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Step 2/ Mashing The Grains

The temperature during the mash is a carefully chosen parameter that influences the beer's character. At lower temperatures (63–68°C), a specific type of enzyme called alpha-amylase is more active. Alpha-amylase breaks down starch molecules into shorter chains of sugars. These shorter chains are highly fermentable by yeast, leading to the production of more sugars. This results in a drier beer with a crisper finish.

On the flip side, higher temperatures (68–74°C) encourage beta-amylase to become more active. Activation of beta-amylase results in the creation of less fermentable sugars, yielding a fuller-bodied beer with a sweeter profile.

Mashing also extracts flavours from the malted grains. Different types of malted grains contribute various flavours to the beer, such as caramel, toffee, chocolate, biscuit, and roasted notes. The temperature and duration of mashing can influence the types and intensity of flavours extracted from the grains.

The colour of the beer is influenced by the type and roast level of the malted grains used in the mash. During mashing, compounds responsible for colour, such as melanoidins and Maillard reaction products, are extracted from the grains. The longer and hotter the mash, the darker the colour of the resulting wort.