It's absolutely pouring down here in Charlottesville today. I love it!
As the temperatures cool, and I wonder again how I ever manage to survive 100º Fahrenheit heat every summer, that's almost 38º Celsius for my metric friends, my mind again wonders if this will be the winter when I make my own lager? For a person so enamoured with lager, it is perhaps a bit strange that I have yet to make one of my own.
I have a couple of reasons why I am yet to take the step into lager brewing, firstly I lack a spare refrigerator in which to lager, and secondly I am worried that I would screw up the decoction process. The first concern is actually rather easy to over come, I have space in my regular fridge for my 1 gallon carbabies to ferment at about 45ºF, and usually December and January are cold enough to lager the beer in my cellar. As such, I plan to divide a single kettle's worth of wort between 3 carbabies, ferment and then blend back together for into a larger carboy for lagering. Really, it is the decoction that bothers me.
I know plenty of brewers who would tell me that decoction mashing is pointless, a relic of a less scientific age, unnecessary because malts are better modified these days, I am sure you have heard the very same arguments, but still I want to try it. I think for my first lager I will avoid making a pilsner, simply because I have so much reverence for the style that when I do brew it, I want to get it spot on and do justice to it.
In researching how to do a decoction mash, I came across this series of videos on YouTube and thought I would share them with you, and wish you all a great weekend.
Decoction Mashing Part 1 - BrauKaiser