Mash paddle

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

earlyd

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Dexter, MI
I am new to the world of AG brewing but have come to find out that most AG brewers are also do it your selfers when it comes to making there brewing equipment. This is why I am asking for help. I have just built a mash paddle out of poplar and want to put a finish on it. I have read that if you oil such as the block oil used on cutting boards and salad bowls you can contaminate the beer causing bad head retention. I was thinking of using a spray on polyurethane but was not sure if this was the best idea or if any one else had any better ideas.


Please help,

~d
 

beergears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
999
Reaction score
8
Location
somewhere west of Boston Harba'
No idea about finish (none, perhaps?), but have a question: what dimensions did you use?

I made an quick one last night, leftover 36x6 poplar, a wee bit too tall and wide... heavy too!
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
I don't know about the head retention concern, but I've been scheming on this very same idea and was planning on using what is called "salad bowl finish". It's not a block oil, but an actual finish that dries on and cures, and is food safe. I use it when I make cutting/cheese boards. If it starts to affect my head retention, I'll sand it off. But I would never consider polyurethane, and I do not believe that it is food-safe (that's the whole idea behind salad bowl finish---that it's food safe).
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
beergears said:
Isn't salad bowl finish mineral oil-based anyway?
yep. but it actually cures, unlike a simple block oil. Like I said, though, I have no idea whether it would hurt head retention. To be safe, after you finish it, you could heat up a big pot of water and stir the paddle in that for awhile to get rid of any residual oil that might have leached into the mash.
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
I didn't treat mine at all. It doesn't seem any worse for the wear after a dozen or so brews, and I expect it to last quite a long time. When it wears out, I'll spend another $8 on a new one.

I've got one like this, excpet I drilled 3 1-inch holes in the paddle.

 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Lil' Sparky said:
I didn't treat mine at all. It doesn't seem any worse for the wear after a dozen or so brews, and I expect it to last quite a long time. When it wears out, I'll spend another $8 on a new one.

I've got one like this, excpet I drilled 3 1-inch holes in the paddle.

what species did you use?
 

Special Ed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
47
Reaction score
1
This is one DIY project that is low on my list of priorities, however when I get around to it I suspect I will use something more dense than poplar... maybe maple or cherry. I also would not use a finish. I would simply sand it with progressively finer paper to about a 600 grit level. Raising the grain between each step and finishing with a wet sand would leave it very smooth.
 

cheezydemon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
15
Location
The "Ville"
I always thought that I would make an untreated oak paddle and just treat it with bourbon before most brews.
 
OP
earlyd

earlyd

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Dexter, MI
beergears said:
No idea about finish (none, perhaps?), but have a question: what dimensions did you use?

I made an quick one last night, leftover 36x6 poplar, a wee bit too tall and wide... heavy too!

The paddle surface is 5.5" X 8" with 10 - 1" holes drilled in it. The total paddle is 24" long with a 1 1/2" handle. A little short for the boil pot but just right for the mash tun.

~d
 

sause

Steel Comma Ale & Lagery
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
1,862
Reaction score
19
Location
Menomonee Falls WI
I have used the salad bowl finish on my poplar mash paddle and haven't had any issues with the head on my beer. It does dry to an actual finish.
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
That settles it---I'm doing it this weekend. While my first choice would probable be Ipé, I don't know if the wife would let me use any of the stock that we have. That would be so sweet, though...Ipé is so dense, they use it outside untreated and it lasts for decades without rotting.
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
94
Location
Honolulu, HI
Evan! said:
what species did you use?
Not sure I understand the Q. Are you asking what kind of wood it is? I have no idea. I just bought it. $8 for a nice wooden paddle was too good to pass up. I've seen them both at Lowes and Academy. You can also get them online.
 

