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Old 06-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by EricCSU View Post
Tape a magnet to the outside of the flask after using the stir plate but before pitching.

Eric
Ditto. I would love to do this but I forget to have a magnet handy when I go to pitch my yeast! I'm just careful.

if you are talking about the stir bar getting thrown by the fan, I use a 6V charger on a 12V fan with a potentiometer thrown in the mix. At the lowest setting it's a good stir. On high it can create a small vortex, but sometimes throws the bar off. There are all kinds of bars and magnet configurations to choose from. Chances are you can get something to work somehow.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #12
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If your magnet's strong enough you can also "walk" the stir bar up and out the neck to get it out of the way.

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Old 06-10-2010, 01:31 AM   #13
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I wouldn't use a stir plate with an airlock on the flask. The main advantage of a stir plate is not just keeping the yeast in suspension, so much as creating an environment where O2 from the air can be absorbed by the wort, providing the yeasts with enough O2 to develop. This requires that O2 (or air) can enter the flask, but an airlock will prevent this. Much better to use some sanitized aluminum foil over the neck of the flask, or an inverted, sanitized jam jar that allows air in while preventing airborne bacterial from falling in.
Don't take my word for it, see http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast...-and-practices and take a look at the first chart.

-a.

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Old 06-10-2010, 03:00 PM   #14
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A second stir bar is nice to have. Not just in case you lose/damage your main stirbar but also to hold the stirbar in the flask when pouring. They're just barely strong enough though (at least mine are).

This link posted by Revvy:

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Sean's Yeast Pitching Rate Results http://seanterrill.com/2010/05/09/ye...-rate-results/
illustrates what Denny and others have been saying on this site for a while now; i.e. that poor head retention is often simply the result of poor fermentations.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:42 PM   #15
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If your magnet's strong enough you can also "walk" the stir bar up and out the neck to get it out of the way.
this works very well
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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The first time I used a stir plate, I noticed a massive difference in the quantity of yeast produced in my starter, and I used to shake up my (pre-stir plate) starters several times each day. I would never go back at this point.

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If your magnet's strong enough you can also "walk" the stir bar up and out the neck to get it out of the way.
This is what I do as soon as I remove the flask from the stir plate. Otherwise, I will end up dumping the stir bar along with the contents of the flask because I'm an idiot and I will forget it's there. I store the keeper magnet by sticking it on one of the screws on the bottom of my stir plate, so it's easy for me to just turn off the stir plate, pull off the magnet, and use it to retrieve the stir bar all in one go.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:49 AM   #17
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Default Stir plate versus aquarium pump and stone

James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio and Video did a very nice job on the subject of stir plates versus other options, and if I remember the show accurately his guest determined that while stir plates do produce very good results you will receive even better outcomes by using an aquarium pump and airstone to agitate and aerate your yeast starter. But as others on the forum have noted, the "research" reported on BBR also demonstrated that periodically shaking the vessel in which your yeast starter rests works well too and costs less than stir plates and air stones/aquarium pumps. For me, the bottom line is that yeast starters are important, something I have not always acknowledged, and that you have at least three inexpensive and effective ways to produce them. I will probably focus on stir plates, mainly because they do provide one more homebrewing gadget to play with in my geeky world.

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:51 AM   #18
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Default Stir plate versus aquarium pump and stone

James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio and Video did a very nice job on the subject of stir plates versus other options, and if I remember the show accurately his guest determined that while stir plates do produce very good results you will receive even better outcomes by using an aquarium pump and airstone to agitate and aerate your yeast starter. But as others on the forum have noted, the "research" reported on BBR also demonstrated that periodically shaking the vessel in which your yeast starter rests works well too and costs less than stir plates and air stones/aquarium pumps. For me, the bottom line is that yeast starters are important, something I have not always acknowledged, and that you have at least three inexpensive and effective ways to produce them. I will probably focus on stir plates, mainly because they do provide one more homebrewing gadget to play with in my geeky world.

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Old 09-23-2011, 01:22 AM   #19
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This is obviously not data, just an anecdote, but in my last batch, I both used a stir plate for the first time, and I aerated my wort with an aquarium pump for the first time.

And this is also the first time I've ever had a blow-off. I've never seen such a vigorous fermentation. I'm definitely sold on using the stir plate.

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