If you are searching for a way to bring your homebrewing to the next level, it is time to build a stir plate. A stir plate has one simple purpose…stir like a boss. There are plenty of commercial grade stir plates out there for $40-$200. That is nonsense and keeps you from enjoying the second best thing about homebrewing, building stuff.
To maximize yeast and fermentation, it is essential to make a starter. This will help the yeast get a head start and ferment better and faster. If you have no idea what a yeast starter is, Google it and return to this page afterwards.
What do you need?
Here is a quick 5 minute video that I made (after drinking three cans of Resin) showing the different parts and the wiring in my homemade stir plate. I am sure I forgot some things in the video but you will get the idea. That is all that matters.
DIY - Build A Homemade Stir Plate In Minutes
The photo tutorial:
Use your circle cutter/hole saw and cut a hole in the top of your cigar box. This is one of my finished boxes. You have to make sure it is in the dead center. You will mount a fan here.
You will need a rare earth magnet. These can be removed from an old hard drive. Just look for this piece and remove the magnet attached to it. Be careful, these will break and need to be removed using something flat with a large base. Pry them off.
Position and temporarily secure the REM in the center of the fan hub that spins. Placement of the REM is critical in minimizing fan balance (like your car tire or ceiling fan). Turn on the fan to check for vibrations or wobbling. Turn off the fan and adjust the REM if required. If you are satisfied, then super glue to the REM to the fan hub. Remember, balance is critical to the life of the fan and strip plate. If you short cut this step, you will shorten your stir plate life.
Close up of rubber grommet ring. Make sure there is enough space under the fan to allow airflow.
Run the power from the AC adapter to the On/Off switch and then to the middle of the Rheostat using a small connector wire. Next, run the power wire from the PC fan to one of the side posts/prongs of the rheostat. Connect the ground from your AC adapter directly to the ground from the PC fan. Wiring is done!
Now that you are all wired up, attach the fan to the underside of the cigar box. Test it to make sure it turns on and make sure you have enough space with the grommets to allow airflow. Close the lid.
This is a view of the REM and fan through the drilled hole.
Here is one of my finished and painted stir plates.
If you have done everything correctly, it should fire up and function properly. Make sure the rheostat is not hot when you touch it. I made the mistake of crossing one wire incorrectly and it got very hot to the touch.
Good luck on your build and I hope my tutorial helped!