Ask Mr. Wizard

Infusion vs step mashing.


Chris Lanthier • Andover, Massachusetts asks,

Could you explain the difference between infusion and step mashing. Is it true that step mashing is necessary when you don’t use well-modified malts? I am under the assumption that much of today’s available 2-row malt is well-modified and as such, only requires infusion mashing. However, in last month’s Replicator column, Jim Stinson uses a step mash for Rockyard’s Double Eagle Ale clone recipe, which calls for a 2-row base malt. Why would there be a need for a step mash in this brew?


Infusion mashing is a traditional method using an unheated mash tun, resulting in a single temperature mash. In reality, the temperature drops slightly over the mash rest and increases during sparging. Step
Response by Ashton Lewis.