Homemade Mash Paddle

2012-July

Here is another example of me doing things ass-backwards. I didn’t even own any brew equipment at this point yet, other than Mr. Beer, and yet I am making a mash paddle.

A Mash paddle is used to stir the grains in water during the mash process (dough-in) and help break up dough balls. You know, when you pour flower into water and it clumps together.

None of the local hardware stores had decent wood, and with the financial situation in the US during this time, the local lumber yards have all shut down. After some research, I initially wanted Koa wood from Hawaii, and will still get it some day, however it runs over $30/ft. So, I went with hard maple. Yeah I could go with a plastic spoon or a stainless steel one that most brew stores sell, but I wanted to add something unique to my brewing process.

I’ve read several posts online for both sides of the argument, whether using wood is bad/good and decided its good enough. Besides, the wort is boiled after using it and wooden utensils have be used for centuries right.

I started out with roughly a 4′ long piece of hard maple. Stripped it down to about 4″ wide with a 1.5″ wide stem to handle. I routed the edges for a smooth hold.

I made the design on the computer and printed it out. Originally it looked like this (BC for my initials and a beer bottle pouring into a glass).

 image
However, after rushing to cut the inlays out, I drilled my holes in the wrong spot and ended up with just a B, then a ‘dot’, then the bottle and glass. I drilled another hole in the handle for hanging purposes and routed all the inside edges.
I was very happy with the results and that I didn’t have to pay $60 (the going rate for similar).
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