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Milling (or grind) refers to how the agave is mashed before fermentation. Certified ancestral mezcals are often milled by hand using axes or wooden mallets. Large stone tahona wheels are common in Oaxaca but not other states. Mechanical shredders are another, less labor intensive, method of milling. Certain types of agave species are harder to mill even after being cooked due to the density and toughness of the plant.

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