Many of us out there are forced by fate to brew on the meager fire of an ordinary kitchen range. Far from the jet-wash inferno of a good Cajun Cooker propane burner, ordinary stoves take forever to boil 5 gallons of liquid, and forget about trying to step up a mash before it goes sour. There are ways around this though.
I’ve successfully stepped up mashes by running a modified decoction on the stove. At first, I did it because the style I was making with a lot of unmalted wheat really necessitated a protein rest, which would mean I would have to step up my mash. I was hoping that I could start it pretty thick and add hot water and use the one burner to step it up, but it was going too slow. I just grabbed another pot and scooped out some of the mash, heated it real quick on a free burner and tossed it back in, hitting the step-up temperature nicely.
That Belgian Witbier took gold in competition several times over. I’ve been following a similar mash schedule since then. With one burner I was stuck doing single infusions, but just by using two burners, I can be considerably more versatile in what styles I can brew. Also, I always split the boil, too so I can actually boil it, instead of barely simmering it on one burner. tpb