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More than One Way to Mash a Malt

Mashing is what turns regular malted barley into the wort that ultimately becomes beer. And as with most other aspects of homebrewing, there are as many ways to mash as there are brewers.

Dave Carpenter Feb 27, 2014 - 3 min read

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Whether you prefer simplicity or dig technical minutiae, understanding the many means of mashing will help you choose the right mash for the job.

Single-Step Infusion Mash

Most all-grain homebrewers use a single-step infusion mash. Hot water is mixed with crushed malt to achieve a specific temperature, usually between 148°F and 158°F (64°C and 70°C). The mash is held at this temperature for an hour or so (longer for lower temperatures) and immediately sparged.

The appeal of this mash protocol lies in its simplicity and in the fact that it can be executed with very simple equipment. Homebrewers who mash in an insulated cooler use this regimen more than any other. Well-modified malt is required for a single-step infusion mash, but unless you specifically seek out under-modified malt, you’re unlikely to come across it in your homebrewing adventures.

Multi-Step Temperature Mash

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