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Do you guys stir your mash?

Georgebrewer

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I use BIAB... I heat up my water to 70 C or 158 F, place the cracked grain in and it then gets to 66 C or 150 F... and put a blanket on my brewing URN and let it do its thing for 75 mins then start heating it up in order to mash out at about 75 C or 167 F... of course I have to stir it when mashing out but do you guys stir it at all during the first 75 minutes??

And if you do, does it matter or not if we stir or not??

Thanks
George ??? 
 

Oginme

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I stir like it owes me money for about 5 to 10 minutes when I first add the grain, then I cover and put the pot into the preheated oven to maintain temperature.  I do not stir until the mash is done.  At that point, I remove the mash  pot from the oven.  Stir for a couple of minutes and then check for residual starch.  Never had a positive test.  I crush pretty fine, so my mash efficiency is around 85% to 86% pretty consistently.
 

WH

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I stir after I pour in the crushed grain, long enough to make sure there aren't any dry pockets.  I'd love to leave it alone, but I found that I need to stir whenever I'm adding heat (to keep the temp fairly constant, or to step).  If I just light the fire under it, I don't get a true reading on the thermometer unless I stir. 
The way I found this out:  I needed to raise the temp by 2 degrees, just to keep it steady at 152, so I lit the fire and put it on low.  It took around ten minutes for the thermometer to register a 2 degree increase.  Then on a whim I decided to stir, and all of a sudden the thermometer went to 168.
Another reason to stir is to get a true reading on your iodine test.
 

bssexton1949

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Never thought of using a preheated oven.  Sounds like a great recommendation.  Thanks for the advise.
 

skeightley

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I use a 40L electric urn and definitely stir mine consistently throughout the mash - this is for the reasons WH stated. The urn heats from the bottom and my temp probe is about halfway up. Without stirring the middle section of the mash would be fine, the top too cold and the bottom way, way too hot. If I forget to stir for a while, then I can end up over temperature by 3C really quickly.

Because the stirring is a pain, and so is forgetting to stir, I'll be adding a re-circulation pump to my setup very soon.
 

Maine Homebrewer

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I do a single-infusion mash in an insulated container, so I'm not adding heat to the system to keep the temperature constant. I'm relying on the insulation. Because of that I try to avoid opening it and stirring, because doing so will lower the temperature of the contents by a degree or two.
 

Slurk

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I re-circulate the mash with a small pump. Mainly to have a better temperature control and a more uniform distribution of the temperature.

Slurk
 

Gregwb

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I stir when I add the grain, then use a pump to do a vorlauf for the full mash time with enough heat on to maintain temp.
 

Oddball

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I use my boiling pot with my burner on super low to keep the temperature steady, so i stir usually every 15 minutes or so and try to bring the stuff on the bottom to the top as much as i can to really mix it up
 

kiterider

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Slurk said:
I re-circulate the mash with a small pump. Mainly to have a better temperature control and a more uniform distribution of the temperature.

Slurk

Can you suggest a good pump for this? Thanks. Mark.
 

Slurk

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Kiterider

My pump broke for a couple of weeks ago. I will not recommend that one :(
I am looking for an alternative at the moment.

Regards,
Slurk

 

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ajoye

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I use a recirculating BIAB system but I do stir for a couple minutes before turning the pump on.
 

joeinma

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I only stir the mash after initial grain add, 5 minutes in when taking temp reading to see if I hit my mash temp and 20 minutes in before taking my pH reading.  But I have started stirring like mad during the temp increase to mash out and then during the whole 10-15 minute mashout rest. My efficiency went up a few points doing that.
 

Parkinson1157

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I add my grain to the pot about 5 to 10c below mash temp, and stir while I heat to mash temp.  Flame off and then insulate for 60 min.
 

chalmers81

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I was under the assumption that the mash should be moving or stirred to try to regulate a constant temperature throughout depending on where the source of heat came from. Is this wrong? Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Oginme

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If the goal is to maintain a constant temperature throughout the mash tun or vessel, then recirculating the mash will help with that.  On a practical level, it really is not necessary for most recipe sizes done on a home level.  The aim for home brewers should be to make the process repeatable and consistent, not necessarily maintaining an absolute temperature throughout the mash tun.  In my experiences, if you properly mix in your grains and keep from getting 'dough balls' or other areas where the grain is not wetted properly, then you really should not need to mix during the mashing process.  Of course, much of this also depends upon each individual's equipment and ability to keep the mash temperatures at a reasonable level either through insulation or heating.

Early on I was stirring my mash every 15 minutes and found my heat loss was terrible (10 to 12 degrees F).  Now, I keep my mash vessel in a warm environment and insulate it and have a temperature loss of 2 to 3 degrees F at the maximum.

 

Ck27

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joeinma said:
I only stir the mash after initial grain add, 5 minutes in when taking temp reading to see if I hit my mash temp and 20 minutes in before taking my pH reading.  But I have started stirring like mad during the temp increase to mash out and then during the whole 10-15 minute mashout rest. My efficiency went up a few points doing that.

I stir like mad to insure grains get nice and soaked, if they aren't then you won't get good quality beer.
 
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