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I'm doing my first beer from scratch soon. I've been assisting a friend of mine with making beers before. I've also searched on the internet on the steps involved.

One thing I've noticed is that there are seemingly different ways and steps for mashing. I've seen some beers use different malts mixed together others just use a single one.

I've also come across different ways of mashing, some pour water in a an isolated container and then add the malt and mix it. After that they tap the liquid out through a type of filter and bring it to a boil.

My friend on the other hand would put the mash in a kettle and keep the temperature exactly at the right level while stirring. He would also re-pour water in the mash until all the sugars were out (he measured the gravity to see if it was good).

I'm living in Singapore, where the ambient temperature is about 30 degrees, so I've been looking what yeasts would thrive best in this climate. In the end I settled for a yeast (wyeast 3724) which is able to handle these temperatures and combine it with cascade and centential hops.

What I want to know now is what some good mix would be for the mash and how I should proceed in determining what the gravity should be. Do I also add additional sugars or honey?

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Most beers do not need anything more than a single-infusion mash.

While it is possible to direct-fire a mash tun and attempt to use constant stirring to keep the temperature even and not scorch the grain, you're going to find it hard. Compute a good target strike temperature to hit your desired mash temperature, and try to insulate your mash vessel, instead. With high ambient temps, you should have an easy time of it.

A common "batch" mashing process is to do a single-infusion mash with about 1/3-1/2 of your total liquor volume, drain off that liquor, then add the remainder of water and drain that "sparge" liquor off into the brew kettle. There are plenty of resources about how to conduct a mash, here and otherwise.

I would not recommend 3724 for an IPA. There is a class of "belgian/white IPA" that's sprung up in the last few years, but I don't think they're very good, personally. In particular, belgian yeast character clashes with the characteristic hops found in IPAs. Again, this is my personal opinion, you might like it!

Seriously investigate options for controlling your fermentation temperature, if you can. 30°C is too high for most every style and yeast.

If you have sufficient grain and reasonable mash efficiency, you should not need to add any additional sugars to reach your desired original gravity. For your first all-grain brew, you might want to have some sugar (or malt extract) on hand, just in case you miss your OG, though. Another reason to add simple sugars is to get a more complete fermentation and/or a "drier" beer, as simple sugars are nearly entirely fermentable; malt sugars are only partially so. I would not recommend this for an IPA, or your first attempts.

You should determine your desired original gravity based on the style and strength of beer that you want to brew; common OGs for an IPA are going to be in the 1.055-1.070 range. You should measure your original gravity with either a hydrometer or a refractometer.

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  • one option is to get a fermenter chiller, I just saw some recipes using this yeast with said combination of hops that turned out quite good. I'll try both, one with this yeast to start (it's easier) and one with the chiller – Lucas Kauffman Dec 28 '15 at 15:10
  • Being able to control fermentation temperature is one of the most important non-basic (ie. sanitation) things you can do to improve the quality of your brews. Unfortunately, while it's relatively easy to raise temps, it can be hard to lower temps without some expense. – jsled Dec 28 '15 at 22:55

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