system up, you'll be able to do a decoction if you want to.

Offline gregarpp

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2004, 06:52:37 AM »
I agree..
I use various coolers and do many decot brews.

It seems easier for me to decot a brew, then it is to do temp step mashes.


Shakey_Dog

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2004, 07:35:35 AM »
I have decanted a few times and I also use a cooler system.

I did notice a little more complexity to the flavor.

But it all comes down to fun.  If you like doing it then do it.  It's a hobby.  Have a home brew and decant.

Oh don't forget to smoke a cigar too.

Brew on!

Don

Offline Yeasty

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2004, 08:43:49 PM »
I'm with Smokey D on this one - except for that disgusting act of breathing the smoke from burning plants into your lungs!
I'd guess there's little benefit to it, really, but I enjoy the idea of it, so I've done decoctions more than once, and will again in the future, when it's appropriate to style.
I also reload my own bullets, and where most would setup there powder measure to "throw" the charge for them, I handweigh each and every charge and funnel them into the case, simply because I enjoy the act itself. Utterly pointless as it may be.
It's like wearing a tie. What on earth is it for? ! ? ! There's no pocket, or pen hoder... nothing!But it feels nice some times. ;D

Shakey_Dog

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2004, 11:39:55 PM »
Yeasty!

Are you knocking my  plants ;D.

Brew on

Don

SAHomeBrew

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2004, 04:25:09 AM »
Looks like I'm going to build with the intent of being able to do a step mash just because. If I'm going to build a system, might as well get all the options.

RobertSF

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2004, 08:58:38 AM »
How do you know how much of your Mash to pull out for the decoction?

hornbrau

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Re: To step or not to step? That is the question
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2004, 03:41:24 AM »
take 1/3 of the thick part of the mash, should be like oatmeal.

 

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