Homebrewing Reviews

Magnetic Stir Plate by SocalHomeBrew – Reviewed

Ready to step up your yeast game?

In our early days of homebrewing, we paid little attention to how much yeast we actually needed for proper fermentation. According to the American Homebrewers Association, a typical yeast package only includes 100 billion yeast cells. That’s only enough for 5 gallons of beer with an original gravity of 1.048. We’re not known for making low ABV beers so we were clearly underpitching. Once we realized the error of our ways, we had two options to achieve proper fermentation. 1. Add more yeast packages. 2. Start making yeast starters.

 

Part of the reason we got into homebrewing is so we could control as many aspects of the process as possible. So we decided to start making our own yeast starters. We didn’t want to half-ass this new aspect of our brewing process so opted for using a continuous stir plate. A quick search led us to this plate by SocialHomeBrew.

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Aluminum foil is a perfectly acceptable way to cover a yeast starter
3 years and 10+ brew days later I can happily say that this plate is exactly what we needed. While the manufactures specifications say it can handle up to 1L, we were able to fit a 2L flask with ease, as you can see above. I bought a separate stir bar but the one that comes with this plate did the job just fine, even with a large batch. If you do end up using a larger flask, just note that you won’t be able to utilize the stabilizing arm.

 

Since we switched to using yeast starters, our beers have fully fermented and we’ve actually saved some money since yeast packages can be pricey.

 

Happy Brewing!