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The Beer Brewing Process – Step 2: Lautering


Just to give you a brief background, you need malt to create beer and it’s crafted from cereal grain like barley (usually), wheat or rye.  When you steep, germinate and kiln the grain, they now are transformed into malt which is then turned into mash, which is the first step in the beer brewing process.  Now, you arrive at Step 2 which is all about Lautering.

To put it simply, lautering is the act of separating the liquid part of the mash, called wort, from the solid part of the mash, called spent grains.  Generally, lautering involves two stages.  The first stage sees the undiluted separation of the wort from the spent grains.  The second stage involves the “rinsing” of the spent grain, called sparging, which basically allows the inclusion of water to rinse off the remaining wort stuck to the grains.

In order to start the lautering process, you need either special equipment with which to separate your wort from the spent grains.  There are two distinct tools that you can use – a lauter tun or a mash filter.  Traditional brewing processes required the lauter tun and even though it’s function has not changed throughout the years, the actual tool has evolved to change with the times.  A lauter tun is basically a huge tank or vessel which filters through small holes the bits and pieces of the grains, allowing the liquid wort to pass through and into another container.  More modern lauter tuns are equipped with “rakes” ranging from 2 to 6 depending on the size of  the lauter tun.  These rakes maintain the flow of separation by keeping the filter holes open so that the wort can continue to pass through.  A mash filter has the same function only it is designed differently.  It relies on plates, a frame and several cloths to filter the wort from the mash.

Additional parts of the lauter tun include a ring of spray heads that introduce water for sparging.  It automates the process of rinsing the grains to separate them from the wort.  It is also important for microbrewery lauter tuns to have a separate outlet for the spent grains when the lautering is done to expedite the beer brewing process. Once lautering is done, the next step will be Boiling the wort.

Nov 23, 2012 |

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