4 Steps to Mashing – Guide to Mash at home
Mashing needn’t be thought of as hard. This is the most common conception of why people that I have spoken to anyway, don’t make the step from extract to all-grain. If you have ever sat an wondered if your hombrew beer could be a little more complex and you want to know exactly what goes into your beer than Mashing is the way forward.
I am just going to lay out the basic steps required because in essence, that’s all it is and there is no reason to make it more complicated in your head without having tried it.
OK here it is for a basic mash:
Crushed malted grains in the quantities of whatever recipe you are using are added to a mash tun with water, the water is heated to 72°C before hand. You will need a thermometer for this as the temperature is the important part of mashing, to enable the chemical processes that will happen in the mash. This process is called “doughing in” you need to make sure the grains are stirred thoroughly and all of it is soaked.
The temperature of the mash should have dropped to around 66-67°C by this addition of malt. If not add hot or cold water to bring to the correct temperature.
Leave the grains to mash. This is called a “rest” and is the longest part of the process and the part where you do nothing. You need to leave the mash to convert starches to sugars and perform other chemical process for around an hour. You only really need to sporadically check the temperature to ensure it hasn’t dropped below 63°C, if it has add boiling water. I don’t bother checking for around an hour into the mash as my mash tun is fairly well insulated.
Toward the end of the rest you need to be heating water (liquor in brewing terms) in preparation to sparge (run off the sugary wort and rinse the malt) which leads onto the next part of the brewing process.
That is basically the mashing done and really once you have the equipment all setup is not hard at all. This draws us to the end of this post because there are a couple of options for you when you come to sparging and it would to have a whole post of its own dedicated to the ways you can sparge. Anyway I hope all that was clear, if not post a comment and I will do all I can to help you out.