*Note: Pilsner Urquell uses a triple decoction method with an initial acid rest, but I use well enough modified malts and correct for pH already so the first of three decoctions is unnecessary. The decoction measurements below are ones I developed for an electric system and err on the side of caution, so they are the lower amounts needed to potentially reach the next temperature step and direct heat can be applied to compensate.*
Perform a protein rest at 125F for 15min, then pull off slightly less than 1/3 (1.16gal/4.4L) of the thickest mash and place it in a separate pot. Bring the pot slowly up to 158F and hold for 15min, then slowly bring it up to a boil and proceed to boil for 10min. Stir often so the grains do not burn, but try to allow some 'browning' to help darken the colour and enhance the flavour/aroma profiles. Add the decoction back to the 125F mash, little by little, aiming for a beta rest temperature of 148F. Hold this temperature for 30min while adding back any leftover decoction (if any) as it cools. After this has finished, pull off roughly 1/6 (0.7gal/2.6L) of the thickest mash a second time and place it in the separate pot. Slowly bring the pot up to a boil and continue to boil for 10min. Add the second decoction back to the mash, little by little, aiming for an alpha rest temperature of 158F. Hold this temperature for 30min while adding back any leftover decoction (if any) as it cools. Once this rest has finished, raise the temperature up to a mash out rest of 167F and hold for 10min. After the decoctions and mash out are finished proceed to sparge/lauter as usual.
Instead of the labour intensive double decoction mash schedule you could:
- Substitute some of the pilsner malt for vienna and/or munich to add colour and depth.
- Include some melanoidin malt for a slight decoction 'feel'.
- Add some carapils malt (or your preferred alternative) for improved head retention.
- After which, just carry out a temperature/infusion mash schedule based on your preferences.
**This beer won a national silver medal at the Saskatoon Headhunters Competition (2017) and has consistently scored 40's at other national competitions.
***When Saaz AA is 3.5%, all additions are Saaz 1.5oz, 2oz, 1oz, and 1oz.
Award Winning Recipe