Why You Don't Need a Decoction

Why You Don't Need a Decoction

A subscriber recently asked about decoction brewing methods so I thought I'd try to help them out. I've read about this method before but never paid it much mind, so I did some more reading and this is what I found...

Decoction Brewing is a Waste of Time, effort and pretty much everything else you could waste - as a modern homebrewer.

Ok, so that might be a bit extreme but as a homebrewer there's no need to put the extra work in. Here are a few reasons why decoction was used, basically the TLDR version of this great article on Decoction Mash over at HBT.

#1 - No Thermometer - Before the invention of modern thermometers there was no easy way to tell the temperature of a mash. By using a decoction schedule you could be more confident of your mash temperatures and the efficiency of sugar extraction you should get. This isn't the middle ages though, and you have an accurate thermometer (I hope!), so don't use decoction.

#2 - Grain Was Not Well Refined - Grains today are much more refined and do not require any boiling of the mash to ensure proper sugar and enzyme interactions. So, as a modern brewer that has refined grains and no concrete proof that these old methods affect flavor profiles differently than regular ranged temperature mashes, you should not use decoction.

#3 - People Had No Life - Brewing is life. Beer is life. However, it isn't your whole life and a single batch shouldn't take you more then 8 hours max. Decoction methods are far more time consuming and energetically wasteful and unlike those internet-less and popper brewers of yore, you have a life - go enjoy it and don't use decoction methods!

I'm sure some of you readers will piss on all this.. but seriously, don't waste your time and don't do decoction.