Saturday, 16 June 2012

Home-made Stir Plate

Home-made Stir Plate

It's gadget month I guess, so I thought I'd share my favourite...
Pictured is a 9 month old 10mL vial of 1469 West Yorkshire Ale. It was stepped up using 150mL then 450mL of wort. This is 1600mL, the final step of the starter.

My stir plate is easily my favourite gadget. In fact, I've made two! The beers I have made using yeast coming off the stir plate have all had very short lag times, in one case it was less than 6 hours.

I'll go into a little bit of detail here on how I made it. Bear in mind, it is not the only way to go.

Firstly, the idea came about from a post by Wolfy on AHB. Click on the link to see how little skill you need to make a simple stir plate.

The parts where quite easy to obtain on the interwebs.
  1. Fan - Thermaltake 120mm Smart Case Fan II (AF0022)        $15 or so
       I got mine from, but you can get yours any old how. Here is one for $5 cheaper     
       than mine
       I recommend finding a fan with speed control so you can easily adjust the speed of the stir
  2. Case - Jiffy Box from                                           $16 inc. postage
       Dick Smith were over 50% cheaper than Jaycar for basically the identical item. Go there.
  3. Magnets - Keg King                                                              $3 each
       I got mine from Keg King - four of them. Get five so you can use the extra one to fish the stir    
       bar out of the flask.
  4. Stir Bars - Various sizes from 25mm to 40mm                        $3.50 to $5.00 each
        I found some quite cheap from Science Supply Australia in Mitcham. Give them a call.
  5. Power Supply                                                                        $3.00
        I got mine from an old Croatian fella at Cheltenham Flea Market. Anything that is 12v and
        more than 300mA will suffice
  6. Power oulet - to fit power supply plug                                    $3.00
        From Jaycar
Optional Parts
The following are no where near as vital as those above, but I got them to make mine a little more professional.

  1. Pot - 10KOhm                                                                       $ 2.00
        I got this so I could mount the speed control to the box. If you were looking to do it a bit
        easier, just stick with the factory supplied pot.
  2. Control Knob - to fit the larger pot                                          $1.00
        From Jaycar
  3. Switch                                                                                    $2.50
        I was sick of having to turn the power off at the wall each time the stir bar was thrown off.
       From Jaycar.
Putting it together was fairly easy. If you follow the instructions in the link, you'll be fine.

All up it cost roughly $50 to make, not including the stuff that I had already such as the stir bars etc. As said above, it can be done cheaper but I was after something that would last a bit longer.

Here are some more pictures for y'all.

This is about quarter speed (from memory) with just under 500mL of water
Here's about half speed. The vortex is just about at the bar. Every now and then, it will hit the bar sending air into the solution.
Full speed.
A view from above at full speed.
As mentioned above, this is using a almost 9 month old vial of 10mL West Yorkshire Ale.
An hour later, after finishing the post.

Edit: Here's  a picture of it later that night. Should be healthy enough for 10L of Amber Ale wort I'd say.




Mikko Pludra said...


Wolf said...

"Click on the link to see how little skill you need to make a simple stir plate."
... I'm not sure if I should be insulted by that comment or not. :)

But for those who do not have an AHB login, my build method is also on my blog:

Anonymous said...

Don't take offence as it only suggests that it's within everyone ability,if only they tried.
Your own blog looks great with excellent content and I know there's a few of us who are keeping an eye on your brew build at the moment.
Thanks - Phil

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