Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster

When I started to brew in early 1993, no one I knew used a stir plate. That count included all of the hardcore amateur brewers I knew at that point in time and throughout my first pass through the hobby.  I brewed all-grain beer and maintained a yeast bank on agar slants for over a decade before taking a hiatus to focus on my family.  When I came back to the hobby in 2013, everyone was using a stir plate and proclaiming that a stir plate was a “must have” if one was going to make starters.  My experience with yeast cultures did not align with this assertion.  However, being inquisitive, I played along and purchased a stir plate and bar.  The performance of my cultures did not match what was promised. The media was so foul smelling after turning off the stir plate that I ditched it and went back to my old way of making a starter. 

This blog entry covers yeast propagation in general, claims made by proponents of stir plates, and my method of making and handling a starter.  My method is not the do all, be all yeast starter method, but it provides a simpler, lower cost way of making a starter that performs just as well, if not better than one made using a stir plate.

Episode 121 - A Wee Cider

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We're back! And this time, it's tasting time as Denny drops one of the oddest beers he's known for on Drew's palate - the infamous Wee Shroomy, a Chanterelle infused Wee Heavy. It's rich and fruity and surprising. Drew also tries Denny's pink hued Crabapple cider. All that and the news!

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YCH Hop & Brew School® Giveaway!

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Want to ask a hop/harvest question and not only get it answered by professionals, but also win a chance at getting a YCH Swag Pack? 

Submit your question by September 18th (https://www.experimentalbrew.com/yakima)

Denny and Drew will be holding an hour long panel on September 25th at 4PM PT. Hop & Brew School is virtual this year and free! Details at http://hopandbrewschool.com

 

Brew Files - Episode 90 - Scott's Hops, Part 1

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The Brew is Out There!  

In this first part of America's favorite topic, Drew talks with Scott Janish about his fascination with the leafy green beer herb and the newly emerging (and sometimes forgotten) science of hops. (and where to find more information for yourself!)

Links:

Scott Janish - http://scottjanish.com/

Episode 120 - The Answer is Brewing in the Wind

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We're back! And as is always the case for the 12th show of a cycle, we make like Carnac the Magnificent by way of the Tappet Brothers. We've got a whole field of q's to run through, so let's get to it! (And don't forget you can always give us more info and ask us more questions at [email protected]!)

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Episode 119 - A Whole Bunch of Brewing

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As we prep for the online version of HomeBrewCon, it's time for Denny and Drew to sit down and talk the results of their various brewing projects and new brewing toys and things for you to watch/listen to! Any fails? Any great successes? You'll just have to listen!

And don't forget to join us online for HomeBrewCon!

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Brew Files - Episode 88 - Julian's IPAs

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The Brew is Out There!  

Julian Shrago has made a name for himself as he transitioned from award winning homebrewer to award winning brewer at Beachwood Brewing. A big portion of that reputation has been built on a broad swath of well crafted beers, particularly his IPA's. What makes Julian's IPAs his? Sit back and listen!

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Episode 118 - The New Squad

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While everything else is in turmoil - the AHA membership elected 5 new members to the Governing Committee. Drew sits down and talks with Amy, Annie, Cassie, Chris and Gail about what makes them tick as homebrewers. We also talk with Gary Glass, who might need to be promoted to co-host, about the online version of HomebrewCon now that we know Nashville can't happen (yet!) 

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Brew Files - Episode 87 - Crafty Guile Brewing

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The Brew is Out There!  

Peter just can't stop writing about beer! Inspired by a Proustian recollection of his Cornish youth, his third book - Guile Brews - explores the endlessly fascinating process of Guile (or Gyle) Brewing. It's not nearly as simple as we're usually taught! Listen to hear some of the tricks and the reasons for doing Guile brewing and pick up Peter's book!

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Episode 116 - A Non-STA1 Saison

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As our time apart grows, our chance to explore and brew comes alive. We explore not only the brews and news, but the new as White Labs has unleashed a Non-STA1 Saison blend on the world. Drew talks with Kara Taylor, Head of Laboratory Innovation about STA-1, what has people concerned and how best to play with this new yeast blend!

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Episode 115 - Crossing Paths With Allagash

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We hear all the time that local is best and in these weird times, maybe that's true. We sit down with Gary Glass to talk about how to support your local homebrew supplier and brewery and then we talk to Patrick Chavanelle, Allagash Brewing's R&D Brewery about Crosspath, the brewery's first organic and local ale. Is it hype? Nope!

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Brew Files - Episode 84 - Gluten Free Brian

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The Brew is Out There!  

Right now, everyone is scared of something invisible that can cause us great harm, but what if beer was in that same group? Drew sits down with "Gluten Free Beer Brian" Newscomb to talk about just ho to tackle the tast of making beer with no barley, wheat, oats or rye. It gets tricky, but the results are tasty!

 Links

Episode 114 - Seaworthy PilPalSon

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Beer tasting on the high seas. (Ok, on the Puget Sound)  Denny, Drew and Tony O are joined by Annie (on a ferry) to taste the results of the beer we brewed back in Episode 106 - the world famous, game changing PilPalSon! We taste them side by side and talk what we liked about each of them. We also talk shutdowns, memorials and what Drew is planning on doing with almost a ton of grain and what Denny's doing with poor defenseless mushrooms! 

Brew Files - Episode 83 - Anonymous Saison

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The Brew is Out There!  

Drew joined Steve Lembrée and John Sather of Brewer's Anonymous at Orlando Homebrew Supplies as they brewed a Saison on Steve's Brewzilla. They talk about the beer, the club and how this brand new group won the Floriida Homebrew Club of the Year Award for 2019.

Links

https://brewersanonymous.org/

Episode 113 - Awesome Club of Saison

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Homebrew clubs are awesome and we can prove it! Entering it's 6th year, the American Homebrewer's Association's Radegast Club of the Year Award seeks to recognize the crazy amazing things they do. We talk with the AHA's Matt Bollng about the award and how your club can win! And we dig into a bunch of Saison info as well as the beer news and brewing fun!

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