Anyone who intends to start their own homebrewing operation to craft their own beer will need a yeast starter kit of some sort. This is great for you if you are only beginning your journey to homebrewing your own beer, but store-bought yeast starter packs are very limited and won’t allow you to experiment with a lot of different strains – this is where the best stir plate of 2020 can come in handy.
With this type of tool at your disposal, you no longer have to concern yourself about the limited selection of yeast starters available at the local store. You are able to utilize a variety of yeast strains in order to build your own yeast fermentation, which will then be used to help you create a variety of craft beers at home. A stir plate can be very affordable if you do your research well and can be an exceptionally useful component in your homebrew operation.
We’ve researched and discovered the seven top-rated stir plate, as well as the worst one to avoid.
Reviews of the 7 Best Stir Plate, Plus the Worst 1 to Avoid
1. Northern Brewer Maelstrom Stir Plate Feast Propagation Review
After some careful consideration, we decided to award the number one spot on our list, or the best stir plate of 2020, to the Northern Brewer Maelstrom Stir Plate Feast Propagation. This one was specifically designed for homebrewing, which means you are not buying a generic product that was made to be used for various purposes. The stirring speed can be adjusted between five settings, ranging from 480 RPM all the way up to 1440 RPM. The product is also compatible with larger volumes of yeast starter and comes included with a stir bar that ensures stirring can occur continuously without any interferences.
2. Magnetic Stirrer Magnetic Mixer With Stir Bar Review
The best stir plate for yeast in the case where you might be a little short on cash to buy one of the more expensive options out there is the Magnetic Stirrer Magnetic Mixer With Stir Bar, a product by the INTLLAB brand. While this option is made for various purposes, it serves great as a stir bar for setting up your own yeast starter at home. One particularly impressive feature we want to note here is the fact that this stir bar is made from a stainless steel plate, which offers exceptional quality and makes the product more durable for continued use.
If you are looking for the best stir plate for brewing and you have a larger budget for this particular product, then you should consider the Fristaden Lab SH-2 Laboratory Magnetic Stirrer. This might be another option built for multiple purposes, but there are very few alternative options that come with such exceptional quality. The product also has dual control heating features and can be set to stir at a speed of up to 1600 RPM. You can place a yeast starter with a volume of up to five liters on this particular stir plate. The device also comes with a useful one year warranty for added convenience.
4. Anzeser Lab SH-2 Magnetic Stirrer Hot Plate Review
The Anzeser Lab SH-2 Magnetic Stirrer Hot Plate is the best stir plate for yeast starters if you are looking for a product that can give you a slightly faster-stirring speed than many of the alternatives out there. This stir plate can stir at speeds of up to 2000 RPM. It comes with a built-in hot plate that features 180W heating power and can heat to temperatures of 350 degrees Celsius, which you can manually adjust, of course. The product is made from quality materials and is also portable, ensuring you can take it with you to a different area if you wish to continue your yeast starter preparation there.
5. JoanLab SH-2 Integrated Magnetic Stirrer with Analog Hot Plate Review
The JoanLab SH-2 Integrated Magnetic Stirrer with Analog Hot Plate is another option that is certainly not cheap, but rather made from quality materials in order to ensure you get a product that will last a more significant period of time. This stir plate has an integrated magnetic stirrer and comes with analog dials to ensure you can have complete control over the hot plate. You can also adjust the stirring speed based on the particular yeast strain that you are using, with speeds varying from 100 RPM up to 1400 RPM. The stir plate comes included with a stir bar (30mm) and a thermometer support stand.
6. Faithful SH-3 Lab Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate Review
The next stir plate that we want to share with you is the Faithful SH-3 Lab Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate. This is another one that was not specifically made for your homebrew setup, but rather for multiple purposes, yet it can be an ideal solution for you if you wish to create a high-quality yeast starter from a specific strain. The product is compatible with yeast starters up to the volume of five liters. You can adjust the stirring speed according to your requirements, which can vary between 100 and 2000 RPM. The main material used in the construction of this stir plate is aluminum, providing exceptional quality and durability as well.
7. HYCC MX-3K Laboratory Magnetic Stirrer Review
Finally, the last stir plate that we want to share on our list of the best ones that you can buy right now is the HYCC MX-3K Laboratory magnetic Stirrer. While not made specifically for homebrew operations, this multi-functional stir plate is an ideal product if you wish to create your own yeast starter without spending too much on a product like a stir plate. You can pick up this one for less than $35, and it comes with a range of convenient features, such as the ability to adjust the stirring speed between 100 RPM and 3000 RPM.
Avoid – YaeCCC Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate With Heating Plate Review
While we did focus primarily on the seven top options on the market when looking to buy a stir plate for homebrewing, we also want to take just a quick moment to share one of the worst stir plate on the market with you as well. The YaeCCC Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate with Heating Plate might seem like an ideal option for many people who are only starting out with their own homebrew operation – it is, after all, one of the cheaper options that you are going to find on the market.
Unfortunately, this particular option is not as useful as you might think. The YaeCCC Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate seems to be a cheap option that does not come with all the useful features you would find on a better quality option. Additionally, the product is not made from the same sturdy materials as most of the other options that we have shared with you.
2020 Buyers Guide to the Best Stir Plate:
Once you have decided that you wish to start making your own yeast starters for your craft beer, then you will probably want to buy a stir plate in order to make the process faster and more convenient, as well as more effective, of course. The only problem is, there are many of these devices out there on the market, and they are not all equally effective at helping you make the task of creating your own yeast starter more convenient and easier.
