Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brewing Equipment: Mash Paddle - FREE

Well, it was free for me. And if you had to pay for the wood (depending on type) it should cost less than $10. Most people have some wood leftover from a project, in my case, trim left over from the Brewing Cabinet. I did a bit of research on materials that people have used for making their own. Most people including myself used Oak, which is a hardwood. And is recommended over Pine, but to be honest the contact time with the mash is pretty short so I doubt it has much effect. Others have used cutting board oil on their paddles (that sounds dirty) to make them look a bit better. I think that is overkill and an unnecessary risk to your beer.

My process was simple, do a Google Image Search for "Mash Paddle" (you may want to turn on your safe search at work). Start to get an idea of the shape and dimensions. I just have a 5 gal Igloo so I don't need something very big. I liked the look of the oar paddles and the custom images cut in the paddle were also a nice touch.

I ended up with a 30" x 2.5" x .5" starting piece. I drew freehand onto the piece with pencil. Then for the paddle end cut out, I traced through a image I found.

After a few tweaks, I pulled out the jig-saw and started cutting. Some good clamps and a work bench make all the difference. To make it look professional I busted out the router and gave all the edges a nice round.

A final sanding with coarse sandpaper to fix all the corners and then used some fine sandpaper for a nice finish.

And it works great.


  1. I had no idea you had made that paddle! I thought you bought it from some small brewery in Pittsburgh that uses a stork as a logo. I'm thinking... baby-maker brewery, only drink while listening to jazz.
    Truly a work of art, and way to go the extra mile by using the router to get those smooth edges.

  2. Just letting you know that the original image you used as a sample was my creation. I do these for customers all of the United States. I think you did a great job on yours! It looks great and seems to work perfectly. Great job!

    Bob Rhoades
    Robert Rhoades WoodWorks

    1. Thanks for the example Bob.
      Mine was quite the amateur job, but it works for my purpose. The tight corners on my stencil make it a bit harder to clean.

      Do you finish your paddles with anything?


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