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Mr Malty

This is pretty much the theory and practice that I subscribe to.

[quote=“Dean Palmer”]Most people who have problems with cracked flasks have used them on electric coil stoves with no diffuser and/or have shocked the hell out of them by placing them from hot stove into cool water multiple times which weakens the glass. Rare that the flask is to blame, very very rare.

As for Mr. Malty, as others have said it is an excellent reference. It gets you closer to optimum than anything else, but as always it isn’t the last word. It’s a fine line between making good beer and making consistently excellent beer, and the yeast can make that difference.[/quote]

Maybe partially true, but not the case every time. Just read some of the reviews on this site for those flasks. It’s the same story over and over again. I boil my starter wort in a small asparagus steamer pot (it’s tall and thin). Then cool it down by putting that pot in a larger one filled with ice water. When it gets to the proper pitching temp, I then pour it into the flask, pitch the yeast and then onto the stir plate. Mine didn’t crack until after I cleaned and a let it sit out to air dry.

[quote=“Dean Palmer”]Most people who have problems with cracked flasks have used them on electric coil stoves with no diffuser and/or have shocked the hell out of them by placing them from hot stove into cool water multiple times which weakens the glass. Rare that the flask is to blame, very very rare.

As for Mr. Malty, as others have said it is an excellent reference. It gets you closer to optimum than anything else, but as always it isn’t the last word. It’s a fine line between making good beer and making consistently excellent beer, and the yeast can make that difference.[/quote]

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/revi ... er-reviews

That’s actually for pitching rate suggestions, not for comparing the two calculators. Which are basically identical AFAICT.

[quote=“dobe12”][quote=“Vaughn_S”][quote=“mppatriots”]
I also hear that the yeast starter kits don’t have a very good quality flask as well and hence a more expensive alternative is needed.

Yeah, I know I’m probably over thinking this one.[/quote]

I don’t understand this part. Borosilicate glassware is borosilicate glassware. That said, you don’t have to use a flask, they’re just often used because the shape of the neck makes it easier to pour the contents out without it “glugging”. You could use a growler, a small bucket, a jug - the vessel doesn’t matter as long as it is sanitary.[/quote]

I understand completely. The erlenmyer flasks sold on our host’s site and others aren’t that reliable. The first I bought about a year ago and after only 3 uses it cracked. And when I say cracked, I mean I used it, cleaned it, laid it down on a towel on my kitchen counter to dry and then next morning there was a huge crack. So I emailed NB and they were gracious enough to ship me a new one. The new one broke too… ok, this time it was my fault. I tipped it over. Shattered everywhere and had a few nasty cuts on my hand (yes, I’m a jackhole and tried to catch it). So, for my third flask I went with Pyrex. 100x better. It just feels stronger and it’s been bumped and tipped over with no problem. I’ve had it for almost 8months now and have used it maybe 20x or more and not a single issue. So, I would go on amazon and look for a pyrex flask.[/quote]

Pyrex is just a brand of borosilicate glass. The material is exactly the same. No glass, no matter how tempered, responds well to rapid changes. Sometimes it may be an impurity that causes a break, but I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of the product as a whole.

[quote=“a10t2”][quote=“TG”]There is a nice graph of mrmalty vs wyeast on the 2nd page of this discussion: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/f … pic=9684.0[/quote]That’s actually for pitching rate suggestions, not for comparing the two calculators. Which are basically identical AFAICT.[/quote]Well, I can’t tell hide nor hair out of their pitching calculator (no recommendations at all on pitching rates, just a calculator). So this Wyeast info is probably what most homebrewers use. And they aren’t identical in any way as far as I can tell.

I’ll agree that the Wyeast calculator isn’t very useful. I was just saying that if you pick a standardized pitching rate (0.75 M/mL°P) it comes up with the same starter sizes as the MrMalty calculator for a given wort volume/gravity.

I’m sure that the Wyeast/White Labs recommendations are what most home brewers use. One pack/vial in a 5 gal batch.

[/quote]

Pyrex is just a brand of borosilicate glass. The material is exactly the same. No glass, no matter how tempered, responds well to rapid changes. Sometimes it may be an impurity that causes a break, but I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of the product as a whole.[/quote]

So all the bad reviews are wrong? I had two of the flasks from NB. I’ve had one pyrex flask that I found on amazon. The pyrex flask I bought is substantially stronger. You can feel it in the weight. Not trying to bash anyone or any product here. Just stating my own experiences.

Isn’t it plausible that the borosilicate glassware made with the Pyrex brand has different quality controls and is more defect free than the unbraded ones? I bought two of the cheapo flasks from a lab supply and noticed a few small air bubbles in one and a star-shaped crack in the other, direct from the manufacturer. I’m not saying this is the case with NB flasks per se, but it seems that possible that manufacturers could distinguish their product with better QC, even if the material is identical.

[quote=“a10t2”]I’m sure that the Wyeast/White Labs recommendations are what most home brewers use. One pack/vial in a 5 gal batch.[/quote]And it’s likely one of the top reasons that a lot of homebrewers can’t make beer better than they can buy…

I also have been wondering about the thickness of the glass of a generic brand versus a brand like pyrex. It seem pretty plausible that they could be made from the same materials but one fails more often due to using less material and having thinner walls.

Again, I’m not trying to bash any specific company or product, but the Pyrex brand flask I have now is significantly stronger than the ones I got from our host’s site. I will say when the first one broke (while sitting on the counter drying) NB’s customer service was extremely helpful and sent me a new one right away. Top notch customer service! The second flask broke when I tipped it over… totally my fault… but it barley tipped over. It didn’t come crashing down. I didn’t ask for a replacement since this was completely my fault. But, this time I went with a Pyrex brand and it’s lasted 8months now with no issues. And it honestly just feels like stronger or thicker glass.

Isn’t it plausible that the borosilicate glassware made with the Pyrex brand has different quality controls and is more defect free than the unbraded ones? I bought two of the cheapo flasks from a lab supply and noticed a few small air bubbles in one and a star-shaped crack in the other, direct from the manufacturer. I’m not saying this is the case with NB flasks per se, but it seems that possible that manufacturers could distinguish their product with better QC, even if the material is identical.[/quote]

Yes that is possible. Sorry for derailing, guys. :cheers:

+1 Experience is the mother of changed behavior. Ask me how I know. All right then, I’ll tell you. After too many years of following WY/WLP general info on pitching rates (and ferment temps for that matter), and LHBS or literature confirmation that is ok, my success rate for clean tasting, defect-free beer was not much better than ~50%.

Once I started following Mr. Malty recommended pitching rates, or at least close to the exact recommendation, coupled with dialed in ferment temp control, plus professional grade sanitation practices at every step on the cold side, my success rate has been more like 95% for a number of years… and the 5% has generally been from letting ferment temps get too high within the first couple/few days of the ferment. And my sanitation was pretty darn good from the start.

Of course I’ve read/listened to, and refer back to, a number of additional other reference sources, all of which emphasize the significant importance of maintaining healthy, abundant, environmentally accomodated populations of yeast during fermentation.

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