when to stir the mash...

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Double IPA
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when to stir the mash...

Post by bredmakr » Wed Jan 29, 2003 10:50 am

can I improve my mash efficiency by stirring the mash. if so when do I stir? during the mash, during the sparge, neither or both?

Strong Ale
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There's this guy I know....

Post by Freon12 » Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:43 pm

He has like a beer machine see, and it stirs the mash with a stainles paddle type deal. He can set the controller to stir every second or all the way to every hour.

I stir once during mash and never during sparge.

That's just me, not this guy I know.


Strong Ale
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Complusive stirrer

Post by jayhawk » Wed Jan 29, 2003 2:21 pm

I usually stirr every 10-15mins, but leave the mash for the last 20 mins so it can set up a good filter bed. I also batch sparge, so I stir a couple of times during sparging after I top off the tun with sparge water. I find this helps with extraction as well because it "resets" the grain bed, thus filling in any channels that form down the sides of my bucket/lauter/mash tun.

My mash effeciency has skyrocketed since implementing the mash stir technique. I think most folks don't stir during the sparge because most don't use the batch sparge (I could be wrong), and when I do stir during the sparge, I let the bed settle for 10-15 mins before restarting runoff. Got to have that natural filter effect or you are hooped

Gravity Thrills
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dough-in and leave it

Post by Gravity Thrills » Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:33 pm

That's my strategy. Mash in and stir for all you're worth for a few minutes. Then I check the temperature at several points in teh grain bed, and if all is well, I put the lid on and ignore it for 90 minutes. Like Chris I am a batch sparge practitioner, so I stir again at both spargewater additions and let set for 10 minutes each time before Vohrlaufing and collecting to the coppers.

I'm sure I have some hot spots in the mash bed and other pockets that are too dry, too cool, etc., but I'm happier keeping my mash at the right temperature than dealing with applying heat to an over-tended mash. Some day I may own a dream system with motorized rotating paddles, but I'm not holding my breath :-)


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I have a story for you.

Post by Brewer2001 » Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:03 pm


I recently started "working" (no pay yet) in a brewery here in Seattle. It is a 20 barrel system that look, and operates, like a big homebrew rig.
The mash tun is open and uses a SS cover. Now untill yesterday I would have told you not to stir after mashing in and temperature correction. Here's what happen to us, we mashed in 810 lbs. of malt. We mashed, Vorlaufed and started the run-off and 'POW', a stuck mash. This mash tun has no fittings to underlet the bed, so we started 'hacking' at it with the paddles. Three hours later we completed our run-off and hit our kettle volume and target gravity. But with the added problems of grain thins in the wort (that we tried to skim) and a partial boil of the first 5 barrels of wort. So it is possable to stir the mash, but I wouldn't. I will let you know how this batch turns out.

Good brewing,

Tom F.

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Congrats Tom

Post by stouts » Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:03 pm

I hope the possible job opens up for you, sounds like a great one.

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