For me, dropping in a stone attached to an O2 tank for a minute is way less effort than shaking, pouring back-and-forth, getting out the whisk or hooking up the drill with a whip on it. The O2 tank is a convenience thing for me.
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Yup! Another trick I started doing a couple batches back. I toss my yeast in there two so yeast and wort are same temp at pitch.
older people (40+)
HEY!!!! 40+ isn't "older"!
Better Bottles ... will not shatter.
No but they will stress and crack at the most inopportune times spilling precious homebrew everywhere. If I do plastic, its a nice thick walled bucket...
I'm not certain, but I bet the relationship between density and temperature is not linear.
Assuming perhaps convection would help keep things circulating.
Hope my two cents helps :-)