Epically epic brew day today. First, I got a great deal on a new fermenter and brew paddle... 12 bucks for both!
THEN I totally rocked a Dreimaisehverfahren! What, you don't know what that means? Its a German technique also known to most beer geeks as a German Three-Mash Decoction.
I heard of this method through the book Radical Brewing (which rules big time), and ever since I read about it I have been itching to give it a try. I guess it makes sense that since my last brew was so simple, today's brew would be the most complicated and time consuming I have done to date. A decoction is basically another way besides direct heat and infusion to heat the mash. So instead of adding water or firing up the burner, you actually remove a portion of the mash, heat it to boiling, and then return it to the mash tun.
This method takes a LONG TIME. I mashed in at 12:30 today and sparged at around 5:30. That is a whopping 5 hours, compared to the 1 - 1/2 hour infusion mash method I usually use. Why bother? Well, besides the age-old reason of "shits and giggles," I really wanted to make an authentic Munich Dunkel. According to the previously mentioned book, there are ways to work around using a triple decoction, but none of them will ever truly taste like the original. It should give the beer an intense malty kick, in both taste and aroma, that really just cant be duplicated any other way.
So today I thought to myself, "Hey self, whaddaya say we give this a try?" To which my self responded "well, you better pour yourself another...
cause it will take a steady pair of hands."
David Bazaan rules, and heres what I did today.
STEP 1 - ASSEMBLED THE INGREDIENTS
I started with the the Monk-y Business Munich Dunkel from Radical Brewing, and I modified it a bit. Heres the recipe.
|Amount||Item||Type||% or IBU|
|5 lbs 4.8 oz||Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)||Grain||97.07 %|
|2.6 oz||Carafa II (412.0 SRM)||Grain||2.93 %|
|0.26 oz||Hallertauer [4.80 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop)||Hops||8.5 IBU|
|0.60 oz||Hallertauer [4.80 %] (60 min)||Hops||17.7 IBU|
.12 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (3 min) Hops
Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.053 SG Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.64 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 % Bitterness: 26.2 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint Est Color: 18.6 SRM Color:
The original recipe has all the hops added at 60 minutes, but I am a lover of first wort hopping and moved 30% of the hops to first wort, and I added a smidgen at flame out for a slight Hallertauer nose. Also, I used Nottingham ale yeast instead of lager yeast... I cant get a constant 50 degrees, but my bedroom stays around 58-60, and Nottingham ferments really clean at those temps.
STEP 2 - DOUGH IN/ACID REST
I mashed in at a smooth 95 degrees.
I probably could have skipped this, but I really wanted to go with the old skool method from the picture above. On a side note. it is recommended when using Munich as a base. After about 20 minutes, it was time for the first decoction!
STEP 3 - FIRST DECOCTION!
Using a measuring cup, I drew out about 1/4 of the mash (3 qt) and stuck it in a heavy duty pot on the stove.
I cranked up the heat, and did the following rests:
-Protein rest @ 122 for 15 min
-Saccrification @ 148 for 15 min
-Heat to boiling, boil for 30 min
I sat there and stirred that crap for all 30 minutes of the boil. The last thing I wanted was a scorched mash. That would have ruined my day big time. It darkened and reduced quite a bit... mmmm, caramelized mash.
After the 30 minutes was up, I stirred it back into the mash tun.
STEP 3 - PROTEIN REST
Easy peasy... the boiled mash brought the rest of the mash perfectly to 122. I let it rest for 15 minutes.
STEP 4 - 2ND DECOCTION
This was easier than the first. Drew out another 1/4 of the mash, but this time just heated it right up to boiling while stirring. Boiled for 30 more minutes (ugh, more standing and stirring). Again, after the 30 minutes were up I dumped it back into the mash tun.
My target after this was supposed to be around 148, but I could only get it to around 146. O well, that can't be too big a deal. I think it will still make beer :)
STEP 5 - SACCRIFICATION REST
Basically I just let it chill for 30 minutes. I used this time to go pick up a 6er of Fat Tire, as I didn't want to drink all my delicious winter warmer before it was actually ready =P
So clear... so delicious.
STEP 6 - 3RD AND LAST DECOCTION!!!
Same as the 2nd decoction but with 1/3 the mash instead of 1/4. Heat it up, let her boil, dump it back in to the mash tun!
This was supposed to get me up to mash out temps (165-170) but for some reason it only got me up to about 157 >.<. O well I says, I used the time to let it convert some more sugars and boil some extra water for mash out. Ended up taking about 5 quarts of boiling water to get it to mash out temps.
STEP 7 - MASH OUT!
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh let it sit at 165 for 10-15 minutes! All that was left was to sparge and finish up the boil, cool and pitch.
I did it! Triple decoction! DREIMAISEHVERFAHREN!!!!!!!!!!! It went so much smoother than I had anticipated, although I did overshoot my target gravity a bit. The finished product has a really beautiful color, I hope it stays that way in the end. Also, it was hands down the best tasting wort Ive ever made.
What a day, 7 hours of brewing bliss. Up next: SAISON!!! See you then!