Tweet Some time ago I wrote a post strongly critisising the Protected Geographical Denomination "České Pivo" (Czech Beer). One of the conditions a beer has to meet in order to be eligible for the DGP is that it must be brewed with a decoction mashing. As if Czech brewing tradition started in 1842, I said then.
Well, I didn't know what I know now.
In the comments of one of the post in the Argentinean beer blog Logia Cervecera I ranted that a proper lager should be brewed using a decoction mashing.
Someone answered saying that that is not true anymore and that most German breweries have stopped using decoction. According to him, thanks to the highly modified malts used today, the process is no longer necessary for soft waters to be able to extract enough sugars from the grain, and that a multi-rest infusion mash (don't know if that's the exact term, but you know what I mean) does the job just fine. He also added that the breweries from Northern Germany never used decoction to begin with.
Since he seemed someone who knew what he was talking about, and I didn't have any data to prove him wrong, I agreed with my silence.
Later, during a conversation with someone else, the information was confirmed. Though the reason I was given was that German breweries had dropped decoction for reasons more related to costs than anything else.
It was then that I started to see some sense in the insistence of "Český Svaz Pivovarů a Sladoven" (Association of Czech Brewers and Maltsters) about this brewing method.
For better or worse, pretty much everything that is brewed in the Czech Republic are bottom fermented lagers and, according to people who know more than I, these kind of beers should be brewed with a decoction mashing.
Of course, there's still all the other conditions, among them the ABV limits (3.8 to 6%). That, I still find stupid.