bradsul

Flyfisherman/brewer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
42
Location
Ontario, Canada
I planned to make a mash paddle out of the maple scraps from my new cutting board. I was going to leave it unfinished but I'm wondering if I should finish it with this since I'm going to have to laminate a couple pieces. Even using cutting board glue I was worried about any leaching into the beer.
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Lil' Sparky said:
Not sure I understand the Q. Are you asking what kind of wood it is? I have no idea. I just bought it. $8 for a nice wooden paddle was too good to pass up. I've seen them both at Lowes and Academy. You can also get them online.
yeah, what species of wood. The pic looks like oak, but who knows?
 

ebeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
197
Reaction score
2
Location
Concord, CA
Why put a finish on it? I don't think it's necessary at all. I made this one from maple. I sanded, sanded, and then sanded some more. It's baby but smooth, I've been using for three years without issue. Never met dough ball it couldn't bust, and still smooth after I don't even know how many brews.

 

[email protected]

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
There is an article in Brew Magazine ( August I think) on how to make your own Mash paddle. The made no mention of any type of oil finish. They said to use a hard wood like poplar. The said not to use red oak as it will soak up lots of liquid.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,262
Reaction score
777
Location
Southwest
My first choice would be stainless steel, but I realize that's out of the question for many of you.

For a more traditional mash paddle, I'd definitely use maple, sanded well, no finish. Oak doesn't appeal to me at all - the grain isn't dense enough. The salad bowl finish sounds promising, but if you use a nice hunk of maple, you should have nothing to worry about if you don't put a finish on it.
 

s3n8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
8
Location
Haymarket VA
My brother and I made mash paddles out of a piece of figured maple. I have never used a draw knife before, but it turned out pretty well. I will post a pic when I get done sanding. The general consensus seems to be no finish. Is there any other care and feeding required for these other than to keep them clean? I have not drilled any holes in the face of the paddle, are they required? Useful? Seems unnecessary to me. The face is only 1.75" wide, its not as 'boat oar' looking as some of the ones I saw posted.
 

boo boo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
46
Location
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
I made one out of dowels I got at my local hardware store. Cost sfa and was easy to make. Never did anything other than sand it down. Never had any issues with my mash because of it.
 

Gregredic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
1
Location
Huntsville, AL
What about heat treating it? Sand it with some fine sandpaper, then you know....hit it with a flame and let the sugars in the wood carbonize. They do that with bamboo flooring.
 

nosmatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
446
Reaction score
2
Location
Bass Lake, Ca
would this get too hot to use without a glove on?

i like stainless, most of my kitchen tools are stainless, and right now my mash paddle is a craftsman spatula i got as a kit for xmas. never used it before, so i figured, what the hell. it is about 3" too short for my tun tho.
 

Gregredic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
1
Location
Huntsville, AL
I say buy the SS paddle if you like it. If it does get too hot to touch with your bare hand, then just go to Home Depot and buy some of that tool dip....you know the rubbery stuff they put on pilers and what not.
 

Dog House Brew

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
1,760
Reaction score
602
Location
Indiana
Why couldn't you use a paint mixer in a corless drill? They make them out of stainless, and much less work. I do use a paddle, but have seen this on youtube, any thoughts? :confused:
 

B-Dub

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
557
Reaction score
12
Location
Central Coast
Bought a piece of Red Oak for $6 and left in untreated. Working really well.

I would leave the oil for the salad bowls.
 

s3n8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
8
Location
Haymarket VA
Why couldn't you use a paint mixer in a corless drill? They make them out of stainless, and much less work. I do use a paddle, but have seen this on youtube, any thoughts? :confused:
That might work fine for aerating wort, but would make a horrible mess if you used it to stir your mash.
 

Gregredic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
1
Location
Huntsville, AL
A paint mixer inside a mash tun would be a bad idea. You could really mess up the plumbing at the bottom of the cooler.
 

jakeshivers

Active Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Denver
I saw a wooden oar at the sporting good store for $15. Does anyone know if there is a finish on oars? I'd obviously have to take that off if I went that route.
 

ProzHack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
1
Location
Minneapolis
There are definitely finishes on water paddling oars... and not food safe either. I'd avoid that even if you took the finish off. Not worth the time/trouble/risk.
 
Top