Gowanus Brewery


Using the New Stir Plate by Jeremy
May 31, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: equipment, yeast

The stir plate worked, but I need to fine-tune how I use it.

It lacks the power of a commercial stir plate, so I can’t get a vigorous stir when the 500 and 1000 mL flasks are full. That reduces the amount of oxygen I can pull from the air in the flask to the wort. It has more than enough power, though, to keep the yeast suspended and the wort well-mixed after that. Still, in the future, I’ll shoot to fill these things to only 3/4 capacity.

To begin, I stirred the wort at full speed before and after pitching the yeast to maximize the oxygen exchange. Once fermentation became noticeable, I stirred the starters only once a day to keep the beer evenly mixed. I noticed that, at least for the 1000 mL starter, which I let ferment out over about 3 days, that foaming would subside in between mixings and restart afterwards. That makes me think it was helpful to some extent, but not more than a vigorous shaking would be.

I have to do some follow-up homework here because at this point I don’t see how this setup is more beneficial than shaking the starter by hand vigorously before and after pitching the yeast and then once a day afterwards. The only thing I can do with the stir plate that I can’t do by hand is to leave it on throughout fermentation, which I didn’t experiment with.

Anybody have any information on this?

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