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Old 08-18-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default How NOT to make a starter; a cautionary tale

So I had 1200Ml's of starter going in a flask on my stove. Near the end of a few minutes of boiling I realize that I have neglected to throw the stir bar in. No biggie, or so I thought. Tilted the flask to one side, slid the stir bar in and BLAMO! The wort instantly goes full boil and shoots out of the flask like a freight train running late, (I'm not sure that this is an actual saying, but it fits) covering my wall, stovetop and floor. Of the 1200Ml that were in there, only about 800 were left. Huge mess, lesson learned. DONT let this happen to you, kids. Also, stay in school and dont do drugs!

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zscalf View Post
So I had 1200Ml's of starter going in a flask on my stove. Near the end of a few minutes of boiling I realize that I have neglected to throw the stir bar in. No biggie, or so I thought. Tilted the flask to one side, slid the stir bar in and BLAMO! The wort instantly goes full boil and shoots out of the flask like a freight train running late, (I'm not sure that this is an actual saying, but it fits) covering my wall, stovetop and floor. Of the 1200Ml that were in there, only about 800 were left. Huge mess, lesson learned. DONT let this happen to you, kids. Also, stay in school and dont do drugs!
Well, you could consider it a demonstration of "nucleation points", so there is some scientific lesson there for the rest of us.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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Update: There's some on the ceiling as well. Good thing this was pointed to opposite direction of my face!

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Old 08-19-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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I remember seeing a story on like 20/20 about microwaving water in a glass bowl, then adding a spoon. It essentially caused the superheated water to "explode". I remember thinking 'you have to have a perfect scenario to replicate this in life', thanks for proving me wrong.

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Old 08-19-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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I had bad luck boiling the stir bar. The bar got hot and the wort boiled off of that making a lot of small bubbles. Next thing the flask foaming out the top and all the wort was not boiling. This was on an electric stove.

Now I spray it with star san and gently drop it in when cool.
David

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Old 08-19-2009, 11:36 PM   #6
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Now I spray it with star san and gently drop it in when cool.
+1 on this approach.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
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like a freight train running late, (I'm not sure that this is an actual saying, but it fits)
This thread is now the first google result for "like a freight train running late", so congratulations on a new actual saying!!
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:36 PM   #8
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Mythbusters covered this as well. Season 1, Episode 4: Microwave Madness

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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Consider yourself lucky, I had a flask base blow out on me. But not while it was over the burner, oh no it waited till I was carrying it over to the sink to chill. I don't know who was more pissed, my wife because this hobby of mine had once again made a mess/consumed my evening...or me who had to make another starter that night with the pan/gallon jug method, clean up the mess, and buy another flask. It was on carpet too, so I had to spend $50 renting a carpet shampooer and the whole weekend doing the rest of the floors.

Edit: I still make starters for every batch :hardcore:

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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Sorry about your mess, that's a good lesson. This is motivating me to get my stir plate finally working, i just need a potentiometer with less resistance (hopefully). After work I'm going to speed over to radio shack like a freight train running late.

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