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Old 01-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
yeqmaster
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Default Mash/Sparge Question...

I have never been able to fully understand when a batch is in the most danger of tannin extraction from to much stirring of the mash. Basically, when should I stop stirring the mash? It is obviously acceptable to stir the mash during "mash in" because... well its mash IN! I also have seen people in videos stir the mash part way through the rest period and was wondering what they say is on this? When it comes time to sparge... I assume it is now way too late to stir the mash considering the hot temperatures of the lauter water and the importance of lightly sprinkling the water on the grain bed. Whats the consensus on this matter?



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Old 01-09-2009, 09:10 PM   #2
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As you say, mashing in without stirring would not be good.
If you stir during the mash, you may speed the mash up a bit, because you are mixing up the enzymes and giving them a better chance to get to the starches. However, stirring a mash without adding heat is likely to cool it down a bit. Some stir the mash, some don't. It is a matter of personal preference.
At the end of the mash, I usually do a mash out with near boiling water, followed by a fly sparge. If you do this, stirring is essential as you need to equalize the temperature throughout the mash, but you should not stir any more once you start the sparge.
If you are batch sparging, you will need to stir after each addition of sparge water to dissolve the sugars prior to vorlaufing and draining. If you don't stir here, you will get a situation similar to adding sugar to a cup of coffee without stirring. Most of the sugar will not dissolve, and you will get very little sweetening for most of the cup, and most of the sugar will be concentrated right in the bottom of the cup. In the case of a sparge without stirring, much of the sugar would be left in the grains.
As for stirring causing excess tannin extraction, it won't unless you let the pH rise to over about 5.6 and/or you get the grain temperature too hot.
Stirring is OK IMHO, but squeezing the grains to extract every last bit of sugar will cause excessive tannin extraction because of the mechanical action of forcing the water out of the tannin rich husks.

Hope this make sense.

-a.



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Old 12-11-2009, 03:40 AM   #3
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That made great sense!

... and I never got around to thanking you...

so THANKS!!!

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:26 AM   #4
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You're welcome.

-a.

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Old 12-13-2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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Stirring at the risk of disturbing the grain bed filter? I haven't done many AG's yet (6th I think tomorrow) and have never stirred during sparge but...makes sense for your dissolving analogy.

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfriah View Post
Stirring at the risk of disturbing the grain bed filter? I haven't done many AG's yet (6th I think tomorrow) and have never stirred during sparge but...makes sense for your dissolving analogy.
I think you misunderstood what I meant to say.
I don't advocate stirring during the sparge, just stirring immediately after adding a large volume of water such as a mash out or adding a batch of water for a batch sparge. After stirring, I leave it to let the grain bed settle, then vorlauf and complete the sparge with no further stirring.

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