Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making the Lager Leap Part II

Have you ever found yourself with nothing to do during the mash?  I didn't think so.  But if you ever want to really fill out your brew day, try a decoction mash. 
I figured that since I am jumping into making lagers with both feet, I may as well jump into the deep end as well.
This is my first attempt at a decoction mash.  After the 3 gallon "starter" lager I did a week & a half ago, this is my first 5 gallon lager.  A doppelbock that required the yeast from the smaller batch to get it started.  In good German fashion, I thought I would do the decoction method instead of just a step mash.

As a quick explanation of the difference between the two.  A single step mash is where you add a specific amount of water at a set temperature to bring the grain to a target temperature.  Then add some more water heated to a higher temp to raise the mash up to mash out temperature (168 degrees).
A decoction mash is where you start out with the total volume of water heated to bring the grain to the target temp.  Then pull off (decoct) a measured amount of the wort and heat it to boiling and add back to the mash to raise the temp.

I did two decoctions.  I heated 7 gallons to 128 deg. to do a protien rest at 122 deg.   
First decoc, I then pulled off 3 gallons and boiled it to add back in to raise the temp to 155 deg. for the saccharification rest. 
Second decoc, another 3 gallons pulled off, boiled and added back for the mash out at 168 deg.
From this point on its business as usual, sparge and boil.
You never have to be bored waiting for the mash again.

During the boil, I transfered the mini-batch "starter" lager from phase I to a chilled carboy to take up residence in the chill box of the Tin Whisker's bar to age at a comfortable 38 degrees for a few weeks. 

I've been carefully monitoring Susie's doctoring of her clear beers, and it appears as though I will be adding 3/4 cup of both lime and (ugh!) olive juice to the respective 1 gallon of lager for each.
Stay tuned for the next phase.

1 comment:

  1. Did you pull off a thick portion of the mash for the decoction?


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