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Old 01-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #11
wildwest450
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I don't care to boil in a flask, with the risk of a wort volcano in your face. I use this exclusively. It's a half a gallon and works with a stir bar. If you can't transfer wort from a pot to a sterilized vessel without fear of infection, you can't make beer.

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Old 01-18-2010, 05:16 PM   #12
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How big are the stir bars everyone is using? I've got one that is about one and half or two inches long and pretty fat. I do realize I'm going to get reamed for that sentence. Maybe the size of the stir bar increases the stability.

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Old 01-18-2010, 05:30 PM   #13
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IMLE, it appears that the stirbar needs to be about the same length as the distance between the magnets in the stirplate. Otherwise one magnet in the stirplate tends to pull the stirbar off-center. I use the stirbar included with the stirplates.com stirplate (1-5/8" long when tergid) but I tried longer stirbars and they didn't work as well.

Here's something from the stirplates.com FAQ:

Quote:
Q: I already tried making my own stir plate and it just never worked right. It would always stop or throw the stir bar. How do I know yours will be any better?
A: Good question. First, mine is built around the LM317 adjustable voltage regulator so it supplies very consistent voltage to the motor. Second, I align the drive magnet and test each stir plate with a 2L flask before shipping. Third, I limit the top speed of the motor to help reduce thrown stir bars. I also encourage you to check out my eBay feedback rating and what others have said there and on the brewing forums.
Don't keep it at high speed, just enough to make a little vortex is all it takes.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJones View Post
How big are the stir bars everyone is using? I've got one that is about one and half or two inches long and pretty fat. I do realize I'm going to get reamed for that sentence. Maybe the size of the stir bar increases the stability.
No there is a quote for ya.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:17 AM   #15
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To you people saying that a flask can be used to boil wort - can you put it directly on top of the (electric) stove element? Or do you need a thick aluminum plate, or can it only be done on open flame?

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Old 01-19-2010, 12:36 AM   #16
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i would put it in a pan of some sort to assist in more even heat distribution. i use a 316 ss mesh under my flasks on my gas stove... lab practice.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
If you can't transfer wort from a pot to a sterilized vessel without fear of infection, you can't make beer.
+1
Personally, I'd be just fine if "sterilized" was automatically converted by the forum software to "sanitized", since most everyone really means sanitized.
Yep, thats right, boiling != sterilized
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #18
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I suppose I could pressure cook my flask and wort to sterilize, but I think boiling is close enough, I don't acid wash the yeast either. It's less cleanup for me to just boil in the flask, I use a little foam control so I don't get boil-overs.

Or just buy this
http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm/terms/14345/emailid/133

interesting $2.00 semi-stirplate.

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Old 01-19-2010, 04:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
If you can't transfer wort from a pot to a sterilized vessel without fear of infection, you can't make beer.
For me that's not it at all, I don't like getting any more things dirty and having to clean up any more than is absolutely necessary!
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:07 PM   #20
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I don't think a flask is necessary, but it's the right tool for the job. Its like you can use a crescent wrench or a pair of pliers to loosen a nut, but I prefer to use a crescent wrench.

I think the Erlenmeyer flask has several features that make it best suited for growing up bugs. Most have all ready been mentioned. Borosilicate can be heated and cooled rapidly, and the flat bottom works best with a stir bar. Some other things that have not been mentioned is that the wide base of the flask provides a larger surface area and in turn better O2 exchange. Another benefit is that with a small opening dust carrying contaminates have less of a chance to fall in to the flask when you have it open.

I like them too, because I'm lucky and have access to an autoclave here at work (I'm a lab rat). I would not put a growler in the autoclave.

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