So today I came to a realization. Topping off your wort with water, putting the lid on and then shaking vigorously back and forth for 20 seconds, stopping, removing your finger from the airlock hole in the lid and resting, and then repeating the same process another 3 times DOES NOT STIR THE WORT!
I thought for sure aerating it like that would properly stir it, as it was very vigorous, but apparently not.
After brewing a barley wine tonight, and mixing it as previously described, I took a gravity reading by slowly lowering a measuring cup into the top of the wort. I poured that sample into my test tube and took the reading... 1.070... IMPOSSIBLE! The recipe predicted it at 1.094, since this was a mini mash even with NO conversion of the grains it still should have been 1.084, plus I added some extra dextrose. I concluded two possibilities... Either I added WAY to much extra water... or it's not mixed properly, that's the only possibility. Checked the total volume of wort and it was SLIGHTLY above where it should have been...
Sanitized my spoon and VIGOROUSLY mixed the wort in a circular motion, shook it some more, took another reading... 1.102, quite a difference. Bummer.. How many batches that I've brewed, but only shaking and splashing back and forth haven't been properly mixed... all of them?
Well, now I know. I think I'll get one of those motor mixing spoons for my drill and give that a go next time.