How often do you stir - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > How often do you stir

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-15-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
jbloeser
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
Erie
Posts: 17



So I have a question for my fellow AG cooler MLT brewers:

How often do you stir your mash, and possibly your batch sparge? I have been afraid to lose to much heat with opening the lid repeatedly so I usually stir the dough in, then once my temp seems on I close the lid and leave it alone for a full hour. I think I stir before my vorlauf, and I know I stir my sparge water in but then again I leave it alone for 10 min before another vorlauf.

What do you do? I'm suspecting that more stirring might push my effieciecy up a bit from the high 60's to a mid 70 range.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 12:16 PM   #2
IrregularPulse
Hobby Collector
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
IrregularPulse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 50,590
Liked 3389 Times on 3244 Posts


There is no need to stir after initial dough in. I dough in, stir for consistent temps, then let rest. After an hour I start my vorlauf. If you stir before vorlauf, you disrupt the grain bed and you filter.
__________________
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas. :o - marubozo's mom

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
Pilgarlic
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Tampa Bay, Florida
Posts: 1,330
Liked 138 Times on 109 Posts


Most don't stir the mash after dough-in. Some do. Some have even created/built mechanisms to constantly stir the mash.

I don't stir mine at all after dough-in.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
Teromous
Beer Gnome
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Teromous's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2009
Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 2,960
Liked 560 Times on 306 Posts


I stir while pouring the grain and after to make sure there are no dough balls, then close it up. For batch sparging I just pour the water in, give it a good mix, and drain.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
kanzimonson
Recipes 
 
Aug 2009
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 2,174
Liked 44 Times on 40 Posts


I have a direct fire mash tun, so I stir as much as I want and add heat if I need it. Realistically, I only stir two or three more times after dough in. I'm not 100% sure but I think I've gotten a couple extra points of efficiency but it's hard to tell if there are other factors.

Makes sense to me that it would add efficiency - it's like you're moving the liquid in and out of the grain pieces, and shifting sugars around to make them more available. But that could just be fool's logic.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
ReverseApacheMaster
Registered User
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
Liked 254 Times on 196 Posts


I stir when I dough in and that's it, unless I am doing a decoction mash which requires stirring each time the decoction is added back in.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #7
ultravista
Recipes 
 
Mar 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 2,356
Liked 57 Times on 47 Posts


I did my first all grain batch this weekend; the mash tun is a 10 gallon Rubbermaid water cooler. Instead of a manifold, I mashed in a voile bag. With 4.6 gallons and 13 pounds of grain, the mash was on the thicker side.

After the initial dough-in with a slotted spood, I hit the mash with a drill powered paint mixer (metal shaft, plastic fins) to move the volume through the mixer.

With a 60 minute mash, I hit it once again at 30 minutes; so two times per mash. I lost 1 degree over the mash duration and I attribute that to not having the lid threaded on as tight as it should have been (bag material overlapping).

After sparging, the mash gravity was 1.060; post-60 minute boil was 1.070 with a 5.25 gallon batch.

Being an all grain newbie, maybe it is not necessary to mix like this but I feel it helped.

For less than $6, this mixer does a fantastic job - zero dough balls and a well mixed mash. Of course, having the grains in a bag instead of loose in the tun makes a difference as well.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
cclloyd
 
cclloyd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Largo, Florida
Posts: 2,966
Liked 33 Times on 30 Posts


I'm with the majority on this one - I stir while mashing in and once temp is achieved let it sit for at least an hour. I use a 5 gallon round igloo as my MLT and due to space constraints I do three batch sparges (main mash and two additions of 2-3 gallons each)allowing about a 10 minute rest for the grain bed to set up before draining after each sparge water addition.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
Burgs
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Decatur, IL
Posts: 937
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts


I've been checking the mash @ the halfway point and stirring it... maybe I shouldn't...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
Pilgarlic
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Tampa Bay, Florida
Posts: 1,330
Liked 138 Times on 109 Posts


No reason not to, really. Might help to even out the temperature of the mash if you have areas of differential heat loss in your tun. As long as you're not losing alot of heat by doing it, and you shouldn't, it won't hurt. Some do, some don't, and the consequences one way or another aren't significant.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mash-in and stir? pretzelb All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 10-30-2010 10:49 PM
Do you Stir in your Dry Yeast? zman All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 01-15-2009 08:15 PM
Should I stir or not? walther All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 14 05-01-2008 05:18 PM
Stir it up Sea All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 09-30-2007 06:43 PM
Simple Q: When to stir, when not to oooFishy All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 02-14-2007 10:11 PM


Forum Jump