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Mashing the Grains

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Mashing is when the brewer breaks down malt sugars into simpler sugars for yeast to ferment readily. Contrary to any impression the term might create, there is no need to pound, grind or otherwise inflict violence upon unsuspecting malt. Instead, place the malt in a vessel - aptly named the mash tun - and let in some hot water to modify the sugar. Times and temperatures for this stage depend upon the desired style, available equipment and brewer’s preference. Or you can skip this step altogether for extract brewing.

Mashing the Grains