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Grist Hydrator

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Anyone here using a grist hydrator for their grain-in mashes?  I've never heard how (if?) the work with ground-to-a-flour-or-near-flour grain.

Edit: After wielding a bit of google fu perhaps the better question is to ask if anyone uses or has anecdotal (or otherwise) information on a Steele's masher.

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Near flour makes it tough to use standard grist hydrators. They are for grist, not microparticles, which can resist hydration for a variety of reasons to do with surface tension and static charge. 

But you can use a commercial high speed emulsifier. A used one will set you back $2500-4000. Yields usually improve, but it's another piece of equipment to maintain. If you are mashing over 500 gal a day, it might be worth the investment 

 

Dan 

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Our new mash cooker is 2500 liters which splashing at the manway is about 675 gallons.  At this point I don't believe either is in the budget. 

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I have a grist hydrator on my new mash cooker.  I don't know if it is ideal or not compared to an emulsifier, but it seems to work fine.  I have gotten some dough balls, but just at the side manway (might have been a bad idea to get one...) and quite minimal.  This is running at 2.5# per gallon on bourbon mash.  Pretty new system so I haven't run an other mash bills yet.  I have been feeding my grain in pretty slow right now though, so we will see as I go up to 30# per minute how it does.

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Our plan is to make both single malt (lautered) and bourbon in the same cooker.  Looks like it's mash paddles for us.

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If you really are at "near flour," get one of those huge (almost joke size) ss whisks at a discount restaurant supply store. 

Works way better than flailing at mounds of floating flour with a canoe paddle :-)

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13 minutes ago, Natrat said:

If you really are at "near flour," get one of those huge (almost joke size) ss whisks at a discount restaurant supply store. 

Works way better than flailing at mounds of floating flour with a canoe paddle :-)

I'm glad I'm not the only one flailing with the canoe paddle.

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Safety tip: Do not use a whip (giant whisk) with your agitator running!

Any fiddly bits on an agitator may grab the wire and rip it out of your hands. Working in an industrial kitchen with open kettles, one managed to whip around and hit a guy in the head.

Cooking tip: Back and forth is more effective and easier on your wrist than stirring.

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