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Why Not Boil Your Grains

OK, I can’t find much info on this but I’ve been researching decoction mash and I’m trying to figure out why you couldn’t just boil your whole mash at the end of conversion of a regular infusion or direct step mash for 10 or so minutes to get that decoction type richness?

I would think you should be OK if your PH is under 6 and they boil a portion of the mash up to 3 times in a decoction mash so what’s the difference.

I also think it would help with hot break and make for cleaner wort?

I think it has something to do with extracting tannins which gives an unwanted dryness or astringency in the final product.

Oh, and I brew BIAB 2.5 gal batches with a 400 micron s/s basket, no sparge full volume so it would be easy for me to just do my usual two step direct heat mash at 145 and 160 till conversion is done then ramp up the heat to boil for however long I don’t know, then lift the basket to drain and continue on with the boil.

There must be something i’m missing, you’d think if it works someone would be doing it by now.

That’s what I first thought but I’ve read that as long as your PH is under 6 you don’t have to worry about tannins. Decoction mash boils the thickest part of the mash up to three times and they don’t have a problem with tannins as far as I know.

Best why to find out is to try it. Let’s us know how it turns out. Good luck!

Many people have done this in various forms and for various reasons, mashout via decoction:

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/buil ... -decoction http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=950

Some of those same people have done tests on the difference a decoction makes:

http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-content ... nyConn.pdf

Some tests conclude that decocted beers may be preferred over non-decocted beers by a couple percent, however, most tests conclude that it simply isn’t worth the time and effort required.

You are certainly welcome to try your hand at your brand of decoction, however, boiling a thin wort with grains, even at proper PH, may not achieve the melanoidin developing properties of a thicker mash boil.

Your best bet may be to take a gallon of first runnings and boil it down to a thick syrup, stopping just before it starts to burn and scorch and adding back to the main boil. This is done for various beer styles including Belgian Dark Strong Ale and Strong Scotch Ale.

Yeah, the more I look into it it looks like you need to boil the thickest part of the mash and the enzymes also play a big roll. Probably easier to just add some melanoidin malt into the mix.

Water often has a pH as high as 8. Boiling grains in more water will be at a relatively high pH and make your beer taste very astringent. Decoctions are thick boils so not nearly as much astringent tannins are extracted.

This is true but if you adjust your mash PH down to under 6 to say 5.2 would you still get some tannin extraction if you boiled the whole mash? I’ve read that to extract tannins you need to have a PH over 6 and reach temps over 170.

Maybe boiling a thin mash wouldn’t have the same effect releasing the melanoidins that a thick almost wortless mash does? Your almost cooking the grains and on the verge of burning them if you dont continuously stir in a traditional decoction.

There are other variations of decoction out there I may give a try, I found the Schmitz process and it looks pretty easy with a lot less time involved.

You are assuming that there are flavors differences to be had through decoction. That assumption may not be correct. Read http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-content … nyConn.pdf starting on pg. 25 .

Not really assuming anything, just kinda want to find out for myself. I’ve read through lots of your stuff Denny and learned a lot, thanks. There are lots of other opinions on decoction out there as well so I’m thinking I’ll have to give it a go sometime and see what happens.

Not really assuming anything, just kinda want to find out for myself. I’ve read through lots of your stuff Denny and learned a lot, thanks. There are lots of other opinions on decoction out there as well so I’m thinking I’ll have to give it a go sometime and see what happens.[/quote]

That’s absolutely the best thing to do. But make sure you do an honest, objective taste test. It would be best to do one batch decocted and another not decocted and then do a blind triangle tasting.

After tons of research this is what I’m going to do. I’m going for a Schmitz or single decoction mash with a BIAB twist. This will be a 2.5 gl batch with 3lbs German Pils, 2 lbs German Munich, Magnum hops for bittering and Saaz for flavor/aroma.

I’m going to dough in with 5.5 gl treated water and 5 lbs grain at 122 for a 10 min protien rest, direct fire to 150 for a 20 min rest, drain about 2.25 gl wort into cooler, bring main mash slowly up to boil for 30 min, cool to 160 then add wort back and rest at 155-158 for 30 min, pull basket, drain, squeeze grain and boil 90 min. Ferment at 50 for 2 weeks with Wyeast 2124.

