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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Stiring Mash to Improve Efficiency?
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Stiring Mash to Improve Efficiency?

Does stirring the mash throughout the timeline improve efficiency?

When I dough-in, I use an electric drill with a plastic (dedicated to beer) paint mixer. It mixes the bejesus out of the mash.

Using Beersmith 2.x, I mash with 1.3QT per pound. Would 1.5QT per pound yield better results?

Since I mash in a bag, disrupting the grain bag doesn't matter.

I am wondering if I should mix the mash throughout the process and if so, will it improve efficiency?

Considering I mash in a bag (voile material), what else can I do to improve?

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ultravista View Post
Does stirring the mash throughout the timeline improve efficiency?

When I dough-in, I use an electric drill with a plastic (dedicated to beer) paint mixer. It mixes the bejesus out of the mash.

Since I mash in a bag, disrupting the grain bag doesn't matter.

I am wondering if I should mix the mash throughout the process and if so, will it improve efficiency?

Considering I mash in a bag (voile material), what else can I do to improve?
Wouldn't that introduce a bunch of air and risk hot side oxidation?
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:15 AM   #3
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I would differently stir your mash. My efficiency improved a lot after I started stirring my mash. I didn't stir the first couple of batches and was disappointed with my efficiency. I would say it improved about 15%.

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:46 AM   #4
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I could stir with a slotted stainless spoon, just to get the grains moving around. How often do you stir, every 15 to 20 minutes?

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:05 AM   #5
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I do BIAB and stir every 15 minutes.

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:04 AM   #6
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C-Rider, do you full BIAB? I mash in a bag to keep the wort clear, then dump the runnings into the kettle.

What do you stir with?

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:03 AM   #7
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I am almost certain everything I have read said not to stir your mash at all. You start to ruin the dynamo in the mash tun. Also I have never stirred except on dough in and I have hit 85% for a single infusion when I started grinding my own grain. You never want to stir for the last 20min though guaranteed since you really want a nice grain bed.

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:46 AM   #8
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I do stovetop BIAB and don't typically stir too much due to the resulting loss of temperature. A good stir at the beginning, and maybe after 10 minutes if the temperature is too high, then nothing til the end of the mash. I now get 75% efficiency ("now" meaning after I started double-crushing my grains at the LHBS).

To the OP: what's your efficiency now? If you're already in the 70s or above, I'd just leave it alone and enjoy what's working for you. If you're lower, consider other simple remedies (like BIAB double-crushing, which raised mine from 60% to 75%).

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Old 12-23-2011, 07:22 AM   #9
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C-Rider, do you full BIAB? I mash in a bag to keep the wort clear, then dump the runnings into the kettle.

What do you stir with?
I do full BIAB, but 1.75 gallon batches. I mash in approx 2.75 gallons depending on grain weight. As I add the grain I stir w/a slotted stainless steel spoon about 14" long. After (every 15 min) I still w/one of those long plastic spoons from the LHBS. Oh, by the way I mash in a 5 gallon round cooler and only loose about 2 degrees in the hour mash stirring at 45, 30, and 15 min.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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You do read a lot of opposing views on this on forums and elsewhere...I stir, out of habit I guess. I do find that the front of my pot I mash in is consistently 2-4 degrees lower than the back (I think my stovetop is leaning)

I also find that the bottom of my mash is about 150 while the top can be as cool as 145. I stir to make sure that all grains receive a range of temperatures throughout the mash, but I also only stir about every 10-15 minutes.

If people stir during dough-in and during sparging, why not during the mash...I also think it helps prevent channeling during sparging, but it could in fact be creating it...who knows?

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