Correct Mashing

Many people do not realise that when using malt, as distinct from malt extract, one of the most important factors in the production of good quality home-brewed beer is the correct "mashing," or extraction of maltose from the malt.

In this the temperature of the water plays a most important part. The operating temperature of the first fermentation should be between 130 degrees and 150 degrees F. It should never rise above 150 degrees F.

The amateur often has great difficulty in keeping to these temperatures but here is a very simple and effective method.

Use a two-gallon polythene bucket or boiler with lid. Bring just under two gallons of water to 150 degrees F., pour them in the bucket, and scatter in two pounds of crushed malt (the extraction is much greater from the ground malt).

Then insert a 50-watt glass immersion heater, put the lid on the bucket, cover with a blanket or thick cloth, and leave on overnight or for a period of eight hours. The temperature with these quantities and with this type of heater will remain between 130 and 150 degrees F., and the extraction is first-rate.

Such a heater will last for years and is quite inexpensive —7/6 or so—and it is quite unecessary to go to the length of using costly thermostatically controlled heaters. Current consumption is negligible.

After the eight hours extraction the liquid should be strained off into a boiler and two ounces of hops added. Make the total liquid up to three or even four gallons and boil for an hour. Strain and add 2 lb. block invert sugar (all the breweries in this country use

"invert sugar, which is wholly fermentable) then allow the brew to cool to 75 degrees F. before adding a packet of concentrated brewing yeast.

Fermentation as a rule takes three to four days and the brew may be siphoned into bottles or jars.

It is just as well to let fermentation come to an end, and then prime each bottle or jar with a little sugar syrup. This gives a nice gentle secondary fermentation, gives sparkle and head to the brew, and avoids burst bottles.

This makes a really excellent brew.

Beers

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