Author Topic: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?  (Read 3481 times)

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« on: July 03, 2013, 06:40:54 AM »
I am building a stir plate and looking at Erlenmeyer flasks.

My first instinct is to buy a 5L flask for high gravity starters and 10 gallon batches. Would this flask be too big for average-gravity, 5 gallon batches?

If I wanted to grow up a large pitch of yeast, could I just use a 1 gal growler?

Any makes/models I should stay away from? Pyrex brand is a bit more expensive, but the durability is fantastic.
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 07:28:04 AM »
I use a StirStarter brand plate.  I always do 5 gal batches.  I have a 2, 4, and 5 L Erlenmeyer. My go to flask is the 4 L.  Most of the time the yeast I have immediate access to is one to two months old.  But, my 5 L always works just as well on this inexpensive but good plate.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 07:37:47 AM »
I've grown tired of Erlenmeyer flasks breaking or cracking. I've had ones from the LHBS and Pyrex ones. I now use a glass cookie jar that I picked up for $4, that thing holds 3.5L and has lasted me longer than all of the Erlenmeyer flasks combined!  8)
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Offline ns3580

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 07:52:31 AM »
I have a 5L I use for everything from 5 to 15gal batches.  flexibility to do big pitches

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 08:03:47 AM »
I've grown tired of Erlenmeyer flasks breaking or cracking. I've had ones from the LHBS and Pyrex ones. I now use a glass cookie jar that I picked up for $4, that thing holds 3.5L and has lasted me longer than all of the Erlenmeyer flasks combined!  8)

I was thinking that a mason jar would do just fine.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 08:20:33 AM »
I've got a couple of flasks and a whole bunch of growlers that serve me well for starters.

If I need a really big pitch, I brew a smaller beer as a starter.

I've got a couple 3 or 4 gallon carboys that work well for small batch starter beers.  And for trying out new recipes.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 09:27:23 AM »
I have two plates and two 2000ml flasks. Use one for <big and both if doing >big or lagers

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 09:30:04 AM »
I have a 5L I use for everything from 5 to 15gal batches.  flexibility to do big pitches

+1!  I was lucky enough to find a starter set on CL that had a 1L, 2L and 5L flasks to go along w/ a stir plate.  I only use the 5L flask and the 1L and 2L flasks are just collecting dust on my shelves. 
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 09:46:39 AM »
I have 2, 4, and 6L flasks.  Its the 6L that I use all the time.  Using the larger flask is better for even small starters since it provides a very large surface area for oxygen transfer to the wort.  I pump filtered air into the flask headspace to keep the oxygen content up and flush the CO2.  I find there is no need for a stone on the air line in this case and that helps avoid foaming. 

I do like Amanda's idea of using an alternative jar for starters.  Clearly, with a 6L flask, it will be crying time if I have a mistake with the flask. 
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 10:05:03 AM »
I've grown tired of Erlenmeyer flasks breaking or cracking. I've had ones from the LHBS and Pyrex ones. I now use a glass cookie jar that I picked up for $4, that thing holds 3.5L and has lasted me longer than all of the Erlenmeyer flasks combined!  8)

I was thinking that a mason jar would do just fine.

I've used those as well. Problem was when I tried to find anything over 2qts - they got pretty expensive compared to the lowly cookie jar.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 10:13:50 AM »
Seems like anything would work but metal and can't have too domed of a bottom or the stir bar has trouble. If I ever break a flask I probably will replace it with something with a dished bottom

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 10:21:41 AM »
I've grown tired of Erlenmeyer flasks breaking or cracking. I've had ones from the LHBS and Pyrex ones. I now use a glass cookie jar that I picked up for $4, that thing holds 3.5L and has lasted me longer than all of the Erlenmeyer flasks combined!  8)

I was thinking that a mason jar would do just fine.
I like your cookie jar solution. Looks like a flat bottom, and pretty cheap.
I've used those as well. Problem was when I tried to find anything over 2qts - they got pretty expensive compared to the lowly cookie jar.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 10:28:24 AM »
I like your cookie jar solution. Looks like a flat bottom, and pretty cheap.

I use the stir bars with the little ring in the middle : http://www.amazon.com/Scienceware-371100138-Magnetic-Integral-Diameter/dp/B002VBW5HW/ref=pd_sim_indust_7

That seems to mitigate any problems with the slightly convex bottom.
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Offline Scot (one T)

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »
  I have 2 2L and 1 5L .  The only flasks that I have had break in 10+ years, are the ones I've loaned out.  I use the 2L for most brews and the 5L for lagers and larger batches.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 12:59:21 PM »
Since you want to promote oxygen exchange, I don't think it can really be too big.
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