Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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BayouShine
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Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:26 pm

I've been working on an automatic mash stirrer for the corn heavy recipes I use. I thought I would share.

Parts List:

Low Speed Drill
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-i ... 93632.html

Mixing Paddle
http://www.harborfreight.com/long-mixin ... 97357.html

I used a dimmer switch to control the speed of the drill.

Dimmer
http://www.lowes.com/pd_480241-334-SAL0 ... %20-%20$25

A couple of 2x4s, wood screws and some wiring and you'll be up and running.

Here it is in action. Any questions, feel free to give me a shout.


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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:34 pm

Made a change to the video settings. Does it work now?

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by Halfbaked » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:35 pm

Looks like it works good. Nice.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by SEMO » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:22 pm

Been looking to set something up like this. Couple of questions.

How did you secure the drill to the arm?

Did you remove the drill's plug and connect it to the dimmer switch directly or did you hook up a separate outlet that was connected to the dimmer?

This will save a lot!

Thanks!

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:11 pm

The handle grip is attached with a u-bolt that goes through to the other side of the arm.

The trigger handle is held on with a long hose clamp.

I left the plug on the cord. I wanted to be able to use the drill if I needed to. I have a main on/off switch, the dimmer switch and an outlet to plug the drill into.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by bellybuster » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:21 pm

nicely done, been thinking of something similar recently.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:38 pm

bellybuster wrote:nicely done, been thinking of something similar recently.
It's definitely changed the way I cook corn. 90 minutes of cooking and I'm ready to cool to mash temps.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by Bohunk » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:46 pm

I'm wondering if that drill won't get too hot. ?? I built a similar setup couple weeks ago, bought a new 3/8 drill and it burnt up in about 15 minutes. I'm now building a new setup using a treadmill motor, with a speed control on it, and plan to use a shaft long enough to get away from the rising heat. Nice job on your stirrer.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:10 pm

The drill stays cool. It's a 1/2in. low speed, high torque drill used to mix mortar.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by S-Cackalacky » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:54 pm

I'm looking to do something similar. I have an old portable drill press that I'll mount on a board with a hole drilled in it. The drill press is designed to mount a regular drill into it. It never really worked very well for its intended purpose, so hopefully it will have a new purpose as a mash stirrer. I'll use my still controller to control the drill speed. Just need to pick up a paint stirrer from Lowe's.

Good job on yours. How's the drill holding up?
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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:49 pm

The drill is holding up great, especially for a Harbor Freight drill. The only thing I had to do so far was add some weight to the back of the stand to keep it from wobbling.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by shadylane » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:13 pm

Just a though, shorten the stirrer.
It doesn't need to be any longer than needed.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by kekedog13 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Here's the one I came up with.
Attachments
New mash stir 2.JPG
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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:15 pm

shadylane wrote:Just a though, shorten the stirrer.
It doesn't need to be any longer than needed.
I had my small pot on the burner for the video. I need the length for the 15.5 gal pot.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:17 pm

kekedog13 wrote:Here's the one I came up with.
Does the plexiglass flex or twist under a load? How thick is it?

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by kekedog13 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:30 pm

Hey Bayou, Nope! No flex or twist. This is 1/2 inch or about 12 mm. There are J bolts with wing nuts holding it to the pot handles' And the little drill press is bolted to that. It just sits on my natural gas burner and humms away. One way to keep the drill from getting too hot is to have a paddle with little resistance. A big screw looking paint stirrer over heated a friends drill. It should be flatter like the ones Pinto sells . I silver soldered a thin twisted piece of stainless steel sheet to a stainless steel rod. It cuts through the thick mash but has enough pitch to make a lot of turbulence as you can see in the picture.
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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:21 pm

I thought about something like that, but I can't find plexiglass or metal strips thick enough around here. Everything I could get my hands on was like 1/8" or so and seemed too wimpy to stir corn.

I don't have any problems with my drill heating up. It stays cool even with the heaviest corn recipes.

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by Stainless dude » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:57 pm

I used a 1/2 HP three phase motor, and a variable frequency drive to to run the motor. Converted 120 volt to 220 three phase and speed is adjustable. Works great!

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by SEMO » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:14 am

BayouShine wrote:The handle grip is attached with a u-bolt that goes through to the other side of the arm.

The trigger handle is held on with a long hose clamp.

I left the plug on the cord. I wanted to be able to use the drill if I needed to. I have a main on/off switch, the dimmer switch and an outlet to plug the drill into.
I've just about completed my man(distillery)cave accommodations and ready to build this. I'll be using it on as large as 20gal down to 5gal. A comment you made appeared to indicate you use the same exact setup for your smaller mash pan as well as your 15.5gal correct?

Can you provide the dimensions of the various components for us since you've time tested it? :)

Do you think it would wobble as much if the "feet" of the stand were longer?

Also, I clicked the link on the drill and it says it has a variable speed knob on the trigger (was demonstrated in the video of the drill). Do you know if this is a new feature since you purchased your drill or is just not adequate for what we need in this application thus requiring the dimmer switch?

Thanks!

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by BayouShine » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:35 pm

SEMO wrote:
I've just about completed my man(distillery)cave accommodations and ready to build this. I'll be using it on as large as 20gal down to 5gal. A comment you made appeared to indicate you use the same exact setup for your smaller mash pan as well as your 15.5gal correct? Correct

Can you provide the dimensions of the various components for us since you've time tested it? :) Not sure what you're looking for. My setup will be different from your setup. Measure and make adjustments until the stirrer head is just off the bottom of your pot.

Do you think it would wobble as much if the "feet" of the stand were longer? Longer or wider feet would help. Mine hardly wobbles after putting a little weight on the back legs, so I didn't bother going any bigger.

Also, I clicked the link on the drill and it says it has a variable speed knob on the trigger (was demonstrated in the video of the drill). Do you know if this is a new feature since you purchased your drill or is just not adequate for what we need in this application thus requiring the dimmer switch?Mine had the variable speed trigger, no knob. I'm not sure if it's something new. The dimmer switch was easier for me to adjust the speed rather than fiddling with the trigger.

Thanks!

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Re: Automatic Corn Mash Stirrer

Post by SEMO » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:52 pm

Thanks for response. Hope to get it going soon!
BayouShine wrote:
SEMO wrote:
I've just about completed my man(distillery)cave accommodations and ready to build this. I'll be using it on as large as 20gal down to 5gal. A comment you made appeared to indicate you use the same exact setup for your smaller mash pan as well as your 15.5gal correct? Correct

Can you provide the dimensions of the various components for us since you've time tested it? :) Not sure what you're looking for. My setup will be different from your setup. Measure and make adjustments until the stirrer head is just off the bottom of your pot.

Do you think it would wobble as much if the "feet" of the stand were longer? Longer or wider feet would help. Mine hardly wobbles after putting a little weight on the back legs, so I didn't bother going any bigger.

Also, I clicked the link on the drill and it says it has a variable speed knob on the trigger (was demonstrated in the video of the drill). Do you know if this is a new feature since you purchased your drill or is just not adequate for what we need in this application thus requiring the dimmer switch?Mine had the variable speed trigger, no knob. I'm not sure if it's something new. The dimmer switch was easier for me to adjust the speed rather than fiddling with the trigger.

Thanks!

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