Mash Paddles?

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timdurning

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I'm in love with the idea of a wooden mash paddle, but do you guys find it really useful?

Right now, I'm doing a lot of 3gal batches so it's not likely that I'll be stirring 20lb+ of grain any time soon, so my metal spoon has felt more than adequate. However, now that I've switched from BIAB to a cooler mash tun, I've been contemplating some higher gravity beers and wondered if the paddle would come in handy.
 

MoreHops

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I just used mine (a homemade one out of oak) for the first time yesterday. I found it much easier to stir the mash and I love it. That being said, if you're doing small(er) batches and what you've got is working for you (i.e. you're getting decent mash efficiencies), don't worry; have a homebrew! :drunk:
But if you're going to be increasing your batch size, it may be worth it to you. However, I've done a few "full-sized" batches using just a long-handled plastic spoon and it has worked out fine.
But homemade mash paddles certainly look cool!
 

supermoth

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I think the mash paddle is very useful. I haven't had a problem with dough balls, but I notice that the mash needs some good stirring to get the temperature even throughout.

I purchased my wooden paddle at a restaurant supply store for about $12. It does not have holes in it like a lot of brewing-specific mash paddles I've seen, but it's been working fine for me. My friends love it when they see it in the kitchen!
 

CoalCracker

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Its a necessity for me. I do 20g batches and that much grain flexes anything plastic. My paddle handles that grain bill fine.
 

homebrewdad

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I got one of those custom paddles from mashpaddle.com for Christmas... I absolutely love it. Looks awesome, but also works very well.
 

LuiInIdaho

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timdurning said:
I'm in love with the idea of a wooden mash paddle, but do you guys find it really useful?

Right now, I'm doing a lot of 3gal batches so it's not likely that I'll be stirring 20lb+ of grain any time soon, so my metal spoon has felt more than adequate. However, now that I've switched from BIAB to a cooler mash tun, I've been contemplating some higher gravity beers and wondered if the paddle would come in handy.
FWIW I use a French whip or whisk. I purchased it from Rebel Brewer after reading a review from that store's site. I love it because I can break up any dough balls that might form. It works great. Here is a link to the item if you are interested.

I hope that this helps.

Mark
 

MMJfan

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I think the mash paddle is very useful. I haven't had a problem with dough balls, but I notice that the mash needs some good stirring to get the temperature even throughout.

I purchased my wooden paddle at a restaurant supply store for about $12. It does not have holes in it like a lot of brewing-specific mash paddles I've seen, but it's been working fine for me. My friends love it when they see it in the kitchen!
I bought a wooden cooking paddle and drilled holes in it and it works great. My plastic spoon worked well when I was doing extract brews, but it didn't cut it when I made the switch to BIAB. My mash paddle works so much better...
 

PJoyce85

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I got the doweled mash paddle from NB as a Christmas gift. Used it for the first time on Monday and I would happily buy it with my own money now after using it.
 

forstmeister

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A good mash paddle makes a hug difference. I tried using my plastic spoon and it just bent, especially when it heated up.

Plus, it's a new toy! Everyone likes getting new toys for brewing!
 

ApothecaryBrewing

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I am currently in the process of designing a mash paddle where the head of it looks like a hop cone. Couldn't find anything like it so I figured I would make one.
 
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timdurning

timdurning

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FWIW I use a French whip or whisk. I purchased it from Rebel Brewer after reading a review from that store's site. I love it because I can break up any dough balls that might form. It works great. Here is a link to the item if you are interested.
I can actually relate to this a little more. When I did BIAB, I used a potato masher to stir my mash. Now that the grain bed is considerably deeper, I've gone back to the metal spoon, but that long whisk might be good. It doesn't get beat up in the mash?
 

barhoc11

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I never realized how badly I needed a wooden paddle until after I used mine the first time. They are cheap and well worth it, just get one
 

GMesick

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I use a 24 inch stainless steel stirring spoon I bought from a restaurant supply store. LHBS sometimes sell similar things. But then, I'm only working with 5 gallons at a time.
 

craigger64

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I got the doweled mash paddle from NB as a Christmas gift. Used it for the first time on Monday and I would happily buy it with my own money now after using it.
+1

I have this paddle too (bought it with my own money!) and i LOVE it...has a cool "old school" look to it, too!

