Contaminated ESB the difficult way

This ESB was named "The Englishman who went up a mountain and came down a molehill". A great name, but an off beer. I used a difficult and lengthy process to attain a more malty flavor. The process is called decoction which in layman's terms is a multi-rest that boils the wort -- well I guess it's not that layman. It basically means that you pull out a portion of the grain and water from the mash, heat it to 150 degrees, boil it, add it back to the mash.

This process is either a two step process called Dreimaischverfahren or the three step process called Zweimaischverfahren. I can't make stuff like that up. Either way it adds 2 to 3 hours to the total brew time, which is already a 4 hour process. I of course decided to do the Zweimaischverfarhen because I'm an all in type of person.

The resource where I got the directions was not entirely clear so I didn't really do the process like it was meant to be done. It does not sound incredibly difficult because I'm awesome at simplifying things -- cause it's the only way I learn. However if you are not very clever with math then it is a doosy. There are formulas where you can plug in the numbers, but reading it and doing it is a different story. It will change from every recipe, because the grain and water will change.

Well my biggest dummy move was after this long 7 hour process I didn't take care of the yeast I stirred in the wort. It was a starter I did 2 weeks prior that I never transferred to a second container and refrigerated. So I mixed it in only to discover a sour smell in the jar. I said my prayers and waited. I waited 2 days and watched as nothing happened. I tossed in other yeast I had saved, then finally got it bubbling after 24 hours.

The result was a beer that has a sour (not in the lovely lambic way), high diacetyl flavor. There is also a hint of butterscotch that I haven't experienced before. Even at a 5 month rest period there are still off flavors.

7 lbs Pale 2 row
2 lbs Munich
.5 lbs Crystal 40l
.5 lbs Carapils

1 oz Mt Hood [bittering]
1 oz Kent Goldings [flavor]
1 oz Cascade [aroma]

A summer blend of yeast [contaminated yeast]
German Ale Yeast [savior yeast]

The temperature and steps desired to be achieved are:
105 degrees for 20 minutes, pull off 30% of grain and water, Rest pull off at 150 degrees for 20 minutes, Boil for 5 minutes, add back to mash.
Temperature should be between 115 and 130. Rest for 15-30 minutes, pull off 30%, heat and rest at 150 for 20 minutes, boil for 5-30 minutes, add back to mash.
Temperature should reach between 150-150 degrees. Rest for 30-50 minutes, pull off 40%, raise to 160, rest for 20 minutes, boil for 20-50 minutes, add back to mash.

Like I stated earlier, lengthy. This is my actual process, mistakes and all:
Added water to grain. The temperature was 115 degrees. Added a gallon to cool mash down. Rested at 105 degrees for 20 minutes.
Pulled off 3 quarts of water only and accidentally heated to 175. Let rest at that temperature for 20 minutes.
Boiled for 5 minutes.
Added back to mash, temperature raised to 125.
Rest for 20, pull off 3 quarts, heated to 150 degrees, rested at 20 minutes.
Boiled for 5 minutes, added back to mash.
Temp on at 140 degrees. Added 1 gallon of boil water to raise temp to 150 degrees. Rested 20 minutes unintentionally at 140 while water boiled, rested at 150 degrees for 45 minutes as was first intended.
Pulled 6 quarts of grain and water [or thick] off as I realized grain was supposed to be pulled off as well. Boiled for 15 minutes, added back to mash, rested for 10 minutes, cycled out. MOG [mash out gravity] 1.070.
Added 185 degree sparge water to mash. Rested 15 minutes, cycled out. BOG [boil original gravity] 1.045 at 6 gallons, 75% efficiency.
At boil added bitter hops.
At 45 min into boil added flavor hops.
At 55 min into boil added aroma hops.
Cooled and added in the yeast starter that turned out to be bad. No movement for 2 days. Added German yeast and started bubbling in 12 hours.
Notable off flavors of fruity-sour and buttery/butterscotch. Malty sweet, hop flavor is next to zero will all the off flavors.

1 comment:

Beer and Loathing said...

Seems like the two-step would be Zweimaischverfahren and the three-step would be Dreimaischverfahren, since Zwei means two and Drei means three. I could be wrong though.