Ask Mr. Wizard

Decocting While Recirculating?


Randy Halseth — Vicksburg, Michigan asks,

I’m about to delve into brewing dark lagers and I’m wondering if there have been any articles written on decoction mashes when you are using a Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System (HERMS) or Recirculating Infusion Mash System (RIMS)? I’ve got a three-pump, all-electric heat, HERMS setup using a modified keg with a false bottom as the mash/lauter tun and am typically recirculating my mash continuously. I’ve never done a decoction mash and am not sure what the best way would be to pull a thick or thin decoction when I’ve been heating and recirculating the mash to get it to my first rest temperature. Is it feasible to pump the decoction to my boil pot and then back into my mash tun so I’m not handling hot liquids? Could I just pump liquid from the mash tun to the boil pot and add grains from the mash tun and then pump the mixture back into the mash tun after the decoction?

Randy, this is an interesting question that I will address with a few different perspectives. The first is a short answer to your basic question; I don’t know of any articles that
Response by Ashton Lewis.