Following up on my post on how to build your own Stir Plate, lets talk a bit about how this can be used in the home.
The most common use of a stir plate in the home is by homebrewers. Homebrewers use a stir plate to propagate healthy yeast. With a yeast starter, the stir plate keeps the yeast in suspension and does not allow the yeast to settle. It also continually adds oxygen to the yeast starter. This helps keep the yeast growing and reproducing. As long as there is oxygen in the yeast starter, the yeast will reproduce. This increases the number of healthy yeast cells, which in turn allows for a faster, more healthy fermentation.
For the cocktail enthusiast, there are also some applications. The first and easiest application is a syrup. Simple syrup can be made both by a hot process, (water is heated and sugar is mixed in until dissolved) or a cold process (water and sugar are not heated, but shaken or stirred until dissolved. I am not going to get into the scientific debate on hot process vs cold process, but I am going to show you an easy way to make cold process simple syrup using a Stir Plate.
First measure out your ingredients. I store my syrup in empty 750ml bottles, so lets go with 350ml of both sugar and water. Add your water to your mixing container and drop in your stir bar. Turn on your stir plate and slowly pour in the sugar. Now just sit back and wait until all the sugar is dissolved into the water. When the sugar is all dissolved, pour the syrup into your bottle and you are done!
Another great technique that takes advantage of a stir plate is the making of flavored “caviar”, or flavor pearls. Almost anything can be made into caviar and it makes a super cool and fun way to add garnish and flavors to your cocktails. You can check out a video of Jamie Boudreau making some Cointreau Pearls here!
So there are a few ideas to help get you started. In reality, almost anything that requires stirring can be mixed on a stir plate. And not that I would recommend this as a credible technique, but just for fun, I have mixed up a cocktail using a stir plate as well 😉 Let me know what fun and creative ideas you have for using your stir plate.