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Old 02-23-2013, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default Does a longer stir bar get thrown less?

So I have a shorter stir bar (about 1") and I've been doing large 1 gallon starters in an old pickle jar. The first time I had to turn down the speed so it wouldn't get thrown. Now on my second starter with the same bar and jar I can't get the bar to stay spinning more than a couple seconds. I really like this jar but can't get the stir bar going, I have no idea why I got it fine before but can't get it now. Will a long bar help or will it be the same?

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
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I find it's the other way around.

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:20 AM   #3
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If the bottom is anything less than perfectly flat, being slightly off center will cause you problems.

I also prefer my shorter stir bar.

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:21 AM   #4
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I've never tried a 2"bar. I use a 1" in my pickle jar. I think the Idea is to use a bar that has the same spacing in the bar magnets as the magnet spacing on your stir plate. My procedure for getting the bar to stay spinning is to 1st use a magnet to locate the bar to the center of the jar. I then place it as close to center of the stirrer as I can and start off slow. I've gotten used to knowing if it's close to centered by the sound it makes. I turn the stirrer up enough to see the whirlpool on top and make slight moves to get it centered. When I'm confident I have it centered I turn the plate up and keep an eye on it . Sometimes it's another slight adjustment. When I'm done I have a nice dimple in the center, It's not making too much noise, and it will run forever.

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by iaefebs View Post
I've never tried a 2"bar. I use a 1" in my pickle jar. I think the Idea is to use a bar that has the same spacing in the bar magnets as the magnet spacing on your stir plate. My procedure for getting the bar to stay spinning is to 1st use a magnet to locate the bar to the center of the jar. I then place it as close to center of the stirrer as I can and start off slow. I've gotten used to knowing if it's close to centered by the sound it makes. I turn the stirrer up enough to see the whirlpool on top and make slight moves to get it centered. When I'm confident I have it centered I turn the plate up and keep an eye on it . Sometimes it's another slight adjustment. When I'm done I have a nice dimple in the center, It's not making too much noise, and it will run forever.
That pretty much sums it up, unless you have a perfectly flat bottom like Malfet said. I don't think a larger stir bar will solve your problem. Sounds like either the bottom of the jar is too irregular or your magnet placement is off a little bit. You want to get the magnet as close to the bottom of the jar as possible. I had to sort through about 30 or 40 gallon jugs at the local fruit market to get a handfull that were suitable for stir plate duty. Once you find a good one, don't drop it. My brew buddy dropped one of mine the other day. Now I'm using a back up that makes a lot of noise and throws bars like crazy if you don't get it centered just right.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:32 AM   #6
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My 2L flasks get 1.5 or 2" bars. My growlers get 1" or .75" bars. Dont forget the spacing of your magnets also plays a factor!

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Old 02-23-2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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I find that starting at a slower revolution setting and gradually increasing the speed on the stir plate reduces the chances of throwing the stir bar. Small stir bars unless I’m making a 4 to 5 liter starter than I jump to the two inch stir bar.

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Old 02-23-2013, 03:00 AM   #8
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I find that starting at a slower revolution setting and gradually increasing the speed on the stir plate reduces the chances of throwing the stir bar. Small stir bars unless I’m making a 4 to 5 liter starter than I jump to the two inch stir bar.
What kind of vessel are you making 5 liter starters in? Hopefully something cheap, because I'd like to get one.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:29 AM   #9
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A shorter bar would help with the throwing issue. My stir plate has a magnet pretty much it's entire diameter so I rarely have an issue.

You don't need a vortex at the surface to promote growth. A subtle agitation should suffice in introducing oxygen

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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I had a real problem with using a hard drive magnet. Is that what you're using? It has a curve and the magnetic field is a little tricky. The magnetic field is not exactly centered its off a little bit to the inside of the curve. This of course put my magnet just a little off center of the fan so it can vibrate and move a lot if not weighted down with a starter flask. I had to put a 1 inch PVC spacer between the fan and magnet so the magnet would not lock the fan down, so that further increased the trouble with finding center. So finding the exact center was a daunting task. I ended up just buying a 1 inch stir bar because the 1.5 was being thrown all the time.

My Homemade stir plate.

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