When you brew using an all-grain system, the first major component of the process is mixing malted barley and hot water to make your Mash. Doing this allows you to extract as much of the fermentable sugars as possible from the barley, creating your Wort.
From John Palmer’s book How to Brew, “Wort is what brewers call the sweet, amber liquid extracted from malted barley that the yeast will later ferment into beer.”
To start, warm up the liquor (what homebrewers and professionals call the brewing water) to approximately 165° F. The higher temperature of the water is needed to account for the lower temperature of the grain (it’s probably still sitting in the paper bag you took it home from the homebrewing supply store in). Adding the cooler grain to the hot liquor will reduce the overall temperature to your goal of 152-155° F.
Once you’ve reached the desired starting temperature, move the hot liquor to your Mash Tun (any container that can be cleaned thoroughly, and hold liquid at a reasonably consistent temperature). In my case, a Rubbermaid 10gal. cooler with false bottom do the trick. Using a long spoon, or Mash Paddle (you can get one at your local homebrewing supply store), mix together all of the grain and water enough to remove the big clumps.
The goal in this step is to ensure as much of the grain and water come into contact with each other as possible.
Categories: Home Brewing