We looked at quite a lot of these stir plates to come up with the list that we have shared with you above. Now, we also want to share a couple of points that we considered crucial during our filtering process. When you take these points into consideration while looking for an ideal homebrew stir plate, the process will be faster, and you’ll be able to find that perfect one for your homebrew operation without as much effort.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Quality: When you start to look at the various stir plates that are out there on the market, we urge you to take the quality of each product into account and also consider this the main priority that you should look at when you are struggling to choose the best product to add to your homebrew operation. There are so many of these devices out there, yet many of them are made from poor quality materials, inadequate programming technology, and sometimes by brands who do not even have experience in the field. There’re a few ways that you can ultimately determine the overall quality of a stir plate that you might be interested in. Take a look at the materials used to design the product itself. Not all of the products will provide you with an extensive overview regarding the materials used in the plate’s design. In these cases, it might be a good idea to look at the brand that manufactures the plate, as well as considers any reviews that have been left on the product’s page at the website where you wish to buy the product. If you are looking to buy one locally, then you could search for the specific brand and model on the internet and see what people are saying in reviews before going out to a local shop to buy the plate. A simple search on the internet for the brand that manufactures the stir plate can sometimes also offer you valuable information regarding the authority and trustworthiness of the brand. In many cases, you might find the brand listed on a website that focuses on reviews surrounding the brand’s products in general. You’ll be able to determine if you could trust the brand or not by taking a look at what others have to say about products they purchased from the brand in the past.
- Features: You should also take a close look at what specific features the stir plate you are interested in offers. In most cases, you’ll find mentions like “magnets” and “programmable interface” on these products. Both of these features are essential for creating your own yeast starters at home. Take a look at the type of magnets that the product comes with. You should prefer a stir plate with powerful magnets, along with an appropriate stir bar, in order to ensure rotation can be present continuously, which will ultimately give you a much better quality yeast starter at the end of the day. Also, consider the speed settings that are available on the stir plate you wish to buy. These products tend to offer varying speed settings that can be selected from – you need one that can provide you with adequate speed for the specific type of yeast strain that you wish to use for your yeast starter. The speed is measured in RPM. The last type of feature to consider is the supported volume of yeast starter. These products vary a lot in the supported volume. Some will only provide an adequate solution for less than a gallon, while others will allow you to use over five gallons at a time.
- Price: Don’t forget also to take your budget into account when you start to shop for a stir plate. Homebrewing can be a costly operation to get started with, so you should be sure that you can adjust your budget accordingly in order to fit in a stir plate. While buying a stir plate will be more expensive in the beginning than going out to the shop and buying a simple yeast starter that has already been made, in the end, it will save you time and allow you to be more creative. In addition to you considering your own budget, you should also take a look at the price of each product that you might be interested in. Don’t opt for the cheapest one just because you are running low on cash – rather save up and buy one that will give you the performance and quality you need, even if it is a little more expensive. While it is important not to simply choose the cheapest one you can find, you should also avoid opting for the larger and more expensive varieties of stir plates. These are usually more appropriate for people who are brewing beer for a more professional reason, such as to bottle and sell at a market or local stores.
What is a stir plate and how does it work?
A stir plate is a crucial component of a homebrew operation in certain cases, but not always. For most beginners who are trying to make their very first batch of beer at home, a stir plate is often the last thing that they want to invest in. When you are inexperienced and first want to get your toes wet, it is usually a much better idea to visit a store in your local area and pick up a pre-made yeast starter.
The yeast starter can be used immediately, and the fermentation process can commence.
In cases where you want to be more specific with the types of beer you wish to brew and the particular strains of yeast you want to use in your beers, then a stir plate is a device that you really want to consider buying.
A stir plate is a relatively small electronic product that has a strong magnet at the top. The plate uses this technology in order to create a rotation for the yeast starter that you have mixed within a bowl at the top. The bowl should be compatible with the particular homebrew stir plate that you have selected – some of these products tend to come with an appropriate bowl that perfectly fits on top.
In most cases, the bowl might also be lined with a magnetic plate at the bottom, or sometimes rather a stir bar. The magnetic force from the stir plate will then connect with the magnetic force of the internal plate in order to create the continuous rotation.
How is a stir plate used for homebrewing?
A stir plate is a relatively simple product to use for a homebrewing operation. In addition to the actual stir plate, you will also need an appropriate bowl that is fitted with either a magnetic plate or opt for a stir plate that comes with a stir bar, which is usually placed inside the bowl.
You will then need to mix your yeast starter in the bowl. This is usually done by combining water or another substance, depending on how you are going to be growing your yeast starter, in the bowl, along with the actual yeast strains.
Once mixed, the bowl is placed on top of the stir bar, and the device is then activated. A continuous stirring motion will then commence until you stop the plate yourself. The motion will help to increase the rate at which the yeast on the inside of the mixture will reproduce, yielding your end product much faster than with other more traditional methods, such as by shaking a bottle once every few hours.
Homebrew 101: Making a Yeast Starter (Video):
Final Thoughts on Buying the Best Stir Plate:
Homebrewing beer holds a number of choices that you have to make, including whether or not you wish to utilize a yeast starter bought at a local supplies store, or rather make your own yeast starter. When you buy the best stir plate of 2020, you get a chance to experiment with many different yeast strains in order to create various forms of beer and to up your game in terms of developing your very own craft beer varieties.
After we looked at many options out there, we decided to share the top ones that you can choose from, along with one that is definitely worth your money or time. If you do not like any of the stir plates we shared in the post, then we also provided you with an overview of a basic process that you can use to ensure you buy the right product that won’t lead to disappointment.