From the HBD Archive
From: dsbaer@Sun.COM (David Baer)
Subject: mashing
Date: 1989-01-17 19:24:53 GMT

I just mashed a batch of Muchener this weekend
and thought I'd share some of my techniques.

First the equipment I find necessary:

1) The obvious spoon, scale, hydrometer,
floating thermometer, primary, secondary,
and large boiling pot. I use a 33qt monster
pot that takes about 45 minutes to boil on
my electric stove.

2) I also use a 20 liter water cooler/dispenser to
sparge. I have modified the spigot so that it
has a valve that regulates the flow of liquid and
doesn't require any hands once it is set. I have a
stainless steel colander as the false bottom.

I have used a couple of different processes:

1) I heat up water to 180 degrees F (1.25 qts/lb of grain)
and put it in the 20 liter cooler. I then very thoroughly stir
in the grain ,and let it sit for 1 hour. This is called single-temperature
infusion mashing and requires modified grains like American
Klages. The ideal temperature for the mash would be
between 150 and 158. I find 180 gets me at the higher end
of the temperature range. Adding a little water to adjust
temperature is the best way to get exactly where you
want to be. The higher the temperature the more
dextrinous the wort (it will have more body and sweetness)
the lower the temperature, the more fermentable sugar
produced. At any temperture in this range, complete sugar
conversion should take place within 1 to 1.5 hours.
I test the conversion with Iodine and if alls well,
I commence the sparge. I add 4-5 gallons
of hot (170 degree) water to the cooler, very slowly
and carefully. It usually takes a good hour to sparge.
I collect the run off in the moster pot and begin
my boil. From here there is little difference between
mashing and extract brewing, you boil, you add hops,
you add, yeast, you age, you bottle, you drink.

2) The other process is step mashing and is done on
the stove top. I add 1.25 quarts of water/lb of grain,
to my monster pot and heat to 100 degrees F.
I add the grain and stir it up real good. Then I
heat it up (on med) stirring constantly until it
reaches about 125 degrees F. I let it sit about 30 min.
This is the protien rest. Again I heat up the mash stirring
constantly. This time to the conversion temperature- between 150 and
158. I like to transfer to my 20 liter cooler at this
time and let it sit for 1 hour, but you could leave it on the
stove as long as you maintain the 150-158 range.
Then I follow the same testing and sparging procedure as for
infusion mashing.

This is a very general outline but it basically works for me.
I have made several successful batches using both methods. I really
feel like a homemade kind of guy watching the sparge run clear. I
also truly think mashing makes better beer. I think the ultimate control
and the variables challenge me and keep me brewing better and better
beer. For a good discussion of mashing "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing"
by Papazian is a quality text, also "Grains into Beer" by Scotty Morgan
outlines the single temperature mash very clearly. Books are
helpful, but hands-on experience will teach you best.

Good luck to all you potential mashers,
and hope this simple outline serves to
motivate you to brew a great beer.

Dave Baer

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