Author Topic: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster  (Read 5011 times)

Offline Kevin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Great beer. Less work. More fun.
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #75 on: September 30, 2020, 07:06:04 pm »
I've been using a stir plate for a while, and want to try the SNS method.  I normally use Wyeast and brew 5 to 6-gallon batches.  I wanted to know what others think of this as a plan to follow.  Excuse the detail; i have Engineer disease.

1) Put about a liter (or whatever amount BeerSmith3 indicates, depending upon the age of the yeast packet) of boiled and cooled Briess Golden Light dry malt extract and RO water with a gravity of about 1.035 into a sanitized glass container.  This would typically be done the day before brewing.
2) Place a sanitized stopper on the container and shake it vigorously to aerate the starter wort.  (I used to add oxygen, but will not for the SNS).
3) Pitch the sanitized yeast packet into the wort while it's within the correct pitching temperature range.  Swirl the mixture to mix it thoroughly.
4) Use a sanitized airlock and stopper to close off the container.  Watch for the peak in bubbling at the airlock, and foam on top of the mixture, to determine when it's at high Krausen.
5) Replace the airlock with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil at high Krausen, and move the container to a 40 degree refrigerator to slow down the yeast action.
6) In a day or two, on brew day, remove the container from the refrigerator and allow the starter to rise to room temperature.
7) Add oxygen to the brewing wort.  Swirl the starter mixture to suspend the sediment on the bottom, then pitch the entire content into the brewing wort.

Anything incorrect in my thinking?  Anything missing?  Any step that could be made easier by eliminating something that's unnecessary?

1) Forget what beersmith tells you about cell count. Just make enough starter medium so that it is 1/4 the volume of the vessel you are using.
2) Sounds good. 3) Sounds good.
4) Skip this. Just go right to #5 and cap the top with foil or an airlock.
6) A SNS starter will be ready well before a day or two unless you are talking about retarding the fermentation.
7) Yep. I've begun skipping the aeration part though unless I am making a high gravity beer.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
- Plato

Offline kpfoleyjr

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 81
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #76 on: September 30, 2020, 08:03:56 pm »
Okay, but it seems like “high Krausen” was mentioned a lot in the other posts - I thought it was important to be there, but didn’t know a good way to determine when it was occurring.  I thought with the airlock, I could easily see when the peak in bubbling happened, and with the foam on top, know it was at high Krausen.  Knowing the peak of high Krausen is the only thing I’m still unsure of . . .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1033
  • Deus ex machina
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #77 on: September 30, 2020, 09:18:11 pm »
Okay, but it seems like “high Krausen” was mentioned a lot in the other posts - I thought it was important to be there, but didn’t know a good way to determine when it was occurring.  I thought with the airlock, I could easily see when the peak in bubbling happened, and with the foam on top, know it was at high Krausen.  Knowing the peak of high Krausen is the only thing I’m still unsure of . . .

High krausen is when the top of the starter media or wort becomes completely covered with a foam head.   Low krausen is when patches of foam appear on top the starter media or wort.  If you start to see low krausen appearing and you need more than a few hours to complete making a batch of wort, just stick the starter in a refrigerator.  If you are using a container with a screw-on lid, there is no need for a stopper and airlock.  All you need to do is loosen the lid after shaking and inoculating the starter wort.  Nothing is going to get into your starter because microflora does not crawl.  It rides on house dust.  In fact, I would recommend against filling an airlock on a starter.  You want as little resistance as possible to out-gassing.  Usually, an SNS starter will reach high krausen within 12 hours, sometimes sooner.  You want to pitch the starter no latter than six hours after high krausen has been reached for optimal performance, but different yeast cultures work at different rates; therefore, experience with a yeast culture and the method is the best teacher.

Offline kpfoleyjr

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 81
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #78 on: October 01, 2020, 03:18:57 am »
Thanks, I’ll do that and will probably use an Erlenmeyer flask with a foam stopper.  Looking forward to this and seeing how well it performs.

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1033
  • Deus ex machina
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #79 on: October 01, 2020, 11:11:35 pm »
Thanks, I’ll do that and will probably use an Erlenmeyer flask with a foam stopper.  Looking forward to this and seeing how well it performs.

Do you have access to a 5L Erlenmeyer flask?  It is not something that I would recommend due to the conical shape of an Erlenmeyer flask, but a 5L flask should do the trick.  You just need a solid stopper as well as need to hold the stopper tightly when shaking.  If you do not have 5L Erlenmeyer, you can forget about using it for SNS.

Online tommymorris

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3153
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #80 on: October 01, 2020, 11:32:38 pm »
My experience is that after shaking the starter like it owes me money a large head of foam appears immediately. That foam doesn’t subside before low or high krausen. As such, I can never tell how far a long the process actually is. So, I just wing it.

Offline kpfoleyjr

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 81
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #81 on: October 01, 2020, 11:55:30 pm »
I do have a 5L Erlenmeyer flask, but after seeing your comment, I will use a 5L cylindrical glass Pyrex jug and stopper that I bought at a flea market for $2.  I’ve used it previously for larger starters.  Thanks for the follow-up tip.

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1033
  • Deus ex machina
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #82 on: October 02, 2020, 09:31:49 pm »
A solid stopper is only needed during the shake.  I would put a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with alcohol or sanitizer over the mount of the flask after the wort has been shaken and inoculated.

Offline Kevin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Great beer. Less work. More fun.
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #83 on: October 03, 2020, 03:05:15 am »
I do have a 5L Erlenmeyer flask, but after seeing your comment, I will use a 5L cylindrical glass Pyrex jug and stopper that I bought at a flea market for $2.  I’ve used it previously for larger starters.  Thanks for the follow-up tip.

Just buy a gallon jug of wine. Drink the wine. Use the jug for SNS starters.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
- Plato

Offline BaseWerks Brewing

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 83
  • Follow me on Instagram -- @BaseWerksBrewing
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #84 on: December 03, 2020, 08:14:18 pm »
If I'm doing a 10 gallon batch I need 2 quarts of starter, correct?  Would it be best to split the yeast packet between two one quart starters or make one two quart starter?  Do I need to increase it for a big beer?  1.10+ 
Andy K
Follow me on Instagram -- @BaseWerksBrewing

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 24643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #85 on: December 03, 2020, 08:30:35 pm »
If I'm doing a 10 gallon batch I need 2 quarts of starter, correct?  Would it be best to split the yeast packet between two one quart starters or make one two quart starter?  Do I need to increase it for a big beer?  1.10+

I have done 12 gal. of a 1.060ish beer by splitting a qt. between 2 6 gal. ferments
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline BaseWerks Brewing

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 83
  • Follow me on Instagram -- @BaseWerksBrewing
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #86 on: December 03, 2020, 09:09:32 pm »
Sweet, what do I need to do for bigger beers? Should I stick to 2 quarts for that?  I'm planning to brew a barleywine soon.
Andy K
Follow me on Instagram -- @BaseWerksBrewing

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 24643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #87 on: December 03, 2020, 09:19:46 pm »
Sweet, what do I need to do for bigger beers? Should I stick to 2 quarts for that?  I'm planning to brew a barleywine soon.

In that case, I brew a lower gravity beer first and use the slurry from that.  I've done that from before the days of SNS.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell