Stirring your mash

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Stirring your mash

Postby Sweettuff » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:45 am

Ias it true you don't need to stir your mash if it is all sugar-based. (No grains or fruit). What is the correct thought to stir or not stir, and why? Also, after it is done, why are some people saying to siphon and never pour into your boiler? Does it really matter as long as you are straining? Thanks for helping a newbie.
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Postby bronzdragon » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:33 am

Well, first off, if it's all sugar ... it's a wash and not a mash. A mash is a mixture that contains grains.

To answer your question to the point, if the sugar desolved when you make the wash, there shouldn't be a reason to stir it while it's fermenting. Some people stir a "mash" to make sure all the grain is coming in contact with the fermenting liquid ... to get all that good juice out.

I try not to stir as much as possible. Each time you open that bucket, you're taking a risk of infaction. Now, if you're doing a sour mash, you may want that infection, hehehe, but not on most accounts.

I usually siphon into my boiler because it has a small inlet hole and it's much cleaner that way.

cheers

~r~
"If it weren't for the alcohol, beer would be a healthfood."
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Postby oakie » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:58 pm

Yeast is a microscopic fungus so it is hard to filter them out completely. (Especially using something like paper towels or coffee filters) Settling is usually just a whole lot simpler and easier.
Of course this is something you would already know, if you had read the mother site.

Please read the mother site several times and try a few simple washes before asking any questions . The reason being when you first start people usually have tons of questions and most of these questions can usually be answered by yourself once you do some reading.
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Clarification

Postby sweettuff » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:12 am

Thanks for your replies. Clarification: Whether wash or mash, what is your experience with just putting yeast atop the fully dissolved sugars/grains/etc versus fully mixing them into the batch before sealing? The 'mother-site' is not specific. Thanks. (Or is it just experimental?)
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Re: Clarification

Postby Husker » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:51 am

sweettuff wrote:Thanks for your replies. Clarification: Whether wash or mash, what is your experience with just putting yeast atop the fully dissolved sugars/grains/etc versus fully mixing them into the batch before sealing? The 'mother-site' is not specific. Thanks. (Or is it just experimental?)


This is one item that is not well "documented" on the parent site (or it is listed but there are 6 references, and they all contradict each other).

I would answer, that this has no real "proper" answer. However, I personally always make a small "starter" for my mash/washes. That is simply, take a small amount of the wort out, FULLY aerate this, and pitch and mix your yeast into this small amount. Then allow this to grow for 6 to 12 hours. This will allow you to get a HUGE yeast colony working. Then, simply dump this starter into your main wash.

Some benefits:

1. If you are making a mash, you have a high temp bunch of liquid that is sterile, but must be brought down in temp (also there is not too much dissolved O2 in that mash). Thus, you can take a small amount of the mash, push a LOT of O2 into this, cool it off to proper temp and get your yeast started, while the main batch cools down. Then, you will have to spend less time stirring your main mash batch (thus less chance of getting an infection into that mash).

2. You can get a larger colony going quickly. Much more so than a small satchet of yeast. Thus, the yeast has more chance to dominate, and thus, much less chance of infection.

There are other reasons, but this is enough to answer the question.

There are some yeast packets which do recommend simply sprinkling the dried yeast on top of the wort. I do not do it that way, but you certainly can. My opinion is to try to get as huge of a yeast colony as quickly as possible, and to NOT put in too much yeast in the start (thus keeping the costs down).

Also, I usually try to keep my yeast colonies going over time. Once you have a good yeast bed, simply keep it going. When you have your wash/mash finish up the "primary" ferment, simply siphon it off the lees, and put this semi-finished wash into a different container, and allow it to settle out, prior to siphoning it into the still. Then, you can start a new wash, and put it right into the yeast bed from the wash you just finished primary fermenting. This in my opinion is the "best" way to pitch your yeast (i.e. only pitch it once, and from that point on, simply keep it going).

H.
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