This is where I will try to post, as often as I can, on beer topics that are related to my beer, the beer I drink, and my beer education.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Day 18, full day of brewing science lecture

Its funny, I was very interested in the material covered today, yet it seemed to drag on for about 3 forevers. Maybe it was the lack of breaks we received, who knows. In general we were studying mashing technologies, more specifically the types of roll mills, mash vessels and lauter vessels. We also covered the major styles of mashing. Today confirmed my belief that decoction mashing, whether single, double or triple, is no longer a benefit when considering the degree of modification of the malt that a brewer must use. Experiments done separately by both UC Davis and AB Corporation showed that decoction mashing and temperature controlled mashing show no difference in color, gravity or taste when sampled by educated tasting panelists. Of course, some smaller breweries claim to have gotten opposite results when performing that same experiment, and other breweries still do decoction mashing simply because of tradition. It seems that the method was invented centuries ago by the Germans for two main reasons. First, they were primarily dealing with undermodified malt, and this method handles undermodified malt better than any other mashing method, when everything else is held constant. And secondly, the method seems to predate thermometers, and this method allows the mash temperature to be raised incrementally and rather precisely. By taking 1/3 of the liquid out, bringing it to a boil, and returning it to the mash. Originally, this was done 3 times. The first decoction would raise the it from room temperature, about 40 degrees C to about 53 degrees C, the second decoction to about 64 degrees C, and the third decoction to about 75 degrees C. It should be noted that these temperature quotes are approximate, but I will not apologize for using SI units. I am using those units for 2 reasons, first, I am taking a test on this stuff and it will be graded in England, and second, these units just make more sense. Of course, it will be irritating when I get a job at a brewery in the U.S. and I have to start using the "difficult" units again. Maybe I should move to another country.


Blogger Nickel Plated Bullet (LB) said...

KNow how you feel. Spent all of college in metric and Degrees C. Just as long as you don't set any temp. set points in ferenheit when in actuality its celsius...tends to cause problems.

9:38 PM

Blogger Andy said...

I somehow trust the results of AB more than most craft brewers for this type of study. They know what they're doing and wouldn't compromise their product. Now... about that product...

7:08 AM

Blogger joemonkey said...

Haha, I couldn't agree more about AB.

3:37 PM

Blogger Deez Nutz said...

Amen, on using SI units. I miss exclusively using them like I did in school. Just hope you don't get a job where both sets of units are used. Thats always fun for troubleshooting issues!

8:53 AM


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