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Mashing Methods

Mashing Methods

Posted by Janet Thomas on

Mashing is a technique for converting starch to sugar and has been used for many years. There are a few different mashing methods, which will all create a desired character in your wort and home brew recipe. Certain beers will need a particular mash to arrive at the right wort for the style. The mashing methods below help to show the differences between each method:

Double Mashing: One of the most common for home brewing. This method uses the addition of cereal adjuncts; either dry or liquid can be used and added directly to the mash. The use of a separate cereal cooker is sometimes used, which is at a different temperature, depending on the cereal you are adding.

Single Infusion Mashing: There are a few different types of infusion techniques. This is the simplest and most common method of mashing. This method maintains a constant temperature over a long duration in order to allow for starch modification. The use of a kettle or pot or a mash tun is used with this method. Water is heated to above the holding temperature, and then added to the grains. The mash will take anywhere from 1-2 hours holding a temperature of 150-160 degrees generally; but may vary depending on the type and style of beer.

Step Mashing: Step mashing is a mashing method that uses multiple steps of temperature during the mashing process. This method of mashing is the most time consuming, and requires a close attention to the temperature range and the pH of the wort. Varying on the type and style of beer you will be brewing, this process can take around 1-4 hours and around 5 steps or temperature.

Decoction Mashing: This method of mashing is very similar to step mashing. It is used to enhance the flavor of the beer in many ways. With this method, you will increase the temperature over the duration of the mash time. The difference in this method is part of the mash will be removed from the kettle, or tun, heated separately to a higher temperature in a pot, and then returned to the mash, increasing the temperature of the mash. Step mashing and decoction mashing provide clearer brews and a more colorful recipe. These are most common among microbreweries.

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