Definitions of Wash, Mash, Wort, Must and Marc

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These terms are often used incorrectly, which causes confusion. Knowing and using the proper definitions is not only good practice, but being precise helps others understand your questions and comments.

A wash is a liquid solution made from sugar or sugar byproducts, intended to be fermented for distillation. Sources include refined/unrefined sugars (panela), sugarcane juice and molasses. The target for a wash made from straight refined sugar is typically moonshine, aka sugarshine, while the target for a wash made from dark sugars, sugarcane juices, panela or molasses is rum.

When a sugar wash is augmented and fermented with raw grain, traditionally corn, or spent grains from a previous mash for flavor, it is referred to as a sugarhead.

A mash is a liquid solution made using malted or unmalted grains which are heated to undergo saccharification. The resulting liquid in which starches have been converted to fermentable sugars is called a wort.

A wort which is brewing's term for a wash, can be the result of either a converted grain mash or a wash made from either liquid or dry malt extract.

A must is made from honey or pressed fruit.

Marc, or pomace, is the solid remains of pressed grapes, olives or other fruit. Grappa is produced from grape pomace.