stir plate?

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BigTexBrewer

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So I am going to use a liquid yeast for the first time next week and I have a question about my starter. I know that I need to stir my starter so I was thinking of getting a stir plate but much to my surprise stir plates are kinda expensive. So do I really need a stir plate or will just stirring my starter manually a couple times a day be enough?
 

johnnybrew

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BigTexBrewer said:
So I am going to use a liquid yeast for the first time next week and I have a question about my starter. I know that I need to stir my starter so I was thinking of getting a stir plate but much to my surprise stir plates are kinda expensive. So do I really need a stir plate or will just stirring my starter manually a couple times a day be enough?
Starters work fine without a stir plate. You don't need one. Just make sure you make it at least a day or two prior to you brew day.
 

kcold0403

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A stir plate isn't really a necessity, just more of a fun brewing gadget. If you have the money for it that's great but if not stirring it manually is fine. I have done it the manual way a few times and have never had a problem with it. I purchased a stir plate a few weeks ago so it's kind of nice not having to worry about stirring it every hour or so.
 

Slurm

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Stir plates are cool, and very effective. On the other hand, an awful lot of people just use the "swirl the beaker every time I walk by" method. It works just fine -not as well, but generally good enough.

If you want a stir plate check the DIY section for a good howto on building one.
 

37OliveStBrews

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I just started doing starters this fall using the "walk by and swirl it method". That method definitely works and you get more viable yeast then just going from the vial or smack pack IMO. However, I am now on my 3 starter using a NB stir plate and the results are like night and day form the "walk by and swirl method". It appears that I get better fermentation and my beer tastes so much better (not that it was bad). You can get a starter from www.stirstarters.com for 40 bucks or get one from NB for 60. Buy extra stir bars just in case you pitch one with your yeast and want to brew again before you get a chance to empty your carboy.
 

SD-SLIM

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Hello, a stir plate is a great investment that helps speed up the process of a starter...you can buy one for 40 bucks from Brewmasters or make on of your own from the various tutorials on YouTube...but in the end, if you can't afford it, just make your starters a day in advance, watch for the bubbles and pitch!
 

mikeysab

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True, it's not a necessity, but after using the "walk by and swirl" method, the first time you see that yeast on a stir plate after 12 hours, you'll be super glad you used the stir plate. It's one of those things that you have to see to believe. And it's not one of those "break the bank" things if you DIY.
 

TANSTAAFB

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You double your yeast growth with a stir plate. Hard drive magnet, old cpu fan, cigar box (or plastic box, or cheap tupperware, or Radio Shack job box...), and a switch, potentiometer, and some nuts and bolts and you can make one for under $20.

I love my DIY stir plate :tank:
 

K5MOW

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I just started doing starters this fall using the "walk by and swirl it method". That method definitely works and you get more viable yeast then just going from the vial or smack pack IMO. However, I am now on my 3 starter using a NB stir plate and the results are like night and day form the "walk by and swirl method". It appears that I get better fermentation and my beer tastes so much better (not that it was bad). You can get a starter from www.stirstarters.com for 40 bucks or get one from NB for 60. Buy extra stir bars just in case you pitch one with your yeast and want to brew again before you get a chance to empty your carboy.
Yes you are so right. I recently got my stir plate and it is difently better then the walk by method. You can get one from NB for about $60.00.

Roger
 

Snowhere

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Search on here for stir plate diy and build one if you are comfortable doing electronic stuff. I built mine with a computer fan from my old computer that was sitting in my shed. I had some neodimium magnets laying around so I think my total cost was $15 with buying a plastic enclosure.
 
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I purchased a stir plate from Brewers Hardware. 10 days after still no delivery and no feedback at all during those 10 days. So I emailed. The reply did come back quickly that same day by IPhone.

"Sorry for the delay. I should have them built this weekend and out Monday"

10 days later and "should have"!!! I had no choice but to cancel my order saying I too have an online business and if I don't ship in 24 hours or at a minimum tell the customer there is a delay I know that is lousy service and expect calls from frustrated customers.

The money was refunded in less than 2 hours. Pity as I'm sure that the stir plate is good but customer service and meeting a reasonable expectation of delivery, not so great.
 

jturie

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I purchased a stir plate from Brewers Hardware. 10 days after still no delivery and no feedback at all during those 10 days. So I emailed. The reply did come back quickly that same day by IPhone.

"Sorry for the delay. I should have them built this weekend and out Monday"

10 days later and "should have"!!! I had no choice but to cancel my order saying I too have an online business and if I don't ship in 24 hours or at a minimum tell the customer there is a delay I know that is lousy service and expect calls from frustrated customers.

The money was refunded in less than 2 hours. Pity as I'm sure that the stir plate is good but customer service and meeting a reasonable expectation of delivery, not so great.
Try stirstarters.com

I ordered from him and got mine in a couple of days. It's a great piece of hardware and my first brew with the stir plate showed visible fermentation within 3 hours and continued steadily for 10 days. My recipe FG was 1.012 and I ended up at 1.007!
 

Aschecte

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I'm going to be stepping up my yeast game on my next brew. I just purchased a erlenmeyer 1000ml flask to make starters. I went to a brewing class today and they suggested instead of dry pitching making a starter 24-72 hours before pitching, but after reading posts on this site I see alot about stir plates. Is a stir plate 100% needed the instructor at the class said just mix 1lb dme with 1 cup water make a non hopped wort cool then drop dry or liquid yeast in and there you go. I wanted to see what everyone here thought. Thanks for the input.:confused:
 

TANSTAAFB

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I'm going to be stepping up my yeast game on my next brew. I just purchased a erlenmeyer 1000ml flask to make starters. I went to a brewing class today and they suggested instead of dry pitching making a starter 24-72 hours before pitching, but after reading posts on this site I see alot about stir plates. Is a stir plate 100% needed the instructor at the class said just mix 1lb dme with 1 cup water make a non hopped wort cool then drop dry or liquid yeast in and there you go. I wanted to see what everyone here thought. Thanks for the input.:confused:
A couple of things...

1) it is not recommended to make a starter for dry yeast. You simply need to rehydrate them according to the manufacturers instructions. It is not cost effective to make starters for dry yeast and you can shock them if you dry pitch.

2) Speaking from experience, you will very quickly want a 2000ml flask, especially w/ a stir plate. I tried to save a few buck by going with the 1000ml, but I could only make about a 500ml starter or the yeast overflowed and made a mess...over and over :cross: I always get a pretty big krausen (though that depends on the strain amongst other factors) and the stirring action raises the volume a few centimeters.

3) You will get about twice the yeast growth with a stir plate as without. Constant oxygenation simply does way better than shaking when you can and the yeast will be healthier.

4) Use a 1 to 10 ratio when making starters...1g of DME to every 10ml of water. I find that I can only make about a 1500ml starter in a 2000ml flask unless I want lemming yeast leaping from the top to their deaths on the now sticky, wet, yeasty stir plat below!!! So that means I throw 150 grams of DME in the flask and fill until I reach 1500-1600ml of total volume. Shake it to mix and if you use a defoamer and have a borosilicate (pyrex, bomex, kimax, etc.) flask you can boil directly. I usually boil the wort in a pan first til it stops foaming then transfer to the flask and carefully boil long enough to sterilize the flask, cool, pitch, drop in the stir bar, find the sweet spot on the stir plate, and watch the yeastie beasties grow :mug:
 

vio0633

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37OliveStBrews said:
I just started doing starters this fall using the "walk by and swirl it method". That method definitely works and you get more viable yeast then just going from the vial or smack pack IMO. However, I am now on my 3 starter using a NB stir plate and the results are like night and day form the "walk by and swirl method". It appears that I get better fermentation and my beer tastes so much better (not that it was bad). You can get a starter from www.stirstarters.com for 40 bucks or get one from NB for 60. Buy extra stir bars just in case you pitch one with your yeast and want to brew again before you get a chance to empty your carboy.
I agree! I got the same stir plate and I have had much better fermentation because of it!
 

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The best part about this thread is no one has touted the virtues of Mr. Malty. Instead you are getting good advise on how to increase your yeast production based on a particular tool, namely a stir late. Regardless of your flask size, stir plate or walk by swirl method, the idea is too create as much yeast your particular system can do and pitch it correctly.
If you need a good sized starter, I would recommend pitching 1.020-1.030 OG wort in your flask, ferment, crash cool, decant repeat up to a third time, pitching only the slurry into your beer wort. With what ever you use, you will make beer.
 

TANSTAAFB

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The best part about this thread is no one has touted the virtues of Mr. Malty. Instead you are getting good advise on how to increase your yeast production based on a particular tool, namely a stir late. Regardless of your flask size, stir plate or walk by swirl method, the idea is too create as much yeast your particular system can do and pitch it correctly.
If you need a good sized starter, I would recommend pitching 1.020-1.030 OG wort in your flask, ferment, crash cool, decant repeat up to a third time, pitching only the slurry into your beer wort. With what ever you use, you will make beer.
I agree with everything you said, but what's the issue with Mr. Malty? I find it a very useful tool as I harvest yeast and am at times pitching just harvested slurry, at times pitching washed yeast, at times pitching lab cultures, all with and without starters depending on the brew, my mood, and my preparedness. I use Mr. Malty to help me calculate my needs for all those variables. :confused:
 

mikeysab

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If I'm making a starter, I check Mr. Malty and make the starter based on those numbers. I don't get very technical about things, though, so maybe I'm not a good example. I don't go crazy worrying about sparge volumes and mash volumes and pre or post boil volumes. Temperatures are one thing, but volumes are another.....for me that is. I've learned that you have to pitch the right amounts of yeast, if nothing else. Yes, it breaks down into so many other things, but you gotta get the right amount of critters in there. Having a stir plate is going to help you get those critters in there. I didn't believe it till I built my stir plate. When you see that dark brown starter wort with barely noticeable ribbons of yeast turn into a sea of creamy white frothy yeast, with no visible signs of that dirty, dark wort, you'll be convinced too. After my first stir plate starter, I had wood. So go out and get your wood. Build your stir plate NOW.
 

redalert

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So I am going to use a liquid yeast for the first time next week and I have a question about my starter. I know that I need to stir my starter so I was thinking of getting a stir plate but much to my surprise stir plates are kinda expensive. So do I really need a stir plate or will just stirring my starter manually a couple times a day be enough?
Check Ebay. You can usually find second-hand stir plates around $50.
 

SD-SLIM

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Here is a quote from Mr. Malty on the question of do you need a stir plate -

No, you can make a starter without a stir plate. However, a stir plate produces a higher number of cells from the same size starter, and more importantly, it results in better overall cell health. Logsdon says, “The stir plate causes several things to happen. One is that it drives off the CO2 (which suppresses yeast activity) and allows for an exchange of air into the starter (increasing oxygen levels) and eliminates dead spots in the starter liquid, ensuring that the yeast have easy access to the sugars.”

So if you decide to make a stir plate, here is a great video - http://www.brewmorebeer.com/building-a-stir-plate-for-brewing/
If you decide to buy one, I would go with Brewers Hardware or Stirstarters..I purchased mine from brewers hardware and was shocked at how powerful it was compaired to the one I made myself.
 

richbrew99

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just got mine from Rebelbrewer.com for about 40 bucks. Seems like a good stir plate.
 

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