Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Discuss all things about brewing beer

Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Postby f00b4r » Wed May 03, 2017 21:32

I have brewed a few Helles and been more than happy with the results but was also thinking about trying a pilsner of some sort as well as a wheat beer. I have seen step mashing being reccomended for floor malted pilsner malt and decoction mashing for flavour in some styles (maybe for other reasons too but I have not really been brewing this style of beer so have to hold my hands up to being ignorant of the real benefits of each).
A question did occur to me though, with the Braumeister and similar machines, step mashing becomes very easy, are step mashing and decoction mashing interchangable in the real world or should I really look to still use decoction mashing and does anyone have any experience of doing this with a BM?

Last edited by f00b4r on Thu May 04, 2017 20:30, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
f00b4r
Brewer
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 19:54
Location: Berlin

Re: Deconcoction versus step mashing, are they interchangabl

Postby serum » Wed May 03, 2017 22:01

I've just picked up a braumeister and I'm getting some really good malt flavours with step mashing and floor malted pilsner in my French style beers but there's only one way to tell if decoction is better and that's to try it. I don't know how you'd achieve it with a single BM mind you.

FV - Altbier
Bottled: Blond & Amber Biere De Garde, Blond & Amber French Ale, Belgian Pale
Planned: More Altbier, Kolsch, XX Bitter Clone
User avatar
serum
Brewer
 
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 06:30

Re: Deconcoction versus step mashing, are they interchangabl

Postby jaroporter » Thu May 04, 2017 00:28

serum wrote: I don't know how you'd achieve it with a single BM mind you.


same way you'd do it with a single 3V setup or the german's do it with their single great big mash tuns - with a second pot :D

decoctions are usually used to allow step mashing. if you were cautious with the decoction size for hitting the next rest temp, the BM would actually make up any difference if you came in under. you'd have to pause the mash cycle as you pulled the decoction, and i think probably be careful of pulling too thin a decoction in case the element became exposed (is that the only reason there's a minimum liquor requirement in a BM?)
User avatar
jaroporter
Brewer
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 13:21

Re: Deconcoction versus step mashing, are they interchangabl

Postby f00b4r » Thu May 04, 2017 13:07

serum wrote:I've just picked up a braumeister and I'm getting some really good malt flavours with step mashing and floor malted pilsner in my French style beers but there's only one way to tell if decoction is better and that's to try it. I don't know how you'd achieve it with a single BM mind you.


I have seen your threads on those and it looks like an interesting beer style to try.

jaroporter wrote:
serum wrote: I don't know how you'd achieve it with a single BM mind you.


same way you'd do it with a single 3V setup or the german's do it with their single great big mash tuns - with a second pot :D

decoctions are usually used to allow step mashing. if you were cautious with the decoction size for hitting the next rest temp, the BM would actually make up any difference if you came in under. you'd have to pause the mash cycle as you pulled the decoction, and i think probably be careful of pulling too thin a decoction in case the element became exposed (is that the only reason there's a minimum liquor requirement in a BM?)


This was what prompted the question, I am curious to if deconcotion is a means to an end (step mashing) or brings something extra as well that I would miss with a normal step mash in the BM.
Its a good point on ensuring the elements are not exposed but I would have to work out the maths and can always use the BM no sparge method and flood the malt pipe for the initial step if necessary.
Heating part of the mash is not an issue as I have a water bath or a good sized pan with thermapen that should let me hit the right figures.
User avatar
f00b4r
Brewer
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 19:54
Location: Berlin

Re: Deconcoction versus step mashing, are they interchangabl

Postby Aleman » Thu May 04, 2017 15:45

There are differences but they are subtle. My personal take on the matter is that a small amount of melanoidin malt and step mashing produces a beer that is indistinguishable from one that is decocted.

An alternative approach would be to step mash with a 100% pils grist, halt the mash program at the end of mashing, run off a good few litres of liquor, and bring that to the boil until the melanoidins form and it darkens, then add it back to the BM, and proceed with the boil step. The final decoction step takes a thin decoction so you would be step mashing with a single decoction. ;)

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
Albert Einstein wrote:Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
User avatar
Aleman
Curmudgeonly Brewer
 
Posts: 2817
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 00:28
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancs, UK

Re: Deconcoction versus step mashing, are they interchangabl

Postby f00b4r » Thu May 04, 2017 16:21

Thanks Tony, I have been using melanoidin so far but I think adding in the step mashing and trying that against another batch with the single decoction (I might even remember the right spelling then!).
User avatar
f00b4r
Brewer
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 19:54
Location: Berlin

Re: Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Postby serum » Sat May 06, 2017 14:44

Have you given step mashing much of a go just out of interest? I've collated a load of info about different mash programmes from books I've got if you want them.

They're mostly from Belgian breweries and one from a book about French ones.

I've noticed a significant difference from doing this instead of a single infusion

Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk

FV - Altbier
Bottled: Blond & Amber Biere De Garde, Blond & Amber French Ale, Belgian Pale
Planned: More Altbier, Kolsch, XX Bitter Clone
User avatar
serum
Brewer
 
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 06:30

Re: Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Postby f00b4r » Sat May 06, 2017 22:34

I've done a few but more just because I was playing about with the BM.
I would definitely be interested in that information as in do want to start using it where it is useful and avoid using it where it is unnecessary.
User avatar
f00b4r
Brewer
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 19:54
Location: Berlin

Re: Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Postby serum » Tue May 09, 2017 22:04

Here's the info. The ones I've used so far are the Rochefort and Achouffe ones and the beers came out excellent.

BREW LIKE A MONK - Stan Hieronymous

Achel
15 mins @ 48C
20 mins @ 62C
(not stated, 30 mins?) @ 72C
Mash out @ 79C

Orval
Variable times but a step at 63 and a step at 72

Rochefort
Times not given but I used the following
15 mins @ 58C
30 mins @ 63C
30 mins @ 74C
Mash out @ 78C

BELGIAN ALES - Pierre Rajotte

Achouffe
15 mins @ 58C
15 min @ 62C
Variable (I went for 30 mins) @ 66C
15 mins @ 70C
Mash out @ 76C

FARMHOUSE ALES - Phil Markowski

Unnamed Saison brewery (same programme is also given in the Biere de Garde section)

30 mins @ 45C
15 mins @ 55C
30 mins @ 62C
15 mins @ 68C
Mash out @ 74C

Saison Dupont

Temp very slowly raised from 45C to 72C over 90 minutes (about 0.25C per minute)

Also look at this article. Some of the mash programs conflict with the info in the books I've read and some of those books are old so also well worth a look. Scroll to the bottom for the mashing bit.

https://beerandbrewing.com/belgian-beer ... -it-wrong/

FV - Altbier
Bottled: Blond & Amber Biere De Garde, Blond & Amber French Ale, Belgian Pale
Planned: More Altbier, Kolsch, XX Bitter Clone
User avatar
serum
Brewer
 
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 06:30

Re: Decoction versus step mashing, are they interchangable?

Postby f00b4r » Thu May 11, 2017 06:58

cheers fella
User avatar
f00b4r
Brewer
 
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 19:54
Location: Berlin


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest