Making a Stir Plate As a Home Brewing Aid
Making Homebrew Equipment on the Cheap
I found a new hobby today. As usual, I jump in with both feet and have to have everything. So I do some extensive research online through YouTube video tutorials and hobby forums as well as home brewing stores websites to see what is out there and what is needed to start the hobby.
One of the pieces of equipment that caught my eye is used as an aid for propagating yeast. A device used to automatically stir a yeast culture so as to introduce oxygen. Oxygen aids in yeast production, cutting down the wait times in brewing. That leads to faster alcohol production and a quicker end product which is the whole reason for the process.
Let's make a stir plate.
- 140 x140 mm computer case fans with speed control. ~ $14.95
- 12vdc power supply ~ $5 at second-hand store
- Plastic cheese cutting board ~ $2 at a dollar store
- 2 1/2 in machine screws and hardware.
- 2 neodymium magnets (rare earth magnets) - scrounged from an old hard-drive or bought for a few dollars at a hardware store.
- epoxy glue
- screw driver and wrench
- glue gun
- electrical tape
- soldering iron (optional)
- shrink tubing (optional)
In my bio, if you read it, it states I am interested in electronics so this is another reason I picked this project as my first one. My interests intersect. I dug through my box of old computer parts and came up with an old computer 140mm case fan with a 3 position speed switch, and 12 VDC power supply, some rubber case legs and some nuts bolts and washers.
I had to look around for some rigid plastic for a work surface. I found one in a small cheese cutting board. It fits the fan housing perfectly and even has a handle so the rig can be stored on a hook when not in use. I'll have to head to the dollar store and pick up a new replacement before my wife finds out.
Starter flask and stopper.
Magnetic Stir Bar
Using the Stir Plate
I use the stir plate for making a yeast starter for my cider and beer production. When using dry yeast, you can bloom the yeast in a flask a day ahead of your cider making for a couple of reasons:
- to test the viability of the yeast.
- to increase the amount and vigor of the yeast colony.
Adding a large colony of yeast to your brew will ensure the yeast overpowers and wild yeast in the mix and give you better, faster results
- Once your brew is finished you can reuse the yeast left in the bottom of your brew container. Use fresh yeast nutrient and increase the volume of viable yeast so you can separate the old spent yeast by alternately growing, settling and pouring off the viable yeast and throwing out the spent yeast. Going through a few cycles will leave you with clean viable yeast for your next batch of home brew.
You can use the stir plate for other things.... my wife uses it to clean her jewelry.
© 2017 Frost Birch