Author Topic: why whirlpool  (Read 636 times)

Offline jimrod

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why whirlpool
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:53:58 AM »
What is the purpose of the whirlpool and how does it work ?  I use hop bags so their is little hop refuse.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 08:59:51 AM »
You will still have a fair amount of hot break, particularly if you are brewing all grain. Additionally, if you use an immersion chiller there will be cold break. other than that, the whirlpool will move wort over your chiller coils so it helps cool faster but you can just jiggle the chiller to get the same effect there.
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Offline jimrod

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 09:21:56 AM »
I cool the wort by pumping it through a heat exchange then through 50' copper coil immersed in ice water. It comes out at 50* right into the fermentors.

But I am concerned that I am transferring some of the hot break material. Why is hot break material bad? What is the procedure to eliminate hot break?

What is cold break and do I want to eliminate that? How?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 09:39:25 AM »
I cool the wort by pumping it through a heat exchange then through 50' copper coil immersed in ice water. It comes out at 50* right into the fermentors.

But I am concerned that I am transferring some of the hot break material. Why is hot break material bad? What is the procedure to eliminate hot break?

What is cold break and do I want to eliminate that? How?

it's pretty well debated whether break material in the fermenter is bad. a little bit is useful for the yeast as it contains nutrients the yeast can use but they can't use all of it. some folks have concern about too much causing stability issues after packaging.

I'm of the opinion that if it's not too difficult to keep some/most out of your fermenter go for it because it's easier to siphon clear beer off if the cake isn't three inches thick in the bottom of the fermenter. This is assuming you don't have a fancy conical with a wracking arm and bottom dump valve. if you DO have one of those, run it all into the fermenter if it's not going to clog your chiller, let it rest overnight and dump the junk out the bottom valve.

I suppose too much could clog your heat exchanger though.

you don't want to and really can't eliminate it as in make it not happen. you want the break to occur because it clears protein out of the wort so you get nice clear beer down the road.
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Offline duboman

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 09:57:54 AM »
Hot break is all that foam stuff that forms at the beginning of the boil and you want that to happen. Cold break is all the proteins that settle out at the end of the boil as you chill.  Irish moss or some other fining agent helps coagulate all that into larger clumps to settle out faster.

The whirlpool helps to "cone" that material into the middle of the kettle to minimize its transfer into the primary. Because you are using a plate chiller there is really no way to keep the cold break from going into the fermenter as the 'cold' part happens outside of the kettle so to speak. The whirlpool will keep most of the hot break material in the kettle.

I have a similar set up and do a whirlpool for the above reasons listed and as mentioned, I can so I do. As to the true benefits I cannot really comment as there is debate over the pros and cons, all I can say is this process works for me and my beer:)

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Offline jeffy

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 03:51:06 PM »
Hot break is all that foam stuff that forms at the beginning of the boil and you want that to happen.

Not exactly right.   Hot break is the egg drop soup looking stuff in the wort after it has been boiling for a little while.
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Offline duboman

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 05:43:07 PM »

Hot break is all that foam stuff that forms at the beginning of the boil and you want that to happen.

Not exactly right.   Hot break is the egg drop soup looking stuff in the wort after it has been boiling for a little while.
well, right, but isn't all that just the coagulated break material that is the foam that drops out once the boil gets rolling?
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Offline jeffy

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 06:22:39 PM »

Hot break is all that foam stuff that forms at the beginning of the boil and you want that to happen.

Not exactly right.   Hot break is the egg drop soup looking stuff in the wort after it has been boiling for a little while.
well, right, but isn't all that just the coagulated break material that is the foam that drops out once the boil gets rolling?
No, because you can skim off all of that foam as it forms and still get the hot break later.
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Offline duboman

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 06:44:35 PM »


Hot break is all that foam stuff that forms at the beginning of the boil and you want that to happen.

Not exactly right.   Hot break is the egg drop soup looking stuff in the wort after it has been boiling for a little while.
well, right, but isn't all that just the coagulated break material that is the foam that drops out once the boil gets rolling?
No, because you can skim off all of that foam as it forms and still get the hot break later.
hmmm,,you know I've never been a skimmer.

