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Erlenmeyer flask on electric stove

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scottaustin

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Is it possible to boil a yeast starter on an electric range, I know gas is better but I can't do anything about it
 

mr x

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I boil my starters in an erlenmeyer on my glasstop. If using coil-type elements, you might want to use a wire spacer if using high heat.
 

chemist308

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The glass top acts as a hotplate if you have a ceramic glass stove. Otherwise you really should have a wire spacer even for a tempered glass. I may be an inexperienced home brewer, but I've worked with enough lab glassware to comment on this one... :)
 
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Provided borosilicate glass is not subjected to rapid change in temperature, creating undue thermal shock, it can be operated safely at temperatures up to 450°F (232°C). The normal limiting factor is actually the gasket material. The degree of thermal shock (usually defined as sudden chilling) which it can withstand depends on many factors, for example: stresses due to operating conditions; stresses imposed in supporting the equipment; the wall thickness of the glass, etc. It is therefore undesirable to give an overall figure but, as a general guide, sudden temperature changes of up to about 216°F (120°C) can be accommodated
http://www.pegasus-glass.com/pyrex.asp
 
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scottaustin

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I am leaning more towards a pot at this point as this is my first starter and I would like to avoid broken/scarred glass.

My plan was to use a coil element stove and dunk the flask in a sink full of ice

olllllo you seem to know about this stuff, do you use a similar method/equipment?
 

mr x

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Bobby_M said:
My big question is how you cool the wort in the flask. You certainly can't go from boiling to cold water bath or CRACK!
Borosilicate will handle quite a change. In the lab, I go from boiling to very cold water and never lost one vessel yet. But I'm a little more cautious with the 5l erlenmeyer I paid for;)
 

Funkenjaeger

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I use my 1L Bomex borosilicate flask on my electric (coil element) stove all the time. Just make sure to put a spacer in there. I picked up a 2-pack of wire trivets/heat spreaders/whatever for $2, meant for coffee pots, at a local place. Previously, I thought I'd be smart and make my own out of some heavy-gauge bare copper wire, but that was a huge mess - it oxidized and got coated in this black ash that flakes off all over the place and makes a nice mess.

Cooling it is not that hard, I generally take it off the burner and let it sit on the stovetop for a few minutes, and then dunk it in some hot tap water for a minute or so, and then put it in cold water and start adding ice as needed. I wouldn't dunk it straight into ice water from the burner.
 

Bobby_M

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I thought it could take some pretty sudden temp change. I boiled a starter in a very thick pyrex measuring cup then just put it in my sink that had just a thin layer of cool water coating it. 30 seconds later, the whole thing just crumbled into 100 shards. I suppose it could be that the very bottom of the cup got cold while the rest was extremely hot. It's probably better to expose the entire vessel to the new temp at the same time. Dang, there goes $10.
 

mr x

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The measuring cups may use a different type of glass than borosilicate. I'm Still surprised that it broke, I've put them through heavy abuse. May have been a bad measuring cup....
 

Bobby_M

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It was pyrex and that's just a trademarked name for borosilicate. I had put it through a bunch of abuse in the past and I guess it was just a freak occurance.
 

mr x

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From what I recall, Pyrex houseware really isn't borosilicate anymore. It's a type of tempered glass. I can't recall the type, but if you search around I think you will find that while those cups are tempered for heat use, they aren't true borosilicate. I still think it shouldn't have broken.

http://consumerist.com/consumer/pyrex/why-pyrex-bowls-explode-232474.php

I generally don't take crap linked from the net as gospel, but I believe it is more or less correct.
 
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scottaustin said:
I am leaning more towards a pot at this point as this is my first starter and I would like to avoid broken/scarred glass.

My plan was to use a coil element stove and dunk the flask in a sink full of ice

olllllo you seem to know about this stuff, do you use a similar method/equipment?
I use a 2L flask on a ceramic top stove using the lowest heat possible to achieve a boil.

I let it rest for a minute or two and then immerse in regular tap water.
I introduce ice later to cool it further (depending on how low I want to go, I may keep adding ice or use salt).

I used to work in a lab years ago, but I was not a chemist.
Everything I learned, I learned here.


EDIT: Use a process that give you the most comfort/satisfaction. No wrong answers here.
 
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