My wife got me a mash paddle for Christmas! I had a nice plastic brewing spoon already, and awhile back I had also purchased a plastic mash paddle. The spoon is great, but the plastic mash paddle was fairly worthless. It had a little too much flexibility and was just a little too small to be effective in breaking up dough balls or stirring decoctions. As a result, my arms would be quite sore after even a brief decoction, so I mainly just ended up using the plastic spoon. A new, sturdier mash paddle was a welcome addition to my brew house.
This particular mash paddle was made by Abbey Cat Brewing–it’s their 36″ maple version. The construction is high quality–there is a beautiful grain on the wood, the piece is shaped nicely, and all of the edges were cleanly sanded. This particular version has my brewery name engraved into it, which is a nice touch.
I’ve used the paddle for a few batches now, on tasks including dough-in, stirring of the mash, and decoction stirring. The paddle works pretty much as advertised, and is head-and-shoulders above my old plastic paddle. I could probably have gotten away with the smaller (24″) version, but overall it’s probably better to have a paddle that’s too big than too small. When it comes to decoctions, the paddle is way easier to work with than my spoon, too. It moves more of the decoction around, with less effort. Clean-up is easy, too — just a quick rinse and I’m done!
So, I give this piece of equipment a solid A, for quality of construction and utility. I’d recommend it for anyone who is doing regular all-grain brewing, and say it is a “must have” for anyone doing decoctions.