How Long Should You Mash?


You don’t have to let your mash go for 60 minutes. It may be done much earlier than that.

Yesterday, James posted an article about a speedy, small-batch brewday. In the next two days, I want to give a few tips on speeding up your all-grain brewday. Today, I’ll focus on mashing, and tomorrow I’ll discuss lautering.


Mash Times

Many all-grain homebrew recipes specify a 60-minute single infusion mash. However, depending on the beer you are making and the malts you are using, you may not need to mash that long. In a single infusion mash, your goal is dissolve the starch granules from the malted barley, and allow the amylase enzymes to degrade the starch into simple sugars. The amount of time this takes depends on your mash temperature and the diastatic power of your malt.

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Roswell IPA (Countertop Partial Mash)


Me at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. My wife and I visited it on the way to the NHC in Denver, Colorado a couple years ago. Keep watching the skies! (Just don’t, you know, expect little green men to fly by in a spaceship.)

Here is a countertop partial mash adaptation of my Roswell IPA, a hoppy, American-style IPA. This recipe is formulated for mashing 4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) of grains in a 2-gallon (~8-L) beverage cooler. There is an option for mashing 6.0 lbs. (2.7 kg) of grain in a 3-gallon (11-L) cooler. Partial mashing gives your beer more base malt aroma compared to an extract-with-steeping-grains formulation.  This particular method of partial mashing allows you achieve a high extract efficiency while being easy to clean up after. In addition, this recipe shows how you can raise the fermentability of extract wort by letting the enzymes from the partial mash wort work on some of the malt extract. 58% of the fermentables in this IPA come from the partial mash.


Roswell IPA

American IPA

by Chris Colby

Partial mash (countertop), English units



A golden-colored IPA with classic floral/citrus American hops and just enough malt to keep it from being unbalanced. This beer finishes moderately dry and exhibits a wonderful hop aroma from lots of late hops and dry hops.

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Barleywine (II: Extract Wort Production-I)

This is the first of two articles on extract wort production in the series of articles on barleywine.


Fresh malt extract can be the base of a great barleywine.

When making a barleywine wort from malt extract, there are several things the brewer should consider. All the usual advice still applies — use fresh malt extract, boil as much volume as you can (and still maintain a vigorous boil) and add some of the malt extract late in the boil (if you are boiling less than the full wort).

In addition, some aspects of wort production are only going to apply to barleywine or other big, hoppy beers. One thing that always improves an extract beer is supplementing the extract wort with wort a partial mash. Adding some base malt to your extract recipe adds back some of the malt aroma that was lost when the malt extract was concentrated or dried. This is true for a barleywine as well, but I would recommend making a small partial mash — around 2.0–4.0 lbs. (0.91–1.8 kg) — rather than a larger one. For one thing, although some malt aroma is lost in the manufacture of malt extract, some of it is retained. In a barleywine wort, the large amount of malt extract required means that some malt aroma will be present. More importantly, in an extract barleywine, reducing the amount of trub and hop debris should be a priority. This is especially true when the brewer is boiling less than a full wort.

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