Mashing is the process in which your grains' starches are converted to sugar in the all-grain brewing process, which the yeast will then feed off of to create the alcohol content of beer. This is the main process that is already done for you if you brew extract, mini mash or partial mash recipes. An insulated vessel used for mashing is called a mash tun, they come in stainless steel or plastic cooler style with an added ball valve and a false bottom, or bazooka screen. A Mash Tun is a key piece of equipment for the all-grain brewing process, and Homebrew Supply offer a great selection of products from reputable brands like Spike Brewing, Ss Brewtech, Blichmann Engineering, Cooler Brew and Anvil Brewing.
Lautering is a process known as sparging, in which you separate the sugar content from your grains. This can be accomplished using a few different methods, such as using a Hot Liquor Tank (HLT), or simply heating up some water in a separate kettle to rinse the grain bed after the initial mash. Maintaining a constant mash temperature and sparging your grain well will lead to a better tasting, higher yield and more consistent, quality beer.