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What's the fastest and most powerful stir plate for a 5L flask?

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NeverDie

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I guess there's stirstarter and there's Maelstrom. Anything else? What's the best?
 
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Can either of those do a big vortex on a fairly full 5L flask? For oxygenation purposes, I want to suck a lot of air into the liquid. The maelstrom is the only one that shows it doing that in photos.
 

cyberbackpacker

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Personally I just searched ebay until I found a lab grade 100w stir plate-- I have done 2 gallons starters on it without issue, and it creates a lovely vortex; 5l starters are nothing for it.

NB: I did have to get a barbell stir bar for larger starters. The typical center point stir bars got thrown too easily at higher speeds.
 
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Personally I just searched ebay until I found a lab grade 100w stir plate-- I have done 2 gallons starters on it without issue, and it creates a lovely vortex; 5l starters are nothing for it.

NB: I did have to get a barbell stir bar for larger starters. The typical center point stir bars got thrown too easily at higher speeds.
Which one did you get?
 
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NeverDie

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Well, that's good, but compare it to time index 1:20 on:
where it shows a far bigger vortex.

I don't think a "dimple" will do it for me. I'm experimenting with doing high gravity starters (to better match the target must) using Hordindal kveik yeast, and if the stir plate doesn't pull a large vortex to get oxygen in there over an extended time period, the krausen simply gets in the way. It turns out that Hordindal needs a lot of oxygen to make its yeast happy (well, at least in my experience so far).

Seeing is believing. I wish there were a good video of the stirstarter XL doing large vortexes, but maybe it can't.
 

MaxStout

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It is not really important to get a really big vortex going. A constant motion is enough. Even just a relatively small dimple on the surface.
This. Plenty of surface area between liquid and air with just rotation. You only need to move the liquid around to keep diffusing O2 into it.
 

Bobby_M

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Well, that's good, but compare it to time index 1:20 on:
where it shows a far bigger vortex.

I don't think a "dimple" will do it for me. I'm experimenting with doing high gravity starters (to better match the target must) using Hordindal kveik yeast, and if the stir plate doesn't pull a large vortex to get oxygen in there over an extended time period, the krausen simply gets in the way. It turns out that Hordindal needs a lot of oxygen to make its yeast happy (well, at least in my experience so far).

Seeing is believing. I wish there were a good video of the stirstarter XL doing large vortexes, but maybe it can't.
My stirplate can pull a large vortex in a 5 liter but I guess I didnt realize it was going to be a dick measuring contest. I didnt have a 5 liter on hand when I shot that video. Just buy the Maelstrom I guess.
 
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This. Plenty of surface area between liquid and air with just rotation. You only need to move the liquid around to keep diffusing O2 into it.
A thick krausen appears to get in the way. Hornindal is very foamy yeast.
 
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NeverDie

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My stirplate can pull a large vortex in a 5 liter but I guess I didnt realize it was going to be a dick measuring contest. I didnt have a 5 liter on hand when I shot that video. Just buy the Maelstrom I guess.
Well, to be fair, the thread topic is "the fastest and most powerful stir plate for a 5L flask". i.e. that's what I'm trying to find, and I've given reasons as to why.
 
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NeverDie

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OK then, unless someone thinks that stirstarter XL (or something else?) will beat Maelstrom, I guess I'll buy Maelstrom. Having maximum bench strength will be nice for if/when I need it, and I can always dial it back for more regular brews.

I presently have a cheap $35 stir plate from amazon that's fine for small stuff but it certainly doesn't scale up at all.
 
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NeverDie

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Sorry to come off like a dick, but your reasons are not supported by fact.
Not sure what you mean. I've tried it both ways at small scale.
 
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NeverDie

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Personally I just searched ebay until I found a lab grade 100w stir plate-- I have done 2 gallons starters on it without issue, and it creates a lovely vortex; 5l starters are nothing for it.

NB: I did have to get a barbell stir bar for larger starters. The typical center point stir bars got thrown too easily at higher speeds.
Where did you get your barbell stir bar from? I did find some here: https://www.stirbars.com/list.php?c...ped PTFE&sessionID=d2qj678kb1vr7dl1sc5j8eeo84
Amazon lists some, but apparently doesn't stock it, as the delivery time is 1 to 2 months.
 
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At the moment I have Wyeast Sweet Mead on my $35 stir plate, and yes, for that, a dimple is probably just fine. It's not throwing off a foam blanket the way Hornindal does almost within minutes. Sorry if my previous posts ruffled some feathers, as that was not my intent.

