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Old 03-05-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
SaevaVeritas
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Default Custom mash paddle

I just started all grain brewing and I needed something to stir the grain and avoid dough balls.

I could have gone to amazon and picked something up for a few bucks, but like many of you I like to use homebrewing as an excuse to bust out my tools and build something myself.

I went to home depot and picked up a 4 foot length of maple shelving. When I got it home I traced out the simple design that I wanted, and cut it out with a jig saw. I then used 60 grit sandpaper to shape the piece and round the edges. After that I used 150 and 220 grit to sand smooth. I am pretty happy with the final product and it felt great to get the sander out!

Here's the final product:


image-1627705753.jpg



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image-1706239420.jpg

A question for you out there. Would you recommend submerging the paddle in water and sanding smooth any grains that might raise up? Also should I varnish with polyurethane or just leave it raw? I don't want the paddle to absorb flavors but I don't want to ruin my beer either.

Any help on these points would be great!

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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You definitely don't want to urethane it. Many just leave it raw, rinse and let air dry. If that doesn't ease your mind for some reason then your only other option is mineral oil/butcherblock oil.

I see lots of beautiful paddles where people wetstand it smooth.

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #3
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Looks like oak but leave it raw regardless.

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Old 03-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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Looks good to me, but with the little amount that you are going to use it, not being anything bad by that, even if you brewed every week, it would take a long time to do any harm to the wood. But to wet sand it, all it will do is bring the wood out to be sand again, that I would do a couple times, make it look really good.

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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Indeed it is oak. I'm impressed that you could tell that from a grainy cell phone pic. I did a little reading on wet sanding oak and basically due to the grain it isnt going to make much of a difference. I might slap some mineral oil on there tonight.

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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I do hardwood floors.

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Definitely mineral/butcher block finish the oak. The open cell structure of oak is a breeding ground for bacteria, and although I have read somewhere that oak has some anti-microbial properties, it would still be a good idea to seal up as many of those cavities as possible. Remember bacteria loves sugar and dark places.

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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Will the mineral oil close up those holes in the grain?

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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If you rinse it off after use the wood itself will prevent most bacteria from growing. Red oak
is not the best choice. White oak is denser and moisture resistant. Thats why they make wine barrels out of it. You don't need to oil it.

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Yeah. Rinse it off, let it dry. Not a big deal. You're stirring your mash - not your carboy. Don't need to worry much about open pores. If you rinse and let it dry it shouldn't get funky.

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