Now that I've discovered (thanks to jsled and Google) what a stir plate is and why I need to make one, I'm curious to know how far they can be pushed.
Being a lazy brewer with a fairly well-equipped workshop, limited bench space, a hearty appetite for beer and a recurring case of gout, I prefer to make big batches of full-bodied but low-alcohol ales. Lack of time and near-absence of temperature control rule out lagers and lagering, at least for now, so I'm mostly interested in producing the best beer I can with the least time & effort necessary.
Looking at various homemade stir plates, I see they all use flat-bottomed lab beakers, they're all too small for the 100-litre batches I like to make, and they generally use 12V muffin fans to run the pellet around. I'm wondering if anyone has built a hairy-chested (say, gallon-jug-size) stir plate using a stronger DC motor, stronger rare-earth magnets, and a big honking swirl pellet that will do the job.
The power supply isn't an issue, since I have an adjustable Mastech digital monster that weighs about 20 pounds, but I don't know about the other components. Supposing I could get a suitable DC fan or other motor, and an appropriately sized stirring pellet (or perhaps two?) I can easily picture them losing contact with the magnets or wearing grooves in my proposed gallon-jug starter.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I want to explain what I have in mind, and why. Any suggestions or comments will be much appreciated, as always.