Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:47 am

Trying to get on board with proper pitch rates and such. I know it's not strictly necessary, just looking to add another tool to my bag.

I'm brewing an extract version of Janet's Brown next (5gal) and per Mr. Malty, I either should be using 2.6 vials of WLP001 if no starter, or 1 vial with a stir plate and a bit less than 2 liters of starter wort.

So here's where I need some guidance. I can easily and cheaply make my own stir plate with a computer fan, cigar box and hard drive magnets. I have a 1 liter erlenmeyers flask already, but will need to upsize for larger starters. Those can get a little spendy, so should I just get one large one instead of buying a 2L and then finding out the next beer I want to do needs a 3.5L starter? What would you recommend as an good all purpose size? 5L?
If I go that big, is my little DIY stir plate going to be able to handle it? Are there any other DIY stir plate plans out there that cater to larger starters?
Given my desire to accomodate multiple starter sizes, should I incorporate a speed control?
Is this one of those projects where when all is said and done I'd have been better off just buying a pro model?
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Duzdisluk Infektid
 
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:02 pm

I've never needed one larger than my 2L. If I ever need a starter larger than that, say for a lager, I just make a 5-gallon "starter" and pitch the yeast cake.
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Elbone
 
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:44 pm

I use growlers, 1g growlers & 3g carboys for my starters. No stir plate, but I do like to give them a quick swirl every time I walk past.
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Ozwald
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:25 pm

Thanks guys.

I definitely want to go with a stir plate though. I don't have an o2 setup, so if I want to brew on Saturday, that means I'm readying a starter on Friday morning. The problem with that is that I'm gone for 10-12 hours at work, so the occasional rousing/shake is a no go.
I want to make sure I've got good o2 saturation in order to get the cell count/growth I'm after, but also to build up the yeasts energy stores and overall health.
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Duzdisluk Infektid
 
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:12 pm

I've got a DIY (case fan, hdd magnets and potentiometer) that spins a 5l just fine.
I'd go with a 5l, but source it locally to avoid ignorant shipping costs if I were you.

I often make 2l starters in the 5l flask to prevent blowoffs (hefe yeasts are idiots).
The only time I use my 2l flasks now is for 1-1.5l starters when stepping up older tubes of yeast.
The smallest starters I pitch in 5 gal batches are typically 2l.


Duzdisluk Infektid wrote:Thanks guys.

I definitely want to go with a stir plate though. I don't have an o2 setup, so if I want to brew on Saturday, that means I'm readying a starter on Friday morning. The problem with that is that I'm gone for 10-12 hours at work, so the occasional rousing/shake is a no go.
I want to make sure I've got good o2 saturation in order to get the cell count/growth I'm after, but also to build up the yeasts energy stores and overall health.
I'm sick of chasing my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
tlael
 
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:46 pm

Good to know tlael...Sounds like a plan. I'll just go with a 5 then.

On a nother note, you mentioned stepping up older cultures. Assuming it's been handled properly, I know you can estimate viability based on the date code/best by date. What's your viability percentage cutoff for doing this?

tlael wrote:I've got a DIY (case fan, hdd magnets and potentiometer) that spins a 5l just fine.
I'd go with a 5l, but source it locally to avoid ignorant shipping costs if I were you.

I often make 2l starters in the 5l flask to prevent blowoffs (hefe yeasts are idiots).
The only time I use my 2l flasks now is for 1-1.5l starters when stepping up older tubes of yeast.
The smallest starters I pitch in 5 gal batches are typically 2l.


Duzdisluk Infektid wrote:Thanks guys.

I definitely want to go with a stir plate though. I don't have an o2 setup, so if I want to brew on Saturday, that means I'm readying a starter on Friday morning. The problem with that is that I'm gone for 10-12 hours at work, so the occasional rousing/shake is a no go.
I want to make sure I've got good o2 saturation in order to get the cell count/growth I'm after, but also to build up the yeasts energy stores and overall health.
Corporal, BN ARMY

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Duzdisluk Infektid
 
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:21 pm

You are going to want speed control regardless.
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Re: Stir plate/starter advice please

Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:53 pm

Fermcap is a good idea, as well
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