Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Should I stir my mash often
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
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Default Should I stir my mash often

I've just completed a HERMS system and have done 4 brews so far.

Problem is that I'm having some trouble getting decent efficiency and am wondering if stirring my mash often during 60 minute mashing reticulation would help with efficiency.

I currently only stir it once or twice.


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Old 01-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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You should be getting decent efficiency, considering many brewers don't even stir at all. I usually stir about every 10-15 minutes of the mash, but that is because I just can't leave well-enough alone. Your problem may be related to something else, like your grain crush.


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Old 01-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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I don't seem to have any problems with stuck mashes so should I double crush my grains ?

Crush looks fine (in my limited experience) to me as it is with a single crush ???

Also, what effect does mashing temps have on efficiency ? I've been aiming for 155 F but sometimes it runs away with me and strays up to 158 F even 161 F for short periods.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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Your temp sounds perfectly fine. Try double crushing your grains. How is your sparging? How accurate are your volume measurements?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks dbsmith, I'm going to try a double crush.

My volumes should be good but I'm going to double check the measures I put on my site glasses.

I've just entered my calculations on the the Brewers Friend (www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency) efficiency calculator which gave and efficiency of 72% which I suppose is not bad. Good in fact.

However, my OG was 1,048 but the wheat beer recipe I used listed an OG of 1,055 so I'm quite a bit short on what was expected. See below.


Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: US-06
Yeast Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 19 L
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity: 1.008
IBU: 13.8
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 3.7
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 at 16.6 C
Tasting Notes: Taste: (41.0 apparently) Very nice simple Wheat beer. Perfect color but the alcohol i

226 gram Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 5.00 %
2.5 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 55.00 %
1.8 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 40.00 %
33 gram Hallertauer [3.00 %] (90 min) Hops 13.8 IBU
1.00 tbsp PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 90.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Safbrew WB-06 (Fermentis #WB-06) Yeast-Wheat
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Well, listed recipes always base an OG off of some sort of base efficiency..a lot of times it is 75%. Others use 65-70%. It just depends on the source. 72% is not too shabby, so don't be too disappointed. Just try to improve your system one step at a time..such as how you sparge, how you measure, etc. After you learn your system, you can easily adjust your recipes accordingly. I'm sure that your beer is going to turn out just fine, so don't sweat it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #7
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I just made the maiden batch in my new all electric HERMS system this weekend and didn't stir at all during the mash. I stirred when adding the grains to the water to break up any clumps but that was it. I hit 87.9% efficiency. Your temps look fine but you seem to be on the high end for dry beer but that should'nt affect conversion, just fermentability. I would look at your crush and maybe check your flows on the HERMS and kick them up a little to get more contact time. You can also mash for a little longer as well, which is very easy with a HERMS. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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When you say "FLOWS ON THE HERMS" are you referring the speed of circulation ? I've deliberately kept the flows quite slow, not sure why. Maybe I thought it would spend more time in the grains doing it's leeching thing.

Any idea of how many liters (or quarts) per minute would be ideal HERMS recirculation rate ? On a 5 gal batch.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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I flow wide open on recirculation, no need to restrict it
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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OK thanks, makes perfect sense


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