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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Light Lager, CAP / CACA, Pilsner, Dark Lager, Amber Lager, Bock etc

Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby Aleman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 13:01

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The Art of Decoction Mashing - Part I

Postby Aleman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 13:14

This is going to be a difficult one to condense down so please bear with me for waffling on . . . After all Greg Noonan wrote 363 pages on it

Basically a decoction mash is a temperature stepped mash, the 'jump' to the next temperature step is achieved, by removing a portion of the mash to a seperate vessel (the decoction kettle), and then heating this portion through the remaining rest temperatures and times . . . until all the remaining rests have been achieved for the decoction . . . then you take the decoction up to boiling and boil for a period . . . the decoction is then returned to the main mash whereby it raises the temperature of the main mash up to the next rest temperature. The process then continues throughout the remaining steps.

So why doesn't this destroy the saccharification enzymes . . . well it does, but because most of the enzymes are retained in the liquid wort and for most of the decoctions you only take mostly grain (Thick Decoction), the majority of the enzymes are left behind in the liquid, and as good quality base malt contains enough enzymes to convert itself and and additional 100% of adjuncts everything is cool.

There are two accepted decoction mash schedules depending on the soluble nitrogen content of the malt.

For malts below 37% Soluble Nitrogen

Protein Rest at 50C
Saccharification at 65-70C

For malts with 37-40% Soluble Protein

Protein /saccharification rest at 55C
Dextrinisation at 70-72C

Note that these are different to the Hochkurz mash temps of 62 and 68C, which are really for well modified malts.

Having crushed the malt we are now ready to prepare for the decoction mash
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The Art of Decoction Mashing - Part II

Postby Aleman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 13:15

Mashing In

Dough in the grain with between 1.5L/Kg and 1.75L/Kg of liquor at between 14 and 21C (Yes you read correctly!!). For a thin mash when brewing thin quickly fermenting beer use 2 to 2.5L/Kg . . . . still at between 14 and 21C!!, you should just have a sheen of moisture on the grains if there is any liquid above them then you have probably used too much, but don't worry (of course with the thin mash then there will be standing liquor above the grain) Put the lid on and forget about it for 15-30 minutes . .. stirring occasionally. It is at this stage that the enzymes move from the aleurone layer of the barley kernel into the liquor so there is no need to rush. Make sure there are no dry pockets or grain balls in the mash.

The Acid Rest

Bring Between 750 ml /Kg and 850ml / Kg (thin mash 1L to 1.25l) of liquor to a boil and add it to the main mash mixing it well which should raise the mash temp to 40C, after 20 minutes check the mash pH, if it is at or below 5.8 (It should ideally be between 5.2 and 5.5) proceed with the first decoction. If it is higher than pH 5.8 add some acid malt to the mash (IIRC 1% acid malt lowers the mash pH by 0.1) . . . wait another 20 minutes, check the mash pH again and if it is in the ball park. . . move on.

The First decoction

Take the heaviest 30% (by volume) of the mash and put it in the decoction kettle . . . use a sieve to remove mostly grain with as little liquor that you can get away with, and bring it up to 50C in 10 minutes (or as rapidly as possible). Hold it there for 20 - 30 minutes, then again apply heat and take it up to 66C in 10 minutes (or as rapidly as possible) and again rest there for another 20-30 minutes to allow dextrinisation to occur, before taking it to 75C over 5 minutes a short 15 minute rest and then bring it to the boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Those quite foresighted among you will be thinking "If it is mostly grain why does it not scorch?", Well it will, unless it is continually stirred. The Czech Brewers employ a little trick, which is to put enough hot water (80C) into the decoction kettle) to raise the first decoction from 40C straight up to 50C (the first rest point) with no heating (They do end up with a thin mash, possibly as high as 6L/Kg but this is not a problem).

Return the darkened decoction to the main mash, gradually stirring well to ensure even temperature distribution and little thermal shock to the enzymes in the 'cold' main mash, this stage should take around 5 to 10 minutes. and the mash should settle to a temperature of around 50C (48 to 53C is acceptable), and the main mash enters the protein rest. This can be for up to 30-60 minutes, but in general practice as short as 5 minutes can elapse before the second decoction is taken

The Second Decoction

Take the heaviest third to 45% of the mash to the decoction kettle and heat it up to 66C in 10 minutes (or as rapidly as possible) rest for 20-30 minutes then up to 75C over 10 to 15 minutes, a short 15 minute rest and then bring it to the boil for up to 20 minutes. Again use the Czech trick to make sure the wort doesn't scorch.

