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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > DIY Stir Bar...It's almost possible
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default DIY Stir Bar...It's almost possible

So I just DIY a stir plate and looked around and wasn't much on making your own stir bar. I see most purchase theirs online or from a hobby shop. I wanted to test and see if I could make a simple one. I do realize this is just me "winging it" and have had success so far in the testing phase.

I realize most bought stir bars are coated, and balanced and what not. But In an attempt to go 100% free stir plate with stir bar, I fabricated one from a steel bolt. Basically took a steel hex headed bolt and cut the threads and head off. Rounded the ends a bit. Made two for fun, a 1.5" and a 1" Both work great in a glass jar. Spins a nice vortex and doesn't get thrown. So in that aspect it works great.

I do realize they are zinc plated bolts and zinc is bad especially in our MLTs. I'll probably insert it in a piece of tubing and silicone the ends and see how that works.

But then again will there be a lot of corrosion if the starter is mainly at room temp? Of course I did have a zinc washer in my MLT for my first few batches with no ill effects, but the acids from the grain corroded it and I since replaced it.

I also may tinker with cutting a Hex key. I will try to make center point on one just to see if it can be done.

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Old 02-07-2011, 06:34 PM   #2
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just get a SS bolt and call it good.

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Old 02-07-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by android View Post
just get a SS bolt and call it good.
Pretty much where I was going to go next....
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
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just get a SS bolt and call it good.
I see two potential problems with this suggestion. One would be that most stainless is not magnetic, or only weakly so. The second would be that a metal bolt may scratch the glass container. Lab type stir bars typically have a magnet embedded inside a Teflon shell.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Most SS isn't magnetic. I know some lesser quality SS can be a little bit since it may have impurities.

I'm going to try put a piece in a small tube and seal the ends.

I'll eventually pick up a "real" stir bar once i'm done paying uncle sam. But I have most of this stuff laying around the house, so why not play around.

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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I have several stir bars made with pieces of steel bolt covered with "plastidip"

A 4 oz can will make a lifetime supply of stir bars. It's the kind of rubbery grippy stuff you can dip tool handles in.

Works great, cheap and effective.

Google plastidip, you should be able to get it at a local big box Lowes / Home Depot etc.

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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Stir Bars are like $5 and should last forever. I'd reckon this is a good time to not DIY.

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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A SS bolt would likely cost more than a real stir bar $4! That includes shipping. I bought 2. $8 total.

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #9
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Stir Bars are like $5 and should last forever. I'd reckon this is a good time to not DIY.
+1 There are much better ways to pinch a penny in the home brewing realm. I think that if I just wanted something to do, I would make some beer. JMO blah, blah, blah.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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Apprieciate the replies from both sides of the aisle. My whole premise was to see if it could be done since a lot of us DIY so much in our homebrewing adventures.

Could I buy, one sure, but where's the fun it that. I always see threads on making the stir plate, but not a stir bar. Well I made one and they do physically work and proved my stir plate to work as well. So on that side its a win and I'm happy. Now will I use it to make a actually starter...maybe...

They are not teflon coated, nor SS, nor balanced, and pretty ugly. But it'll stir the hell out of a martini! Just don't add the olives til its done.

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