Yeast Forge heated stir plate
Note: The Yeast Forge is currently out of stock and while we're working on a new production run we're making some upgrades. We're aiming for an end-of-march launch, so if you want a gentle reminder when it becomes available please click "Notify me when available" above.
Yeast forge is an intelligent stir plate that's been designed especially for brewers. It helps you grow healthy, consistent yeast starters by providing a controlled environment for your yeast to propagate. Yeast Forge incorporates the same "tough-as-nails" digitally controlled stirring system as our older Digital Stirplate and takes it one step further by adding a temperature controlled heating system that keeps your starter at its ideal propagation temperature throughout fermentation. We believe Yeast forge is the most highly capable stir plate ever produced for brewers.
Healthy yeast makes tasty beer!
One of the keys to brewing top notch beer is to achieve a good fermentation and to do this, you need to pitch an adequate cell count of healthy and viable yeast. Whether you're growing your culture up from bottle dregs or stepping up a vial of commercial yeast, most brewers will agree that the most effective way to reach your ideal pitching rate and ensure your yeast's health is by using a stir plate.
Temperature is important, especially for yeast starters!
Before designing Yeast Forge we looked around for existing heated stir plates that may be suitable for growing yeast, but the trouble we found is that most of the commercially available magnetic stirrers are completely unsuitable for heating yeast starters. You see, most heated stir paltes are designed for use in a laboratory where they're employed to boil liquids or heat solutions while a chemical reaction takes place. As such, their heaters operate a lot like your stove top. I.e. You choose a power level between 1 to 10 and it will add a proportional amount of heat into the liquid ultil it reaches equilibrium at an unknown temperature somewhere between "super hot" and "boiling" - neither of which are useful for growing healthy yeast starters!
Yeast Forge is different because it provides a gentle controlled warmth for our starters in order to maintain the ideal temperature for our yeast to propagate and remain healthy. With yeast forge you can choose any temperature from 12°C (54°F) to 30°C (86°F) and the built in digital controller will keep your starter at the desired temperature even if the ambient room temperature falls at night. This may even allow you to keep your starters out in the brew-shed instead of taking up space in the kitchen! Having the capability to heat up to 30°C is also useful to help speed things up if you ever want to carry out a "fast ferment test".
Simplicity is paramount, that's why simplicity was designed into the Yeast Forge right from the start.
At Digital Homebrew we want to make growing yeast starters as easy as possible and that's why Yeast forge was designed from the ground up with a simple and intuitive control system using just two buttons to alter the speed and temperature. We also added a new front panel that incorporates a "heater status" indicator as well as a 10-LED tachometer so you can immediately see your stirring speed at a glance.
What if you don't want heating all of the time? Simple! Just set the heater all the way down to zero and the Yeast Forge will behave like a regular Digital Stirplate.
And how about cleaning? Simple again! Yeast Forge was designed with a seamless/screwless top surface. I.e. the enclosure is screwed together from underneath. This means there are no small crevices for yeast to hide after an overflow, making cleanup a cinch.
Reliability is critical when a problem with your starter can ruin your upcoming brewday.
A common problem with cheap stir plates is their tendency to throw the stir bar. Ramp up the speed too high and off it flies, never to join back to the magnets until you entirely stop and restart the stir plate. If your stir plate throws its bar and it goes unnoticed you may find yourself making a tough decision about whether to risk underpitching on brew day, or postponing it altogether. That's why it's important to have a reliable stir plate that you can depend on.
The Yeast Forge uses the same digital speed control and mechanical stirring system employed in our V3 digital stir plates to ensure absolute reliability no matter what stirring speed you choose. Each Yeast Forge is manually tested before packaging to ensure it holds the stir bar even when ramped quickly to maximum speed.
Another subtle feature is that Yeast forge remembers its temperature and speed settings even when the power is turned off. This means if you ever have a power blackout while your starter is growing, the Yeast Forge will continue on its merry way as soon as power comes back.
Speed: 0-2000rpm (200 rpm increments)
Temperature: 12°C(54°F) to 30°C(86°F) in 2°C increments. Indicated in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Yeast Forge (including external temperature probe)
2 x 30mm PTFE coated AlNiCo Magnetic stir bars
12v 2 amp power adapter with plug to fit destination country (AU, US, EU, UK available).
Instructions can be found here: Yeast Forge Instructions PDF