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Old 08-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
superslomo
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Default Why Erlenmeyer Flasks for Starters?

I don't have any flasks, so have just been using mason jars to do starters. Is there any particular advantage to the erlenmeyer flask for starters, if you alternately have canned sterile wort? We have loads of mason jars, and a pressure canner, so it seems like this would be an easier way to go.

Anybody care to "learn me" somethin' here?


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Old 08-23-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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You can boil your wort in them directly over the flame of a gas stove.


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Old 08-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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I don't see why not, my first advice on getting started with starters was to use a growler and swirl it whenever you walk past.

I think an Erlenmeyer flask is ideal for a simple stir plate setup because of the flat bottom and the graduations on the side, and you kind of get to look like a mad scientist when you use one.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Advantages I can think of:

- able to boil directly on the stovetop and go right to an ice bath for cooling.
- flat bottom for use on stirplates.
- foam stoppers are made for them (if you don't to use foil)
- you look like a mad scientist
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardoman View Post
You can boil your wort in them directly over the flame of a gas stove.
+1 to this, this makes it super simple

I don't know how much of a concern this is, but I was warned when buying my flask at my LHBS that the glass "Isn't what it used to be"

I have had no issues heating over the gas, but there are no brand markings on the flask, so I am cautious when I use it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:03 PM   #6
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you can put the flask in a water bath (pot with water) and boil that if you don't have a gas stove... as long as the flask you bought is made of pyrex you will be fine. They are made to be autoclaved which takes place at a high temperature under higher pressure than normal so you won't have any chance of being able to blow it up
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Mason jars also can be pressure/steam treated, so I would assume they would fit the bill as well? If you pressure can wort, that would eliminate the advantage of an erlenmeyer, at least as long as you don't have a stirplate (I don't)?
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superslomo View Post
Mason jars also can be pressure/steam treated, so I would assume they would fit the bill as well? If you pressure can wort, that would eliminate the advantage of an erlenmeyer, at least as long as you don't have a stirplate (I don't)?
Right, the best advantage of the flask is not having to use the pressure cooker. If you will be using that anyway, then mason jars are far more economical.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Pyrex is a Corning brand name for borosilicate glass, however many other manufacturers also make borosilicate. Kimble-Chase's brand name for it, for instance, is Kimax. Any Fisher Scientific branded Erlenmeyer flask will also be borosilicate. Most erlenmeyer flasks, because they are often used for heating aplications will be borosilicate even if unmarked, but that is not always true. Borosilicate has great heat tolerance, and more importantly is quite tolerant of sudden changes in heat. It's not impervious, but will be harder to break and lose your starter than a mason jar.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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If you aren't boiling it in the mason jar, but just putting it in the pressure canner to sterilize, then it isn't an issue is it?


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