Anyhow, I did order the Maelstrom from Northern brewer, since they have a 1 year guarantee on the gear they sell. There had been one very vocal guy on youtube complaining in one video about how his Maelstrom had stopped working and then in another video about how poorly it was soldered, so I figure in this case it makes sense to find a reseller who will hopefully stand behind it if they say they will.
 
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Unicorn_Platypus

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I use stirstarter with foam control added to keep foam under control. Make 5 liter starters all the time with it
 

ApolloSimcoe

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I have a video stirring a 3,gallon carboy on this page
Hey Bobby, how did you keep the stir bar on the curved bottom of the carboy? I was always of the understanding that it would have a tendency to throw the bar... Thanks!
 
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I use stirstarter with foam control added to keep foam under control. Make 5 liter starters all the time with it
I suppose that's yet another way to skin the cat. Which foam control are you using? I just recently acquired some Fermcap-S.

Hornindal Kveik is far foamier than any other yeast I've tried. Hothead and Voss are also foamy, but not to the same degree.
 

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I have the malstrom. It will vortex a 5gallon carboy with ease. Way overkill but it works great. I didn't like the diy ones I made and I liked that the malstrom has a big base as I usually use a 5l flask
 

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My stirplate can pull a large vortex in a 5 liter but I guess I didnt realize it was going to be a dick measuring contest. I didnt have a 5 liter on hand when I shot that video. Just buy the Maelstrom I guess.
Oddly unprofessional reply for a vendor lol
 

Blazinlow86

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I'm ok with it.
I don't know why some folks think macerating a starter is necessary...

Cheers!
Seems it's always the same every thread. One side prefers overkill and the others prefer not overkill. Rinse and repeat. Cheers
 

Nagorg

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Another vote for the Maelstrom. I bought one and havent looked back. Well built and great features including the countdown timer.
 

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I have a Black Maxx. Insert joke here: __________. I am not very satisfied with it. It throws the bar, the bar chatters, sometimes the bar stops spinning and the dial is super finicky. Maybe I'm doing something wrong and someone can throw me some tips/advice. Until then I don't recommend this plate.
 
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I have a Black Maxx. Insert joke here: __________. I am not very satisfied with it. It throws the bar, the bar chatters, sometimes the bar stops spinning and the dial is super finicky. Maybe I'm doing something wrong and someone can throw me some tips/advice. Until then I don't recommend this plate.
Thanks for the warning.

I can see the appeal of this unit. The knob goes all the way to 13. That's way better than 11. :D
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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I suppose that's yet another way to skin the cat. Which foam control are you using? I just recently acquired some Fermcap-S.

Hornindal Kveik is far foamier than any other yeast I've tried. Hothead and Voss are also foamy, but not to the same degree.
I use this stuff. Supposedly its vegetable based an not silicon based

https://www.homebrewing.org/Foam-Control_p_1773.html

This is the stir plate I use:

https://www.homebrewing.org/The-Stirstarter-Yeast-Stir-Plate-5L_p_3329.html
 
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FWIW, yesterday I tried the "dimple" method of stirring a Wyeast Sweet Mead starter in a 5L flask, and guess what? It wasn't sufficient to keep the yeast in suspension. A huge amount of yeast fell out of suspension and collected on the bottom edges of the flask.

Not sure if a bigger stir bar would address that or not. If so, how long would the stir bar have to be? At least for now I'm turning up the speed.
 

yourlastchance89

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I use a Maelstrom and frequently do 5L starters. I haven't had an issue with any of them. I never take it above the 2 setting (it goes up to 5)and have never had an issue with krausen overfoaming. The only issue with it is sometimes the plate will struggle on the initial wind up to spin the bar. If I give the flask a light lift off the stir plate it will begin spinning and continue to do so the remaining duration of the starter. They claim it can stir up to 5 gallons of liquid.
 
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NeverDie

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Reporting back:

I received the Maelstrom, and it is indeed more powerful than what I had been using previoiusly. A couple of quirks:
1. The display turns completely off after a while. I'd rather it stay lit.
2. It's slowest speed is still pretty fast, and I wish it could go slower. Perhaps the high minimum stir speed is to keep it from stalling? Just a guess.
 

Blazinlow86

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Reporting back:

I received the Maelstrom, and it is indeed more powerful than what I had been using previoiusly. A couple of quirks:
1. The display turns completely off after a while. I'd rather it stay lit.
2. It's slowest speed is still pretty fast, and I wish it could go slower. Perhaps the high minimum stir speed is to keep it from stalling? Just a guess.
I generally use the 2-3 settings with a 3 inch stirbar with my 1/5 litre flasks. Not sure what advantage slowing it down slower then the lowest setting would have though? The backlight will turn on for a minute when you press a button without changing the settings. Cheers
 
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