I remember a time when i first started home brewing when I thought that home brewing may lead to me SAVING money! Oh how I was wrong. What I never took into account was my unending desire for the perfect beer and the number of products I would want to buy to help me achieve that goal.
The next thing in my list of unending purchases was a stir plate. If you don’t know, a stir plate is essentially that, a plate that will stir! Its purpose is to stir your yeast starter to ensure maximum yeast growth. Up until now i have been somewhat hesitant to use liquid yeast cultures as I didn’t have a stir plate and would need a pretty big yeast starter to get things going.
I was recently perusing my usual home-brew websites when I noticed a blog post from Digital Homebrew. You may recall I bought my font snake from these guys and have been really happy with the great products and stellar service. On the blog post, the owner explained that due to the ever declining Australian dollar, he has had to change the currency of the product to USD. This means the product was about to go up in cost reasonably substantially. This was incentive enough to pull the trigger and very soon I had a stir plate.
So is it any good? The first thing I did when I got it was obviously fill a glass with water and create a pretty impressive funnel. My wife looked at me like I was an idiot as I laughed a maniacal laugh reserved for those who have conjured the power to control the earth’s greatest resource, water. Once that fun was over, I quickly turned my mind to what to brew that would benefit from a yeast starter and a liquid yeast culture.
As this was leading up to Christmas and I had a few family members coming around who are exclusively lager drinkers, I thought a good lager was in order (as lagers need a heavy pitch of yeast). The yeast starter performed amazingly even in a 5L flask I bought for the lager starter. In fact, this thing is a little too powerful and I constantly had to keep winding back the power.
Could you build a stir plate cheaper? Most likely. Could I do so? Maybe not. Either way this has been a great purchase that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an out of the box solution.
If you have any questions on stir plates or brewing in general, feel free to pop them below. Until next week…