Hopefully this with work out, we shall see. It’s a hobby and I like to try different things. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Oh, and I think I’ll throw in that Saaz with the wort I drain from the mash before the mash boil. I’ve been doing some experimenting with mash hops and have had some great results.

[quote=“wobdee”]After tons of research this is what I’m going to do. I’m going for a Schmitz or single decoction mash with a BIAB twist. This will be a 2.5 gl batch with 3lbs German Pils, 2 lbs German Munich, Magnum hops for bittering and Saaz for flavor/aroma.

I’m going to dough in with 5.5 gl treated water and 5 lbs grain at 122 for a 10 min protien rest, direct fire to 150 for a 20 min rest, drain about 2.25 gl wort into cooler, bring main mash slowly up to boil for 30 min, cool to 160 then add wort back and rest at 155-158 for 30 min, pull basket, drain, squeeze grain and boil 90 min. Ferment at 50 for 2 weeks with Wyeast 2124.

Hopefully this with work out, we shall see. It’s a hobby and I like to try different things. I’ll let you know how it turns out.[/quote]

If you insist on a protein rest, do it at 131 instead of 122. Modern highly modified malts don’t take well to a low temp rest.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“wobdee”]After tons of research this is what I’m going to do. I’m going for a Schmitz or single decoction mash with a BIAB twist. This will be a 2.5 gl batch with 3lbs German Pils, 2 lbs German Munich, Magnum hops for bittering and Saaz for flavor/aroma.

I’m going to dough in with 5.5 gl treated water and 5 lbs grain at 122 for a 10 min protien rest, direct fire to 150 for a 20 min rest, drain about 2.25 gl wort into cooler, bring main mash slowly up to boil for 30 min, cool to 160 then add wort back and rest at 155-158 for 30 min, pull basket, drain, squeeze grain and boil 90 min. Ferment at 50 for 2 weeks with Wyeast 2124.

Hopefully this with work out, we shall see. It’s a hobby and I like to try different things. I’ll let you know how it turns out.[/quote]

If you insist on a protein rest, do it at 131 instead of 122. Modern highly modified malts don’t take well to a low temp rest.[/quote]
Yeah, I’ve heard and read about that before but I think I’m just going to follow the directions from the BYO artical on the Schmitz decoction. I guess it won’t be that long of a protein rest, basically I dough in at 122 and slowly raise up to 150.

[quote=“wobdee”][quote=“Denny”][quote=“wobdee”]After tons of research this is what I’m going to do. I’m going for a Schmitz or single decoction mash with a BIAB twist. This will be a 2.5 gl batch with 3lbs German Pils, 2 lbs German Munich, Magnum hops for bittering and Saaz for flavor/aroma.

I’m going to dough in with 5.5 gl treated water and 5 lbs grain at 122 for a 10 min protien rest, direct fire to 150 for a 20 min rest, drain about 2.25 gl wort into cooler, bring main mash slowly up to boil for 30 min, cool to 160 then add wort back and rest at 155-158 for 30 min, pull basket, drain, squeeze grain and boil 90 min. Ferment at 50 for 2 weeks with Wyeast 2124.

Hopefully this with work out, we shall see. It’s a hobby and I like to try different things. I’ll let you know how it turns out.[/quote]

If you insist on a protein rest, do it at 131 instead of 122. Modern highly modified malts don’t take well to a low temp rest.[/quote]
Yeah, I’ve heard and read about that before but I think I’m just going to follow the directions from the BYO artical on the Schmitz decoction. I guess it won’t be that long of a protein rest, basically I dough in at 122 and slowly raise up to 150.[/quote]

Hmmm, I think I might pay attention to advice given from someone with several hundred batches under his belt. Just me, though…

A protein rest should depend on a particular malt you use, not a recipe or instructions.

I’m using Weyermann floor malted Pils mostly with a little Best and 40% light Munich. Weyermanns Pils recipie has a 20 min rest at 122 on their site so I thought there’s another reason to go with it. I’ve also done lots of step mashes with this malt with short protein rests and they all turned out great with plenty of head. Not trying to be controvational here, just learning.

Here’s a better break down of what i’m doing.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/schmitz ... on-482024/
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