A Erlenmeyer Flask and Stir Plate combination works great for yeast cultivation.
The best way to use one is to mix a "mini-batch" of malt extract in the flask, cook the mix on your stove top then cap the flask with a piece of foil & let cool. Then you add your yeast & place the flask on the stir plate & spin until the starter is ready to pitch.
The ideal time to pitch your starter is when it is at peak fermentation. Depending on the temperature and condition of the original yeast, this will be 1 - 3 days after you started the starter.
Wait too long and and the yeast will start to go to sleep. Granted, you will have a lot more yeast than you started with but the yeast will not be actively growing and will not work as well as yeast pitched during active fermentation.
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