the MASH

Mashing is the term given to the start of the brewing process, where crushed grains are mixed with water to form a porridge-like mixture called the “mash.” It is in the mash that malt and other cereal starches are transformed into sugars and proteins and other materials are made soluble, creating the sweet fermentable liquid called the wort. Malt comes from the malting house into the brewery in whole kernels and is then milled to form the grain mixture called “grist.” The grist is mixed with carefully controlled amounts of warm or hot water to form the mash. There are three basic types of mashing process: infusion mashing, decoction mashing, and temperature-controlled infusion mashing. Different mashing processes are used in different parts of the world depending on local tradition, the quality of malt available, the equipment used, and the beer styles brewed.