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How Many Times Do You Stir Your Mash


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33 replies to this topic

#1 lastdrinks

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:35 PM

Newbie BIAB brewer here, on my 7th. Just wondering how many times people stir their mash. I seem to do it 3 or 4 times a mash. Mainly been doing it to check how much the temp is dropping but it only drops about 2c so thinking of giving it up. So is it the norm to just stir once and leave?

#2 Vlad the Pale Aler

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:53 PM

I tend to stir it up about 3 or 4 times during a 1 hour mash.
I tried the stir once and leave it approach but found that I got a better efficiency with the extra stirring, a bit like making a pot of tea.

#3 paulwolf350

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 06:06 PM

I stir every time I make a temperature step, then leave it sit

so usually 3 or 4 times

i believe less stiring the better, you can stir up all the dust, and have lautering problems

Paul

#4 Nick JD

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 06:37 PM

Stir?

I just dump the ground grain in and let the enzymes do their thing. Think in a molecular level and your stirring becomes redundant - the heat you lose from your desired temperature is more of an issue.

#5 Screwtop

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:07 PM

Stir?

I just dump the ground grain in and let the enzymes do their thing. Think in a molecular level and your stirring becomes redundant - the heat you lose from your desired temperature is more of an issue.



+1

Gentle turn rather than stir for about 10 sec after dough in. Stirring can bring fine particles/flour into suspension, this settles last as a fine muddy layer over the grainbed. When draining the wort will then drain down the sides of the grainbed and reduce efficiency.

Screwy

#6 Henno

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:21 PM

I stir every time I make a temperature step, then leave it sit

so usually 3 or 4 times

i believe less stiring the better, you can stir up all the dust, and have lautering problems

Paul


How are you stepping now Wolfy? Have you gone herms?


+1

Gentle turn rather than stir for about 10 sec after dough in. Stirring can bring fine particles/flour into suspension, this settles last as a fine muddy layer over the grainbed. When draining the wort will then drain down the sides of the grainbed and reduce efficiency.

Screwy


+1

Coz Screwy told me so. It is now Teri's job to do the stirring as I tip the grain into the water and as soon as we think there are no more dough balls down the bottom no more stirring takes place, herms to the rescue.

#7 BEERHOG

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:24 PM

Stir?

I just dump the ground grain in and let the enzymes do their thing. Think in a molecular level and your stirring becomes redundant - the heat you lose from your desired temperature is more of an issue.



+2 im doing biab and find the temp loss is a much greater effect than any possible efficeancy gain.

#8 paulwolf350

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:40 PM

How are you stepping now Wolfy? Have you gone herms?


No herms yet mate, steping with a burner under the tun

hopefully herms finished tomorrow


+1

Coz Screwy told me so. It is now Teri's job to do the stirring as I tip the grain into the water and as soon as we think there are no more dough balls down the bottom no more stirring takes place, herms to the rescue.


Screwy told me too..................
so now i am building a herms

Paul

#9 Vlad the Pale Aler

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:41 PM

If you are losing that much heat just by taking the lid off, then I would be looking at a better mash tun.

#10 kook

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:58 PM

No chill, no lager, now no stir!

I stir my mash when I dough in. Takes probably 30-60 seconds of gentle stirring, just to ensure that any dough balls are broken up.

I also stir again after each water addition when batch sparging. I also stir if I make a water addition to raise the temp, or return a decocted portion of the mash. I thought this was all pretty normal - but apparently not :)

#11 Duff

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:07 PM

Every 30 minutes I give it a gentle stir which helps with my efficiency into the kettle.

#12 rude

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:26 PM

Since getting advice from here I underlet then gently stir to check for dough balls I have only single infused with a batch sparge

Then I do a mashout by puting water on the top, small stir

Then I sparge by puting the water on top. Quick stir

Round esky with braid my efficiency isnt a problem as I have just worked it out at 80% with my crush for my bitters & Hefe Wiezens

#13 Fantoman

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:29 PM

I give it a good stir when I add the grain, and then stir like buggery while raising the temp to mash out and then give it another stir before pulling the bag...

Thinking of dropping the mash out step though as I haven't really noticed any great improvement in efficiency as a result of doing it...

#14 Phoney

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:51 PM

Im currently planning on modifying my Birko Urn to fit a variable speed AC gear motor onto the lid, which will drop down a 20" shaft with rubber paddles attached, so that I can constantly stir my wort at any given speed for the duration of the mash, to keep the temp even, get rid of any dough balls and perhaps even improve efficiency (even though I dont have a problem with efficiency at the mo). The shaft will also house a thermometer probe into the centre of the wort so that I can monitor mash temps without having to lift off the lid and let all of that heat escape.


Picture is of one that is a different model to the one im after, but you get the idea....

Posted Image

Edited by phoneyhuh, 24 January 2010 - 08:59 PM.


#15 BEERHOG

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:52 PM

i think i may have given the wrong impression. with biab my kettle is my tun . when the mash is finished i bring it up to mashout with 10 or so litres of water and a bit of heat from the burner and during this i do stir. when im up to mashout temp i leave it for 15 minutes and dont stir again before lifting the bag.i have settled on doing it this way since i noticed the grain "bed" settles and i feel i get slighly clearer wort this way.by the way i do believe the mashout on biab does lift the effeiancy by a small but noticable amount, enough that i will continue to do it this way.

#16 lastdrinks

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:21 PM

Its a a mixed bag. The advice is if i stir i likely can get better efficiency but i might be stirring up rubbish. Sounds like i should find out a method that works for me.

#17 marksfish

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:32 PM

once you find a process that suits your brewing stick with it as it makes it easier to repeat the brews that work.
i stir at dough-in until the dough-balls are gone then leave the mash alone until mashout when i add 10 to15 litres boiling water while stirring to raise the temp to 76 degrees. i also biab.

#18 DrSmurto

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:34 PM

Stir?

I just dump the ground grain in and let the enzymes do their thing. Think in a molecular level and your stirring becomes redundant - the heat you lose from your desired temperature is more of an issue.


A molecular level?

You have just opened up a big can Nick. :D

Your argument relies on the system being completely homogeneous.

A mash is a very long way from a homogeneous system so stirring would actually be beneficial in that it would speed up the reactions through better mixing of the molecules.

I mash for 90 mins and stir every 30 mins.

Makes bugger all difference to my efficiency - i assume i do it as part of some OCD :lol:

That or the fact i am a synthetic chemist so stirring chemical reactions is what i do. :blink:

#19 Screwtop

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:00 PM

That or the fact i am a synthetic chemist so stirring chemical reactions is what i do. :blink:


So stirring creates a synthetic reaction as opposed to a regular chemical reaction :lol:

Cheers,

Screwy

#20 Nick JD

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:11 PM

A molecular level?

You have just opened up a big can Nick. :D


A can of enzymes, Doc.

Hydrolysis ain't limited by enzyme availability in the solution or you've got the wrong malt.

Like you said ... stiring is for those who watch the pot. :P