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The Beer Brewing Process – Step 1: Mashing


Brewing beer is a lengthy process.  It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a regular-flavored beer or a special handcrafted artisan beer.  You will all have to pass through the same brewing process and it all starts with “Mashing”.  Well, it actually starts with “Malting” which is the actual process to germinate a cereal grain, like barley, wheat or rye, and preparing it for the fermentation process.  Malting is done to turn the starch in the cereal grain into sugar which will then eventually be turned into alcohol which defines a malt beer.  Malting is usually done separately from the rest of the brewing process.

So, technically Mashing is the first step to brewing your favorite beer.  By this time, you already have some malt in your brewery that has been prepared to your specifications, depending on the type of beer that you’re brewing.  What’s going to happen next will be creating a mash out of the malt by mixing it up with water and then heating it up in a vessel called a mash tun.  The heating process is to activate the starch into turning into sugar so that it will be more susceptible to reacting with the yeast when it is time to be mixed in.

There are two types of mashing.  The first type called infusion mashing involves the heating of the grains in one vessel at one or at the same time.  It differs from decoction mashing, the second type, because in decoction, a portion of the grains is boiled separately and then added to the rest of the mash to increase its temperature.  The liquid mash that is produced from this step is called wort.

Now, mashing usually takes 1 to 2 hours to complete depending on the temperature rests that you, the brewer, requires.  If you want a type of beer that’s low in body but high in alcohol content, you need to set the mash rest temperature at the lower end of  the of 65 to 71 degrees Celsius, or 149 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you want a type of beer that’s fuller in body but with less alcohol content, then you need to maintain the higher end of the temperature range.  If at any point you want to stop the production of the enzymes in the mash, you only need to raise the mash temperature to about 75 degrees Celsius or  170 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next step in the beer brewing process is Lautering.

Nov 23, 2012 |

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