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-   -   Using hot plate/magnetic stirrer to make yeast starters? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/using-hot-plate-magnetic-stirrer-make-yeast-starters-425623/)

Csalazar2012 08-07-2013 10:08 PM

Using hot plate/magnetic stirrer to make yeast starters?
 
Hello,

I am trying to determine which stir plate to buy to step up to making yeast starters. I work in a laboratory and have boiled liquid in flasks on hot plates all the time. I was curious if anyone else has successfully made yeast starters in a flask using a hot plate? I know that you can boil the wort on the stove and then transfer to the flask, but I am trying to determine whether it would be worth the extra money to buy a magnetic stir plate with the hot plate feature.

Here is a link to a stir plate that I have found: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0026KHYFQ

MadCnty 08-07-2013 10:20 PM

Personally I would not spend the extra $$$... JMHO Here is one that offers a lifetime warranty for $42.00... I made my own tho and total cost was $2.66 for the cigar box... ;)

Starrider 08-08-2013 12:44 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I am in the process of making my own as well. Of course I have to put it to work even before it is done. I wanted to harvest some bottle yeast from a batch of Irish Red so I threw this together to get it going. It is made from parts I had lying around. The potentiometer is the wrong size so I used a transistor to control the speed. The screws are little long but the magnets are holding the stir bar quite well. Obviously I haven't bought a flask yet either:)

b-boy 08-08-2013 01:33 AM

I use a laboratory hotplate and stirrer. It works well. Mine is a Corning that I got on EBay for ~$75. It takes a while to start the boil. It allows me to do everything in my basement.

Another option is getting a cheap ceramic hotplate like college students used to use. They are pretty cheap.

Personally, I like having really solid equipment, so a used hotplate and stirrer seemed like a good idea. The lab-grade stuff is made to last forever.

Glynn 08-08-2013 02:00 AM

The gordon food service coffee pot is a nice touch lol

Csalazar2012 08-08-2013 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by b-boy (Post 5414930)
I use a laboratory hotplate and stirrer. It works well. Mine is a Corning that I got on EBay for ~$75. It takes a while to start the boil. It allows me to do everything in my basement.

Another option is getting a cheap ceramic hotplate like college students used to use. They are pretty cheap.

Personally, I like having really solid equipment, so a used hotplate and stirrer seemed like a good idea. The lab-grade stuff is made to last forever.

Okay so boiling a yeast starter on a hot plate does work? Have you ever had a flask crack or break? Would you say making a starter on the hot plate is as efficient as doing it the conventional method? I love the lab equipment I use at my work. It seems like it would boil wort easily without cracking the flask.

Also, I have access to an autoclave. Does anyone know if a 20min cycle at 250 degree at 20 psi in the autoclave would work as the boil in a normal yeast starter? Then cool, pitch the yeast, and put on stirrer for 12 hours.

Thanks for your responses

MadCnty 08-08-2013 08:13 AM

Not sure about the autoclave... But I have found that boiling in a flask is hard to do without it boiling over... I do the boil in a regular sauce pan then transfer to a sanitized flask for cooling/pitching... ;)

gwapogorilla 08-08-2013 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madcnty (Post 5415455)
not sure about the autoclave... But i have found that boiling in a flask is hard to do without it boiling over... I do the boil in a regular sauce pan then transfer to a sanitized flask for cooling/pitching... ;)

+1

b-boy 08-08-2013 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Csalazar2012 (Post 5415165)
Okay so boiling a yeast starter on a hot plate does work? Have you ever had a flask crack or break? Would you say making a starter on the hot plate is as efficient as doing it the conventional method? I love the lab equipment I use at my work. It seems like it would boil wort easily without cracking the flask.

Also, I have access to an autoclave. Does anyone know if a 20min cycle at 250 degree at 20 psi in the autoclave would work as the boil in a normal yeast starter? Then cool, pitch the yeast, and put on stirrer for 12 hours.

Thanks for your responses

I've never cracked a flask. I usually just dunk them in cold water to cool right after the boil. Never had that crack either. The only time I broke a flask was when I knocked it against something.

I agree with madcnty. Boil-overs are hard to control in a flask. I have a silicon glove on so I can occasionally pick up the flask to avoid a boil-over.

I also use an old coffee carafe right on the hotplate without issues when I'm making smaller starters. The handle on the coffee pot is nice, but they only come in smaller sizes. The biggest one I could find holds just over 1 liter.

I have 2L and 3L flasks. Had a 5L - that's the one I broke.


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