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Old 10-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
davepeds
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Default Magnetic Balls instead of a stir bar

Am I a genius, or about to be an idiot? Don't answer that. Just hear me out. My little stir bar just can't seem to get going. However, those little magnet balls that are shiny and metallic work great with my fan magnet set up. They spin like mad. Does anyone think they could cause problems in a short term, 1.5 day yeast starter? I wish I could use the stir bar and I am going to continue to trouble shoot it - but not before tomorrow.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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I don't think a little round ball is going to create the vortex a stir bar does which defeats the purpose of using a stir plate since it would not draw in the O2 that the vortex does.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #3
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The only problem I see with that, is that the stir bars Are wrapped in plastic or teflon, while the balls will be bare metal. This would cause wear on the glass bottom. If you could find coated balls (insert joke here), it should work, but maybe just not as efficiently.

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Old 10-06-2012, 05:51 AM   #4
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They do create a minor vortex. I tested it, and a vortex extending down about 1/2 an inch began. I've read elsewhere that the idea is more than just a vortex, but also to keep yeast in constant suspension - which the balls do. I spent several hours with the stir bar and just could not get it to spin. Once the fan gets up to speed, even on its lowest setting, the spinning stir bar jumps out of the middle. I think I'm going with the tin man cojones for this Sunday's batch - will let all of you know how it goes.

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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Sounds like you need to turn the fan down or get a stronger magnet if you are throwing the stir bar.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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One other thought, is the little magnetic ball stainless? Most aren't and if not it will rust in your wort and that wouldn't be a good thing....

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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I had the same problem switched to a smaller 1 inch stir bar works great

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #8
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I have a 1 inch stir bar. I'm going to go to Ace and look for stronger magnets. The little magnet balls are actually outrageously strong. They're the ones that I've glued to the fan. I can't turn the fan down lower - but I'm using a fan that other people have tried. I don't think they're stainless. They won't be in the wort per se, just in the yeast starter for about 36 hours. I'm thinking a 1L yeast starter with 'notes' of rust might not impart too much, or any, flavor in the beer. I'm getting really defensive about my failure to successfully spin a plastic bar. I need to man up and figure this damn thing out.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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All magnets have poles. If you used spheres, they may not be oriented optimally for the stir bar poles, unless you determined this before attaching them to the fan.

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davepeds
I have a 1 inch stir bar. I'm going to go to Ace and look for stronger magnets. The little magnet balls are actually outrageously strong. They're the ones that I've glued to the fan. I can't turn the fan down lower - but I'm using a fan that other people have tried. I don't think they're stainless. They won't be in the wort per se, just in the yeast starter for about 36 hours. I'm thinking a 1L yeast starter with 'notes' of rust might not impart too much, or any, flavor in the beer. I'm getting really defensive about my failure to successfully spin a plastic bar. I need to man up and figure this damn thing out.
Your yeast starter is actually wort to start, beer at finish and rust is rust and IMO I would not want it anywhere near my beer.

Why would you take the time to sanitize and brew and be diligent with everything you do but not be concerned about rust in your starter?
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