Author Topic: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)  (Read 720 times)

Offline reubens888

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Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« on: January 29, 2014, 06:36:46 AM »
First off, I am a brand new member and excited to be here.  This seems like an awesome community!

I've been reading various articles about process at end of boil, and there seems to be conflicting information regarding "cool your wort as fast as possible" and "let it whirlpool for 30 minutes"...

I'm an all grain brewer, and typically spoon stir in the kettle after boil to create whirlpool.  I usually wait for 10 minutes before transfer to carboy.  I have pumps and a plate chiller, but do not use them after boil in fear of hot side aeration and clogging the chiller.  It seems like 30 minutes is a long time to wait.  The temp will probably only drop 10-20 degrees during this time. 

Can anybody comment/recommend changes to my process to get the best clarity and lowest risk of infection? I've never had an infection before (knock on wood), but would like to possibly get some additional clarity of my beer.

Last question: should I cover the kettle after the whirlpool starts?

Sorry for the long post.  Future ones wont be this long.  Thanks for any input.  I'm happy to be here!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 06:50:24 AM »
Hot side is not a myth, but not a killer either. With a good fermentation any HSA damage is remedied. Post fermentor aeration is far worse.

I assume you chill by plate chiller or counter flow if you're worried about plugging it.

I chill with a 60' 1/2" whirlpool IC. I start the WP about the last ten minutes of boil. I cut the whirlpool when I reach fermentor temp. I give it about 20-30 min to settle before draining. I cover it once I'm below 140° or so, which is quick.

Offline dkfick

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 08:28:54 AM »
I recirculate through my pump and plate chiller during the entire boil.  At the end of the boil I use a 3-way valve to only recirculate using the pump and the kettle.  This is my whirlpool.  When that's done I run the wort through the plate chiller and into the fermenter.
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Offline metron-brewer

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 08:43:17 AM »
I recirculate through my pump and plate chiller during the entire boil.  At the end of the boil I use a 3-way valve to only recirculate using the pump and the kettle.  This is my whirlpool.  When that's done I run the wort through the plate chiller and into the fermenter.

Can you tell me why you recirculate through the entire boil? Is it just for sanitizing purposes?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 08:45:59 AM »
I spoon stir for whirlpool as well. I gotta say your worrying WAY too much.

HSA is or isn't a myth depending on who you talk to but I personally have note experienced it and I have beers in my closet that I brewed 3+ years ago that are not in the slightest oxidized.

I'm not familiar with using a plate chiller and the concerns of clogging there, I know you can always bag your hops or build/buy a hop spider to contain them. That should take care of clogging issues.

I stir while I'm chilling because it speeds up the chilling process. Since I can't stir and have a cover on at the same time I don't cover till I've given up on chilling (around 90*f usually). Then I pull the IC out because it just gets in the way and get a whirlpool going with my trusty silicon spoonula, cover the kettle and let it settle (hey that's a poem)

maybe 10-20 minutes or until I get bored with waiting then I slowly open the spigot and run off reasonably clear wort. That being said, I've also skipped the whirlpool altogether and essentially put all the break material and hop gunk go right into the fermenter and that worked just fine as well if a little harder to rack off into the bottling bucket/keg come time.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 08:55:17 AM »
I have a plate chiller and pump. Usually we stir for a few minutes at KO to get a good whirlpool then cover the kettle. I have a homemade version of a hop stopper that works fine for keeping pellet hops and hot break material out of the chiller. I always backflush (hook the pump up backwards through the chiller with some oxyclean) immediately after racking. I've never had any clogging or infections with this method. Don't overthink it.
Trey W.

Offline dkfick

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 08:55:54 AM »
I recirculate through my pump and plate chiller during the entire boil.  At the end of the boil I use a 3-way valve to only recirculate using the pump and the kettle.  This is my whirlpool.  When that's done I run the wort through the plate chiller and into the fermenter.

Can you tell me why you recirculate through the entire boil? Is it just for sanitizing purposes?
Yeah just for sanitizing purposes.  I could get by for the last 15 or whatever.. but it's actually easier to just kick it on at the start of the boil... I have not noticed any downsides.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 06:05:49 AM »
By the way, I use whirlfloc at 10 min left in the boil. This'll give you clear beer as long as all your other processes are good.
Trey W.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Whirlpool Conundrum - my first post! :)
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 11:29:34 AM »
HSA won't happen, to a significant degree, in the pump or heat exchanger. You need air in order to oxidize, and the pump and HX should be full of wort and sanitizer, respectively, at that point. I don't think there are legitimate HSA concerns with utilizing a whirlpool either. If there were measurable DO issues during knockout then at least the more adventurous breweries would be trying out alternatives. AFAIK no one *isn't* whirlpooling commercially.

Anyway, 30 minutes is a good starting point and pretty typical IME. Homebrew systems might require a little more time (mine does) because of using flat-bottom kettles; a dish or shallow cone is optimal for whirlpooling. I would try getting it started with a clean spoon (not the mash paddle!), then recirculating for 10 minutes through the pump only, to keep solids out of the heat exchanger. Then a 20 minute rest, drain the lines (again, solids), and knock out through the HX.

As far as covering the kettle, I do. If there are DMS issues at that point, it's because you aren't boiling long enough, and anything that drifts into the wort may not stop hot long enough to be pasteurized. I actually put the lid on about a minute before flameout so that it does get pasteurized.
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