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Old 06-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
kenpotf
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Default Do I need a flask?

Do I really need to get a flask in order to do starters? I see a lot of people talk about it, but one problem that I have is that I don't have gas burners. I noticed on Midwest and this forum that it's not recommended to use them on an electric burner. Is there an alternative to using a flask, and what does the flask really do anyway?

Thanks!

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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A lot of us just use glass growlers. I make a starter in a sauce pan, cool, pour into a growler and that's it. The advantage of a flask is that it's borosilicate glass, meaning you can put it directly on the burner and do your boil that way.

However, if you get a growler at a local brewery/brewpub, they're free and come full of beer. To me, that outweighs all of the flask's advantages.

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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boil the starter wort in a saucepan, sanitize a funnel and the flask.....

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. What's the flask for though? If I'm boiling the starter in a pan, why the need for funneling it into the flask or growler?

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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The starter doesn't ferment in the pan - you put it in another container. The flask looks "cool" and makes me want to put on a white lab coat. Other than that, it is just a container to hold about a liter and a half of liquid.

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
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You can boil a flask on an electric stove I do it all the time u just can't put the flask directly on the burner or it will brake take a coat hanger and make a little square out of it and place that between the flask and the burner and ur good to go

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #7
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Will you be using a stir plate? If the answer is no, then you do not need a stir plate and a growler would work perfect. I invested in one simply because I couldn't get a growler to work with my stir plate.

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
Do I really need to get a flask in order to do starters? I see a lot of people talk about it, but one problem that I have is that I don't have gas burners. I noticed on Midwest and this forum that it's not recommended to use them on an electric burner. Is there an alternative to using a flask, and what does the flask really do anyway?

Thanks!
You can safely use a flask on an electric stove, but you need to place a wire trivet between the burner and the flask. I made a trivet from a wire coat hanger bent into a star shape. This prevents direct contact between the flask and the heating coils which could damage the flask. I use two 2 liter flasks for most of my starters and sometimes a one gallon glass jug. I'm running a stir plate. You can make equally effective starters without one, but it will take longer. You can use most any container that can be properly sanitized. Growlers, glass jugs, flasks or even a PET bottle would work just fine. I like the convenience of the flasks, but most any container can be made to work OK. I now pressure can my starter wort so I no longer have to boil it in the flask.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyChopps
You can boil a flask on an electric stove I do it all the time u just can't put the flask directly on the burner or it will brake take a coat hanger and make a little square out of it and place that between the flask and the burner and ur good to go
I have a glass top electric stove and have been putting my flask directly on top of it. Are you talking about a electric coil type range? Where the element is exposed.

And to the OP. Flasks are super convenient. You can boil and chill all in the same container. No sanitizing different vessels and tools. I did one starter in a growler before I bought my flask and wont go back.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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So I could get a trivet to put on top of the element?

JayWeezie,

It's an open element electric stove.

Thanks!

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