© 2004
Harris Filters

Home Beermaking
Full Mash

A full mash beer is produced from all grains and is made the same way as commercial beers, but on a smaller scale. Beer produced this way is the really the ultimate of home beermaking, but  is certainly not for the beginner. However, once having experienced brewing from kits, you may eventually consider progressing to mashing.

With kit beers, all the work is done for you by the manufacturer and all that is needed is the addition of sugar and water.
With a dry kit, the manufacturer has prepared the malt extract as a powder or liquid and with grains added, all that is needed is for the mixture to be simmered for 30 minutes.
With a full mash, you will need to do everything except malt the grains, so it takes more time to prepare and to make.

BASIC METHOD FOR MASHING

DIXIE (LARGE PAN)

The grains and cereals need to be mixed with water to make a smooth porridge. Grist is a mixture of all crushed malt grains, roast malts, flaked and flavoured cereals.

Mix 1lb grist with 2½ to 3 pints water (1Kg grist with 3.25 – 3.75 litres of water). Pour the water and water treatment salts into the pan, apply heat and raise the temperature to 70C. Gradually stir in the dry grist to form a smooth mixture. Keep stirring and slowly raise the temperature up to 67C. Switch off the heat and let the mash stand for 1½ hours. It will be necessary to reheat the mash to the temperature between 65 and 67C as it cools. When applying heat during any mashing technique, stirring is essential to avoid any heat spots prematurely killing off enzymes that do the starch conversion.

ELECTRIM BOILER

Grist is a mixture of all crushed malt grains, roast malts, flaked and flavoured cereals.

Mix 1lb grist with 2½ to 3 pints water (1Kg grist with 3.25 – 3.75 litres of water). Pour the water and water treatment salts into the boiler, apply heat and raise the temperature to 70C and turn off the heater. Gradually stir in the dry grist to form a smooth mixture. Keep stirring until all the grist is wet and turn on the heater and slowly raise the temperature up to 67C. Set the dial to keep the temperature between 62 – 66C for 1½ hours. The process needs no further attention apart from the occasional stir.

SPARGING

Tie the mashing bag over the lip of a 5 gallon bucket fitted with a tap. Making sure the tap is closed, pour the grain and water from the mashing bin into the bag. Rinse the mashing bin and put underneath the bucket. Open the tap to collect the water (referred to as sweet wort). Pour it back gently over the grains and continue to further rinse with water hotter than the mash (70C) and collect 4 gallons of wort. Discard the spent grains. Boil the sweet worth with the hops for 1½ hours. Strain into the fermenting bin and top up with cold water to 5 gallon mark. When temperature has cooled to 25C, take a hydrometer reading and then add the yeast.

FERMENTATION

Replace the bin lid and ferment in a warm place. Preferably after 3-4 days, when the hydrometer reading has fallen to 1.012, rack the beer into a sterilised container and add and airlock. Leave for another 7 days to fall naturally.

Syphon into a pre-sterilised barrel or bottles (draining them thoroughly). Line up bottles and funnel into each one ½ level teaspoon per pint of white sugar (5ml per litre). Alternatively, stir into barreled beer 2½oz (75g) of sugar already dissolved in a little hot water. Syphon beer into a barrel or into bottles with the syphon tube near the bottom to avoid frothing. Leave an airspace in each bottle of approx. 20mm (¾”) per pint or 40mm (1½”) per litre bottle. Store in a reasonably warm place to re-ferment for 7-10 days and then transfer to a cool storage space. Sample the ale to check its condition.

These instructions are a guide only, and we strongly advise buying a book on the subject.