I'm planning to brew a Single Malt and Single Hop (SMaSH) beer using Canada Malting's Superior Pilsner and Czech saaz hops. I'd like the resulting beer to be full bodied, like Pilsner Urquell, but I'm concerned that an intensive decoction mash will produce a very fermentable wort.

I've been reading Braukaiser's page on decoction mashing, though he doesn't go into much detail on mashing for body. Here's what I've come up with as a first approximation. Would this mash schedule produce a full-bodied beer?

Mash in 146 for 35 minutes
Decoct to 160 for 40 minutes
Decoct to 170 for 10 minutes
  • do you mean for the last decoction step to reach 160? I'm guessing it's a typo and that you mean 170 for mash out?
    – mdma
    Mar 2, 2012 at 0:07
  • You're right. Fixed. Mar 2, 2012 at 0:14
  • Why not just mash at 156F?
    – brewchez
    Mar 2, 2012 at 1:35
  • 2
    With just base malt, I'm looking to the decoction to develop some of the flavours I'd otherwise get from crystal malts. Mar 2, 2012 at 4:12
  • Just a side note - I am from Czech Republic and boy Pilsner Urquell is not full bodied at all. Pretty watery crap. I mean I have drunk pretty much pilseners here in Czech and Pilsner Urquell is not the one you want, trust me. I am not sure how decoction affects the body of the beer, but you can use melanoid malt for better head and body too, plus some munich malt. That gives the body its fullness from our experience here.
    – Petr
    Mar 2, 2012 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


Looks good. The first rest in the 140s will create a fermentable wort, while the later rest around 160 will help create body and foam stability. However, I don't think the rest times are long enough to be practical.

When pulling the decoction, you have to raise it's temperature (possibly slowly so not to overshoot), let it rest for 15 mins, and then also boil for between 15 and 30 mins. With that in mind, the first two rests will have to be at least 45 mins, and that's probably a tight squeeze. Personally, I'd go for 60 mins for each mash rest so you have enough time to perform the decoction properly. Also, both the beta- and alpha-amylase rests are at the lower end of their respective temperature ranges, so more time is needed compared to the familiar single infusion at 152-4.

  • The rest for 15 minutes while heating the decoction should be at 158? Mar 2, 2012 at 0:50
  • Yes, that's correct, hold the decoction at 158, although this assumes you've heated relatively slowly (over 10-15 minutes) so that some maltose is also produced as well as dextrins. This source (brewery.org/library/DecoctFAQ.html) recommends each decoction rest to be 20-40 mins and then boiling for 15-30 mins.
    – mdma
    Mar 2, 2012 at 11:33

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