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Old 10-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #1
Tony
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Default Magnetic Stirrer

Im looking to get a stir plate, and want to know what everyone else is using, as well as what the best low cost one would be to buy. I found a Hanna HI 190 for $67 and want to make sure its big enough. It handles 1 liter. Any thoughts?

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Old 10-16-2005, 09:24 PM   #2
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What are you stirring? I've never heard of a homebrewer using a magnetic stirrer as they use in labs.

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Old 10-16-2005, 11:57 PM   #3
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Its for making better yeast starters. It allows for generating more yeast from your starter by constantly stirring the starter and mixing in more air.

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Old 10-17-2005, 12:15 AM   #4
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Do you use oxygen in your starters too, Tony?

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Old 10-17-2005, 01:57 AM   #5
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I havent yet, as Im just now getting a stirrer, but thats next on my list.

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Old 10-17-2005, 01:59 AM   #6
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i think you might have a lot more toys than the rest of us, Tony.

I shake my starter every time I walk past it. That's as fancy as it gets around here.

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Old 10-17-2005, 01:49 PM   #7
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I just started using a stir plate this year and can wholeheartedly recommend it. My set up is like this:

3 liter Erlenmyer flask
Hanna Magnetic Stirrer (model HI 190 M)
Foam Stopper
38 mm stir bar

Even though the specs on the stir plate says it only handles 1 liter, the 3 liter flask fits on the plate just fine and I make 1.5 liter starters all the time with no problems. I found the 25 mm stir bar a little on the wimpy side (at least for the volumes I use for starters) and I now use the 38 mm with better results. Buy extra stir bars, I garauntee you will pour one into a carboy at least once. To prevent this, get a good strong magnet somewhere and keep it handy so when it's time to pour the starter into the carboy, you use your magnet on the outside of the flask to hold the stir bar in place so you don't pour it into the carboy.

I LOVE using the stir plate. I can make a starter in about 1/2 the time it used to take, I dirty almost no equipment, and I don't need any sanitizer. Everything goes into the flask (DME, water, stir bar) which is brought to a boil. I put the foam stopper into the neck of the flask and let the steam during the boil sanitize it. The starter ferments out in about 36 hours and gives me as much yeast from 1.5 liters as I used to get with a full 2 liter starter.

A stir plate is definitely an optional piece of equipment, but if the prospect intrigues you at all, I would definitely recommend it.

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Old 10-17-2005, 03:27 PM   #8
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What's a foam stopper?

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Old 10-17-2005, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
What's a foam stopper?
Sorry. It's a foam plug that fits into the neck of the flask. The foam structure allows the CO2 to vent out but keeps the nasties out.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/yeast-handling.html

Scroll down to Foam Stopper.

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Old 10-17-2005, 07:10 PM   #10
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I use secondaries. :p
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that's very bizarre. If gas can go through it, nasties could, too. Granted, the chance is LOW, but it's much larger than the chance with a tight-fitting rubber stopper!

Plus, it won't keep air from getting in, so it seems to be of dubious value to me.

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