Two Mash Out Options


At the beginning of wort collection, it doesn’t matter if your grain bed temperature climbs above 170 °F (77 °C); tannin extraction is largely suppressed at mash pH.

At the end of your mash, you have the option of mashing out — raising the temperature of the mash to 168–170 °F (76–77 °C) — before recirculating and collecting your wort. The best reason to mash out is to make lautering easier. The hotter the mash, the lower the viscosity of the entrained wort and the easier it is to drain it away from the grain solids in your lauter tun. However, the difference in wort viscosity between wort at typical mash temperatures (148–162 °F/64–72 °C) and wort at 168–170 °F (76–77 °C) is not that great, and so many homebrewers simply skip this step without any noticeable negative effects. (For brewers who mash in a converted picnic cooler, often the volume of boiling water necessary to raise the temperature would cause their mash/lauter tun to overflow.)

I can heat my mash tun, so I usually mash out with the idea that at least it can’t hurt. (Plus, it requires me to stir the mash and that might help out my extract efficiency a little bit.) I like to tinker with my brewday procedures, and in this article I’d like to present two alternative ways to mash out besides the usual heat-and-stir and add-boiling-water methods. I’ve used the first option a number of times and it works fine. I accidentally did the second option a grand total of once — and it wasn’t until after the fact that I realized it might be a good idea. So, treat the second option as something to consider, not something that has been thoroughly tested.

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