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How To Get Decoction Results Without Actually Doing a Decoction Mash

Performing the labor- and time-intensive process of creating a decoction mash might produce excellent results, but you can save time by fine-tuning the malts in your recipe.

Josh Weikert Jun 26, 2016 - 6 min read

How To Get Decoction Results Without Actually Doing a Decoction Mash Primary Image

One of the joys of brewing is that there are almost endless combinations of ingredients we can use to produce specific flavors, as well as a variety of ways in which those ingredients can be used. The result is a staggering array of potential flavors for any given beer, and many paths to the top of the mountain when it comes to getting the flavors you want. All that matters in the end is that you get the flavors you’re looking for!

Want banana flavor? You can add a banana puree, choose a Hefe yeast and let the esters do the work, or even add a solution of isoamyl acetate. The same is true for dozens of flavors—citrus can come from yeast or hops, pepper can be derived from hops or spices or yeast, vanilla can come from your spice rack or certain types of oak, and more.

Since that’s the case, it’s a wonder to me that many brewers choose to take on a time-consuming and challenging old-school brewing process in the pursuit of certain flavors—I’m talking about decoction mashing. Decoction mashes were an early way to solve two problems: first, getting more out of undermodified malts, and second, hitting appropriate step temperatures in mashing.

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