Mash

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The wild yeast will start fermentation as soon as the piñas are unearthed, but it’s only after the agave are crushed that the process starts to move quickly. In Minas, mashing is traditionally done by hand, and Lalo’s crew will spend up to 17 hours a day pounding agave with giant 30 lb. bats in a cement trough - literally back breaking work. Though he tends not to prefer anything that veers too far from tradition, he also has a woodchipper, which produces mezcal with more intense flavors compared to those mashed by hand, which produce better aromatics. Depending on the batch, Lalo will employ los bates or la máquina, or sometimes a 50/50 blend of the two, which he believes has the best overall balance.