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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Is a Heating Stirplate Worthwhile?
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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Default Is a Heating Stirplate Worthwhile?

I am thinking of buying a stirplate off Ebay. I can find heating stirplates available easy enough. Are they worthwhile? Can you use the heating to boil a starter? And if you do use one to boil will it cool fast enough to use as a stirplate after the starter is chilled?

Not a big deal, but I've been thinking about replacing my homemade stirplate anyway. So figure I'll get a more useful one while I'm at it. But no point in paying for a heated stirplate if it won't help with my starters.

Anybody have one to sell?

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
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Most heating stir plates are intended to get you up to about 80F or so, so they definitely wouldn't boil. That's a bit hot for a starter...probably better to be about 70F. If you can get that from the ambient temperature in your house, no need for the heater. If you can't, it would be useful.

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Old 01-31-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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Thanks. I doubt I'd ever need the heatplate for anything other than the boil.

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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I use a Corning combo stiplate/hotplate, and I have found it works great for making starters. I typically make larger starters too - some even as large as 4000 mL. I typically bring my dechlorinated water to a boil in a pot on the stove, add the DME to my 5000-mL flask and add the boiling water to the flask. Then I allow the hotplate to bring the mixture to a boil, using the stir function to mix.

I also typically use an antifoam agent. After cooling - which I do by submerging the flask in an ice bath - I place the flask back on the plate for stirring. I have never had any difficulties with the combo plate still being too hot to put the flask on it. I have enjoyed making starters this way.

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Do you know the rating of the heat element? Some I looked at had what seemed like pretty high ratings, but I don't know.

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:59 PM   #6
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The Corning I have is Model PC-320. It is rated at 575 Watts. It does take a while to bring a larger wort volume to a boil, but I have never found it to be a problem. This one is a bit pricey, but it is the model I own:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=263602_304652

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