:rockin:
 

BigRedHopHead

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I got the 36" Polar Ware SS mash paddle for Christmas. It is actually a bit big for my square 48qt cooler. It is quite wide (5 inches) and runs into my screen tube on the bottom. Otherwise it simply destroys dough balls and my mash stirring time have become shorter since it can move quite a bit of water and grain with one stroke across the cooler.
 

william_shakes_beer

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I got a 24" long plastic spoon that I use to stir my boil and my mashes. Have done biab 10 gallon in a 15 gallon brew pot with no issues. Where the heck do I go to get dough balls? I've never even seen one. I feel like i'm missing out on an important part of the brewing brotherhood. :drunk: I think it's be cool to get a custom carved mash paddle to hang in the brew cave, but honestly my plastic spoon is doing just fine.
 

aubiecat

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FWIW I use a French whip or whisk. I purchased it from Rebel Brewer after reading a review from that store's site. I love it because I can break up any dough balls that might form. It works great. Here is a link to the item if you are interested.

I hope that this helps.

Mark
I found this on Amazon for $7.06 delivered.
 

naiek

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I have a rectangular mash tun and use a 14" stainless whisk, works great and tears through dough balls
 

SagamoreAle

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Ceremonial purposes???:)
It looks more homebrewer-ish up on my pegboard than a stainless bbq spatula. When my son's friends came over (back when he was younger) I used to let them play with it if they showed interest in my brewery (old pantry room). So basically I use it to entertain 5 year olds.

I pump water into the mash tun from the bottom. This, plus my HERMS system pretty much eliminated the need for mixing up the mash. The few times I need to, I find the spatula is easier to use than the paddle.
 

Slowfro

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I use a 24 inch stainless steel stirring spoon I bought from a restaurant supply store. LHBS sometimes sell similar things. But then, I'm only working with 5 gallons at a time.
I've got a large SS spoon as well that works pretty well even on batches with upwards of 30# of grain. I think having a cool looking mash paddle would be nice, but cleaning the stainless spoon is a little easier I suspect, plus I'm definitely a function before form kind of guy and what I have now works. If it ain't broke don't fix it!
 

william_shakes_beer

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Just as an aside note: If I wanted to make my own mash paddle, what type of wood and how would it be finished? I'm thinking red oak and satin polyurethane. Not sure how they woold stand up to mash temps.
 

Ondori

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My first batch I brewed with a plastic mash paddle. Once it got hot it was very flimsy. I bought a wooden one, and that thing stirs like a champ! I like my wooden paddle. Great investment.
 

forstmeister

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Just as an aside note: If I wanted to make my own mash paddle, what type of wood and how would it be finished? I'm thinking red oak and satin polyurethane. Not sure how they woold stand up to mash temps.
Use sugar maple or cherry or elm...something that is a diffuse-porous wood as opposed to oak, which is ring porous. Over time oak can get "stringy" after the cells start to get crushed and break down. I used sugar maple and it is solid as a rock. No finish necessary.
 

MoreHops

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Use sugar maple or cherry or elm...something that is a diffuse-porous wood as opposed to oak, which is ring porous. Over time oak can get "stringy" after the cells start to get crushed and break down.
Darn -- I just made one out of oak. How long do you consider "over time"?
 

jyorger

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Trying to make a stainless one. Going very slow because I have to finish the brewery first

image-3201852252.jpg
 

forstmeister

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MoreHops said:
Darn -- I just made one out of oak. How long do you consider "over time"?
It all depends on the type of oak, how often you use it, how long it stays wet...lots of things. It could last years and years.
 

patthebrewer

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I typically recommend maple, as a superior wood for mash paddle because of it grain structure, and strenght. However occasionally I get enough requests to make a run if red oak paddles. Red oak will hold up, but has a much more open grain structure so I soaks up more water. The grain ends can get rougher over time(Red Oak), but a quick scuff sand can cure that (I'm actually using an Oak paddle a couple years old now with no issues). I also like American Black Cherry as a Paddle wood,as it has properties similar to Maple, but is usually more expensive. I have made a few custom BIG paddles for Pro-Brewers, where cherry has been the requested wood.
 

MMJfan

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Just as an aside note: If I wanted to make my own mash paddle, what type of wood and how would it be finished? I'm thinking red oak and satin polyurethane. Not sure how they woold stand up to mash temps.
I used Watco Butcher Block Oil on mine and that seemed to work ok...
 
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