In our previous article, we brought you through the first stages of the brewing process – mashing. To briefly recap, the process entails specific steps, but every NH brewery will add its unique touch of creativity to their brew. If we didn’t, it wouldn’t be much fun experimenting between the several breweries in town! So, to continue on, we’re moving onto the next stage of the brewing process, lautering.
What, exactly, is lautering?
Lautering refers to the process of separating the wort, or mash, from the residual grain as efficiently as possible. However, to obtain the highest level of efficiency during this step, lautering is generally broken into three phases: mashout, recirculation, and sparging.
The mashout phase refers to the act of raising the mash temperature to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing so, the enzymatic conversion of starches stops, and the preservation of the fermentable sugars from the wort begins. This makes the wort easier to handle going forward as it becomes more fluid. The mashout process is accomplished through the use of external heat, or by simply adding hot water.
Next, the wort is drawn from the bottom of the mash and recirculated to the top. Lauter tuns generally have slotted bases to assist in this phase. However, the mash itself functions much like a filter by capturing debris and proteins. Whichever method is utilized, the result is a higher clarity in the wort.
Once the transfer is complete, grain husks and other particles are left behind from the mashing process. Enter the need for sparging. Sparging is the act of trickling heated water through the grains to extract as much of the remaining sugars as possible. Of the three, this step is considered the most delicate. If the water temperature is set wrong, brewers could end up with a bitter-tasting batch.
There you have it, step two in the NH brewery beer making process! Remember, Stark Brewing is here and serving our local families with meals to go, the best beer in town, as well as the finest spirits! Call today and place your curbside order (603) 625-4444.