yeast starter question

I was going to for the first time get a partial mash kit with a yeast starter.
I read some of the reviews of the yeast starter kit and it says that beaker is very fragile if you heat it on an electric stove. I have to use electric so I’m wondering what the alternatives might be for the beaker?

Also I was wondering if you really need a stir plate or not?

Also do you mostly need yeast starters for higher gravity beers? Or do they also have a big benefit the lower gravity ones also?

Heat it in a pot, then transfer to the sanitized flask. Stir plates help, but are not required. Just swirl it as often as you can. Take a look at pitching rates for the specified gravity. Starters are not required, but will improve the beer without having to spend $60 on multiple yeast packs.

Just use a funnel to pour it from a pot to your flask.

I made my stirplate, just google DIY stirplate or check the DIY section of this forum and you’ll find instructions. I have absolutely zero experience with electronics but was able to figure this out pretty well and after almost a year of use it has not malfunctioned and burned down the house. Basically connecting wires from a phone charger to a on/off switch to a computer fan with a magnet on it and then attaching that inside some kind of box. Easy enough.

I too am stuck with an electric coil stove. So to protect the flask and avoid having to use another pot, I use my backpacking stove to do the boil. (Similar to this:
) Works great.

I put my flask right on the electric stove element. It did fine.

Ive been using starters for my last two batches and keep hearing great things about them. Just a suggestion but check out these two sites.

One for making starters…

Just click on yeast tools and then put in ur variables (i.e. OG, type of yeast, type of starter, etc).

And then check this out if ur considering a stir plate.

I could have made my own but i’ve read about people not putting the magnets on correctly and then throwing the stir bar around. This guy makes them all from his garage, shipping is included in the price and he includes a stir bar and a magnet to hold the stir bar on the inside of the flask while u pitch it to the carboy. Guy has been home brewing for years and makes a great product and for the money, I don’t think u can go wrong.

Hope it helps!

I use a small canning rack over the burner so that the flask is not in direct contact with the burner, but is approximately 1/4 inch above. Been doing this for several years and haven’t broke one yet.

I simply boil in a pot and pour into a flask. Very easy

Though getting harder to find full, I prefer an apple juice jug. Larger, more durable and less expensive than a flask. You may find some wine in a large jug also.

If you have a local HB store you should be able to purchase one there. Or order from NB.

My homemade stir plate work fine with the little dome in the jug.

I cannot get my jug to work on my stir plate. just not powerful enough I guess

Just a note of caution - flasks will be made of lab-quality glass (Pyrex, Kimax, etc. borosilicate) which is much more resistant to heat shock than normal glass.
If you are heating in the jug, any sharp temp changes can cause it to shatter, possibly spilling blood along with your starter.

I have boiled in my flask on a heated stir plate, then plunged directly into an ice bath to crash cool with no problems. That’s what it’s designed to do.

Safety first!

One would not pour hot wort into a glass carboy either. No where has anyone suggested placing a glass wine/apple juice jug on the stove and then plunging it into an ice bath.

They are simply as large, less costly and work just as well as a flask for fermenting a starter.

There are many post of lab quality flask breaking with gentle handling.

If one wishes to spend $50 for a 5000ml flask go ahead. I’ll spend $5 on a 1g jug.

Side note: 1 gallon jugs are great, but you can’t use a stirplate with them. Since I’ve bought my stirplate, I’ve never gone back to the jug. FWIW.