Samuel Smith's Brewery Tour - Page 2

Mash Tuns
These are the mash tuns. This is where the grain and water mixture goes through several chemical reactions in which enzymes in the malt convert starches to sugars and break complex proteins into smaller proteins and amino acids. After this "mashing" process is complete, the spent grain is separated from the sweet liquid which is now called "wort" (pronounced WERT). Just above the two "wheels" in this photo, are what's called "Steel's Mashers."  These devices mix crushed malt (that pours down from the malt mills on the floor above through what is called the "grist case," one of which can be seen in the very top right corner of this photo) with water (called "liquor" by brewers) and make sure there are no dry pockets in the malt.

Inside one of the Mash Tuns
This is a view inside an empty mash tun. Although they are difficult to see, there are slots in the floor of this tun through which the wort runs out. The slotted "false bottom" holds back the husks and other insoluble parts of the malts and other grains (like oatmeal). The two long pipes near the top of the tun slowly rotate as they sprinkle water on the grains, rinsing out trapped sugars (this is called "sparging"). The barely visible arms at the bottom of the tun are used for removing the spent grain (they are not run during the mash or sparge). In case you're curious, the triangular device near the top of the tun is simply a light.

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