A mash rake or mashing rake is a tool used in the mashing process of brewing and distilling. The mash rake churns the mash to ensure it is mixed properly and is wet everywhere, so no sugars are wasted.
Before the industrial age, the mash rake was an instrument made of wood with a long handle, somewhat resembling an oar with large holes in the blade. This type of mash rake (often called a mash paddle) is still used by homebrewers. Large modern brewers, however, use mechanical power-rakes to mix the mash instead of manual labour.
As a symbol
The traditional mash rake is often used as a symbol of brewers, in much the same way that the scythe is used as a symbol of agriculture or the harvest. Saint Arnold of Soissons, the patron saint of Belgian brewers, is often depicted with a mash rake. Many breweries or master-brewers, including Hoegaarden Brewery, incorporate the mash rake into their logo.
- Peter H. Blum (1999). Brewed in Detroit: breweries and beers since 1830. Wayne State University Press. p. 33.
- Dictionary of occupational titles. Claitor's Law Books and Publishing. 2003. p. 354.
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