Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements

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Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
14 How the Mash Works
15 Understanding the Mash pH
16 The Methods of Mashing
17 Getting the Wort Out (Lautering)
18 Your First All-Grain Batch
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions


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Chapter 18 - Your First All-Grain Batch

18.4 Starting the Mash

1. Heat up enough water to conduct the mash. At a water to grain ratio of 1.5:1 qt./lb., the amount would be 12.5 quarts or about 3 gallons. Always make more, you will often need it. Heat up 4 gallons if you can. At a ratio of 1.5:1, the initial infusion temperature should 163F to create a mash temperature of 152F. (See Chapter 16 - Mash Methods for the infusion calculations.)

2. Preheat the cooler with some hot water, about a gallon. Swirl it around to heat up the cooler and then dump it. Preheating will prevent initial heat loss from the mash to the tun.

3. Pour in about 1 gallon of your strike water into the Mash Tun and stir in the crushed grain. This is the doughing-in stage. Mix the water and grist together gradually to avoid shocking the enzymes. Stir it to make sure all the grain is fully wetted, but don't splash. Hot side aeration can occur anytime the wort is hotter than 80F. Oxidation of wort compounds will not be affected by the subsequent boil, and will cause flavor stability problems later.

4. Check the temperature to see if it has stabilized at the target temperature range of 150 - 155F. If the temperature is too low, ex. 145 F, add some more hot water. If it is too high, ex. 160F, then add cold water to bring it down. 155F is the highest we want for this recipe. It will yield a sweet, full bodied wort.

5. Okay, the mash temperature came out a little low (148F) so I am adding 2.5 quarts of hot water to bring it up to 152F.

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Your First All-Grain Batch
Additional Equipment
Example Recipe
Partial Mash Option
Starting the Mash
Conducting the Mash
Conducting the Lauter
Things You Can Do Differently Next Time
Real Beer Page

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Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer