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Old 04-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Build motorized mash mixer? Debate?

Bad idea? i wanted to build a herms system but maybe incorporate a motorized mixer to run the whole mash process, large scale breweries do it. why not us?.. this one is open for debate.

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Old 04-08-2011, 12:33 AM   #2
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Not necessarily a bad idea, but IMO, not very practical on a home brew scale system and not worth the trouble. I say this mostly as I don't think there is a lot to be gained with automated stirring.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:03 AM   #3
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I think I saw someone on here that used a ice cream maker to do this, here ya go.http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/mash...-video-228249/

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Old 04-08-2011, 03:42 AM   #4
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I also saw one somewhere where a guy cannibalized a garage door opener.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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I think it depends on your overall goal as a homebrewer and where you're at in relation to accomplishment.

I definitely think it adds value to a brewery and helps efficiency for your brews. Having said that, it depends on where you're at in your milestone list. I don't think you should have a single propane burner, with two pots and think you need a mash stirer.

I think this is a project on the "finish work" list instead of on the "required" list. Meaning, I think someone with a brew sculpture who's looking at perfecting their process and replicating beers could use a mash stirer very effectively. I'll probably be making gadgets to improve the brewery for decades to come; but that's part of my enjoyment.. Cheers!

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Old 04-08-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
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I do things because I can.....Almost never because I should! If you don't want to stir stuff then make one.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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I am in the process of making my next rig. still in the planning stages. Mash mixer sounds like a fun idea, but idont know the practicality of it.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
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I have never even brewed all grain and i am incorperating one in to my rig. I am turning it from below the kettle with a gear motor. I dont know if it will help, and i know it is not toataly nessasary, but it is fun to work on.

ps i am tired of mixing in extract or just tired of extract all together.

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Old 04-08-2011, 06:44 PM   #9
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I do not think you could use a herms system and a mash mixer together.

I use rims, and if I stir my mash even a little while recirculating it quickly plugs up my SS screen completely and flow stops. I can't think of anything that would keep that from happening, though maybe it would work better with a manifold.

The breweries that do this generally have direct-fired MTs, no?

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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I think Jamil talked about it in one of the Brewstrong episodes. IIRC big breweries do it to keep temperature even throughout the mash. Big breweries also usually have a separate lauter tun where most home breweries use a combined vessel for mash/lauter. Part of the benefit or HERMS or RIMS is that during the recirculation the grain bed gets "set" and your wort gets very clear due to the filtering properties of the grain bed itself. You lose this benefit by mixing during the mash. Granted, that is not the only benefit of recirculating mash systems but it is one. One of my concerns would be that as you stir lighter weight materials (husks) would tend to rise to the top and heavier stuff will tend to sink down which I would think would increase the possibility of a stuck mash.

I think if you are going to do this plan on removing the stirring assembly at the end of mashout and resume recirculation for a time to let the grain bed set and clear the wort.

Ultimately I don't think it is terribly useful on a homebrew scale because the mash is so much smaller that distributing heat is not that big of a concern (assuming you engineer your wort return to prevent channeling in the grain bed). As someone else mentioned, there are probably higher priority projects.

Best of luck with whatever you decide on.

Edit: Should have read all the posts, tprokop's comment confirms my guess about stuck sparges.

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