Brewing ale is accomplished through a process known as lautering. It is the process of extracting the sugars from the grains in the form of a liquid, which is called wort. The process begins with making the mash, which is a mixture of hot water and crushed grain. The next step is to separate the liquid component from the solid grains. The liquid portion, which contains the sugars, is called wort. There is a lot of varied wort-separating equipment in the market but there are basically three kinds: the mash tun, the lauter tun and the mash filter.
The mash tun is simply a vessel in which the mash is contained. It has no form of agitation or heat so it operates at a single temperature that is usually around 65?C. Mash tuns are known to produce the brightest worts but yield the poorest extract recovery.
The lauter tun is similar to the mash tun in that it is also a vessel with a false bottom that allows the wort to flow out from the mash. Unlike the mash tun though, lauter tuns have rotator arms that are used to agitate the grains during lautering.
The modern mash filter is a plate-and-frame filter and is typified by the Meura 2001. It has a large surface area and uses a very thin filter bed. It also operates at up to 1.5 bar pressure, which effectively aids filtration by providing the necessary pressure. The empty frames hold the mash while the plates form a support structure for the filter cloth. The frame, plates and filter cloth are arranged in this manner: frame, cloth, plate, cloth, and with plates on both ends of the arrangement.
The mash filter, unlike the mash tun, is able to handle very fine grist that ensures exceptional extract recovery. This ability to handle very fine grist along with the fine filter bed makes it unnecessary to do re-circulation. The wort can be drained directly into the kettle instead. At the end of each cycle, the filter is simply opened to let the spent grains out (although it may be necessary to scrape the sticky grains off from the cloth). And then you are ready to start another brewing cycle.