Author Topic: Stir Plates  (Read 1700 times)


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 07:37:24 PM »
I have two of the Hannas, work just fine.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 09:11:40 PM »
Wow.  $86?  Are they worth that much?

I built mine, so the cost was minimal, but if I had to pay $86 I'd lean towards the shake and bake method.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 09:20:32 PM »
I bought mine prebuilt from Brewers hardware when they sold them years back. $35 I think. My second is a heavy duty lab model rescued after a high school upgrade.

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 03:42:26 AM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.

Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 02:54:13 PM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.

While I agree with Mark that a stir plate may not be "necessary", I also feel that it is certainly convenient, and at the very least does no noticeable harm. I have one and have gotten excellent results from it (which I admittedly might have gotten from the "shake it and walk away" method, too). And brewers love toys, so that's a plus. I recommend http://www.stirstarters.com/

Offline narcout

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2015, 05:22:37 PM »
I think you will find better options than the ones you have linked to if you shop around.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 06:08:09 PM by narcout »
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Offline johnnyb

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2015, 01:32:29 PM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.


Do you have a sort of a single manifesto post on the subject describing why you think (maybe experimental results?) stir plates are unnecessary (potentially harmful?) and what your recommended method is without the benefit of owning an orbital shaker?

I did the search as recommended but mostly found a bunch of posts that seem to be referring to other posts that I haven't located yet.

I wish I knew about this shaker thing a few months ago. My old biotech company finally bit the dust and I'm sure I could have bought a shaker for peanuts.

Offline brulosopher

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2015, 04:01:13 PM »
The Yeastir is my newish stir plate of choice, I love how big the base is... because, you know, it's all about that base

http://brulosophy.com/2014/10/30/yeastir-a-review-of-the-original-usb-stir-plate/

Offline jeffy

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2015, 04:37:59 PM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.


Do you have a sort of a single manifesto post on the subject describing why you think (maybe experimental results?) stir plates are unnecessary (potentially harmful?) and what your recommended method is without the benefit of owning an orbital shaker?

I did the search as recommended but mostly found a bunch of posts that seem to be referring to other posts that I haven't located yet.

I wish I knew about this shaker thing a few months ago. My old biotech company finally bit the dust and I'm sure I could have bought a shaker for peanuts.

See page 7 of this thread https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=21705.msg276016#msg276016
The takeaway is that Mark sees stressed, continually aerated wort as a bad thing and that a healthy pitch of the entire starter which was aerated thoroughly at the beginning and pitched at high kreusen is better.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2015, 04:57:30 PM »
+1, unfortunately I had just purchased a stir plate before I really tried Mark's method.  I can tell you that I have not used my stir plate since and have been having great results with his method. For my American ales with WLP001, I have been getting 78-80% attenuation his way. I have played around with it enough to be convinced it works. But when I really want to dry out an IPA, I have been getting 80-82% with US 05 both dry and re-hydrated and have loved the results. Good luck and great brewing either way to the OP
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Offline narvin

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2015, 08:30:06 PM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.


Do you have a sort of a single manifesto post on the subject describing why you think (maybe experimental results?) stir plates are unnecessary (potentially harmful?) and what your recommended method is without the benefit of owning an orbital shaker?

I did the search as recommended but mostly found a bunch of posts that seem to be referring to other posts that I haven't located yet.

I wish I knew about this shaker thing a few months ago. My old biotech company finally bit the dust and I'm sure I could have bought a shaker for peanuts.

See page 7 of this thread https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=21705.msg276016#msg276016
The takeaway is that Mark sees stressed, continually aerated wort as a bad thing and that a healthy pitch of the entire starter which was aerated thoroughly at the beginning and pitched at high kreusen is better.

And, other people see more yeast growth with a stir plate and also prefer decanting, not pitching a large percentage of starter wort into a batch of beer.

If you have a stir plate, try both.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 11:01:19 PM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.


Do you have a sort of a single manifesto post on the subject describing why you think (maybe experimental results?) stir plates are unnecessary (potentially harmful?) and what your recommended method is without the benefit of owning an orbital shaker?

I did the search as recommended but mostly found a bunch of posts that seem to be referring to other posts that I haven't located yet.

I wish I knew about this shaker thing a few months ago. My old biotech company finally bit the dust and I'm sure I could have bought a shaker for peanuts.

See page 7 of this thread https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=21705.msg276016#msg276016
The takeaway is that Mark sees stressed, continually aerated wort as a bad thing and that a healthy pitch of the entire starter which was aerated thoroughly at the beginning and pitched at high kreusen is better.

And, other people see more yeast growth with a stir plate and also prefer decanting, not pitching a large percentage of starter wort into a batch of beer.

That is still my main issue and why I choose to decant before pitching. 

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2015, 03:42:22 PM »
See page 7 of this thread https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=21705.msg276016#msg276016
The takeaway is that Mark sees stressed, continually aerated wort as a bad thing and that a healthy pitch of the entire starter which was aerated thoroughly at the beginning and pitched at high kreusen is better.

Actually, that's an incorrect takeaway.  A stir plate provides inadequate aeration if operated at a speed low enough to prevent shear stress (perform a Google search using the terms "magnetic stirrer" and "shear stress"), and if operated at a speed high enough to add significant O2 to a culture results in shear stress being placed on the cells, which is why cultures that are stirred fast enough to create a vortex smell foul.  Physics prevents a culture in an Erlenmeyer flask from receiving O2 after it starts outgassing because gas pressure is highest at the mouth of the flask.   

With that said, stir plates and orbital shakers are completely unnecessary in a home brewery (I purchased my orbital shaker for experimental reasons).  A better investment is an O2 diffusion stone and a source of O2.   Brewing yeast cells will grow to fit their environment if given enough O2 and carbon (sugar is carbon bound to water; hence, the term carbohydrate).   Most brewing yeast cultures do not need to be stirred because viable cells naturally remain in suspension due to something known as NewFlo flocculation.  NewFlo strains do not aggregate until glucose, mannose, maltose, sucrose, and maltotriose have reached genetically set levels; hence, most brewing cultures do not need to be stirred  to keep the cells in suspension.

As I have mentioned many times before, my method is a low cost, low-tech way to produce a healthy yeast culture. I did not set out to create a low cost, low-tech method for making healthy starters.  It was a case of serendipity.  I was preparing starters using English measurements at that point in time. I made one quart starters in a 48oz glass Ocean Spray Cranberry juice bottle.  I went to make a starter and noticed that the bottle was cracked, so I decided to use a 1-gallon glass jug that I used to make mead for my starter.  Shaking until the culture was almost completely foam was the result of being strong at that point in my time due to spending my teenage and my twentysomething years in the gym.  I used the method for several years before it dawned on me why starters made in the 1-gallon jug worked better than those made in a 48oz container.  The reason is foam.  It is easier to make 1 quart of wort expand into foam in a 1 gallon container than it is in a 48oz container, and wort in gas-liquid foam form has a much higher specific area surface than wort in liquid form, which leads to increased O2 pickup.  In essence, my method is a poor man's O2 injection system.

Offline denny

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Re: Stir Plates
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2015, 03:58:01 PM »
I think "completely unnecessary" is a personal choice.  I made starters for many years using the method you describe.  It worked fine.  But I find I get better results using a stir plate, so for me it's not "completely unnecessary".  If it ever dies, I'll go back to the shaking method.
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