Return the decoction back to the main mash evenly, aiming for a rest temp of 68C if the beer is to be fully lagered or 65-66c for a lighter drier beer. . . . rest for 30-60 minutes, before taking the third decoction.

The Third Decoction

This one is completely different, remove 40-50% (by volume) of the thinnest part of the mash . . . yes the liquid . . . and add it to the boil kettle . . Raise it to 75C over 10 minutes (or as quickly as possible), and rest it for 10-15 minutes. then raise to boiling and boil for 10-15 minutes before returning it to the tun for the lauter rest.

The mash should now be at around 75-77C and rather thin, give it a good stir for 5 minutes and then allow it to rest and settle out to form the mash bed for 10 minutes. After which you should see a thick layer of grey sludge on top of the grain bed, this is denatured protein.

Lauter and sparge as you would normally do. Expect to take between 3 and 9 hours to do a triple decoction mash . . . .At Plzen they can take up to 12 hours!

Next time I feel in a 'waxing lyrical' mood I'll cover Infusion and HERMS/RIMS step mashing
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Treating Tesco's Ashbeck Water

Postby Aleman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 13:17

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Re: Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby Aleman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 13:18

Well time moves on, and methods and materials change. So is there a need to perform a decoction mash? The short answer is, probably not. Given that most malts are well modified, the requirement for a decoction mash is very much reduced. The technique does introduce certain characteristics to a beer that used to be difficult to replicate with any other techniques, but with the range of malts available from Weyermann this is no longer the case. Indeed in an email conversation I had with Greg Noonan a few years ago he admitted that he never does a triple decoction any more, at most it is a single decoction to go from a single temperature infusion rest to a mash out rest to 'fluidise the glucans'.

So that throws the technique open to HERMS / RIMS/ and Step infusion mashing. I'm going to make the assumption that you are not going to do a single decoction for the final temperature step, and if this is the case, then there has to be a tweak to the grain bill.

Instead of 4600g of lovely Czech Floor malted barley we need to use 4100g, and 500g of melanoidin malt. Melanoidin malt is a great standby to have in your arsenal as it really throws a huge malt profile and makes a beer appear much larger than its gravity would suggest. Another possibility would be to use 1200g of Munich Malt and 3400g of pilsner malt instead. again Munich malts are great for adding melanoidins.

OK so what about a mash schedule, my personal preference is

35ºC for 20 minutes (Acid Rest)
55ºC for 30 minutes (Protein rest)
70ºC for 60 minutes (Protein rest)

Where I try and aim for a 1-2ºC per minute temperature rise between steps . . . which are not included in the actual step time. . . . I also consider removing a thin decoction to go from 70ºC to 78C for lautering and sparging . . . to help build the decoction profile. Fix does suggest 50 /60 /70C (for 30 / 30 / 60 minutes), the worry I have about that is that the proteases are still active at 60C and so you are likely to get excessive protein digestion and a weak short lasting head formation/retention. Another possibility is the Hochkurz schedule I mentioned in an earlier post, but I will say that that should really be considered for normal well modified lager malts rather than this unique Czech pilsner malt.

Infusion mashing is going to be somewhat tricky as you do need excessive amounts of room in the mash tun. If you start out with a fairly thick mash (2L/kg) and then add boiling water to the mash (gradually over 5-10 minutes while stirring) you can easily and simply hit the mash temperatures required. . . The mash might end up a bit thin, but if the Czech brewers of Plzen can end up with 6L/Kg then why should we worry?
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Re: Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby wallybrew » Thu Apr 03, 2014 16:59

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Re: Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Fri Jun 13, 2014 08:56

Thanks' for re-posting on here :thumb:
Will have a dabble with this one day!! :drink:

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Re: Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby BeerBloke » Thu Oct 09, 2014 08:55


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Re: Alemans Effin Bohemian Pilsner

Postby krazypara3165 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:19

Getting ready to brew this one on monday after work!

Kegged:
Simecoe APA (HBF Donation)

Bottled:
Galaxy Pale Ale, Woodfordes Wherry, Bella Brew Pale Ale, Strawberry and vanilla Pale Ale, Mixed fruits cider, Elderflower and grapefruit fizz.

Maturing:
Rhubarb Wine, WOW rose', Elderberry wine, Mixed berries wine, Elderflower and grapefruit wine, Elderberry wine.

Next Up:
German Pilsner, Guinness Clone, Chateau De Roi selection kit, Strawberry and lime cider.
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