So then what exactly is the hot break comprised of if it's not from the foam that forms?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 07:51:27 PM »
I think it's the souls of brewers past.

Edit to add more than just humor...

Of course I'm no expert, but having read Palmer's book and listened to him discuss it. I think you're both right. The foam just before boil is hot break, and so is the stuff swirling around once that foam falls. My understanding is that at boiling the pH drops due to calcium precipitation, plus you have heat and motion. This combines to cause proteins and tannins to collide and combine into big masses. Then at chilling they sink to the bottom along with all the other particulates, like hops and whatnot.

Whirlpooling sets the contents of your pot into a circular motion, the outside is moving faster than the center. When you stop whirlpooling (as long as you don't disturb it) the stuff tends to settle near the center where it was moving slowly. In my kettle I whirlpool through the whole boil and chill, then cut the whirlpool. I then take a hydrometer sample. Once the break in my sample has settled enough to get a reading, I gently run off to the fermentor. That's generally about 15 minutes.

Or its the souls of dead brewers.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 09:32:17 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline duboman

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 06:59:04 AM »

I think it's the souls of brewers past.

Edit to add more than just humor...

Of course I'm no expert, but having read Palmer's book and listened to him discuss it. I think you're both right. The foam just before boil is hot break, and so is the stuff swirling around once that foam falls. My understanding is that at boiling the pH drops due to calcium precipitation, plus you have heat and motion. This combines to cause proteins and tannins to collide and combine into big masses. Then at chilling they sink to the bottom along with all the other particulates, like hops and whatnot.

Whirlpooling sets the contents of your pot into a circular motion, the outside is moving faster than the center. When you stop whirlpooling (as long as you don't disturb it) the stuff tends to settle near the center where it was moving slowly. In my kettle I whirlpool through the whole boil and chill, then cut the whirlpool. I then take a hydrometer sample. Once the break in my sample has settled enough to get a reading, I gently run off to the fermentor. That's generally about 15 minutes.

Or its the souls of dead brewers.
i like the ghosts idea:)

Basically you did a better job of summing up my understanding from my readings as well but, like you, I'm no expert either.......
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 07:05:01 AM »
Right on.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 07:24:04 AM »
I think it's the souls of brewers past.

Edit to add more than just humor...

Of course I'm no expert, but having read Palmer's book and listened to him discuss it. I think you're both right. The foam just before boil is hot break, and so is the stuff swirling around once that foam falls. My understanding is that at boiling the pH drops due to calcium precipitation, plus you have heat and motion. This combines to cause proteins and tannins to collide and combine into big masses. Then at chilling they sink to the bottom along with all the other particulates, like hops and whatnot.

Whirlpooling sets the contents of your pot into a circular motion, the outside is moving faster than the center. When you stop whirlpooling (as long as you don't disturb it) the stuff tends to settle near the center where it was moving slowly. In my kettle I whirlpool through the whole boil and chill, then cut the whirlpool. I then take a hydrometer sample. Once the break in my sample has settled enough to get a reading, I gently run off to the fermentor. That's generally about 15 minutes.

Or its the souls of dead brewers.

Your explanation does not have the vertical circulation in it, so it missed some of the fluid dynamics. The whirlpool cone was explained with a cup of tea as an example by Albert Einstein. Yes, that Albert Einstein.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 09:15:38 AM »
The utility of whirlpooling is strongly influenced by the height vs diameter of your kettle and the location of your drain. You may have noticed that kettles (boil or whirlpool) in large breweries have relatively large diameter in comparison to the depth of wort they boil. That significantly improves the brewers ability to whirlpool the wort and have the trub cone stay away from the sides of the vessel. That allows for the wort drain to be located at that periphery and more clear wort is drawn out of the vessel.

Since a keggle has a configuration that is almost opposite of what it should be (small diameter, but tall), whirlpooling may not provide much benefit. If you have a large diameter kettle, then you should utilize physics when possible!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: why whirlpool
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2014, 07:24:22 PM »
Mine is 17" tall 16" wide cylinder, flat bottom with a U shaped copper pick up that draws from the bottom corner of the floor and wall. Though I leave the vast majority of my break and hops behind, I don't really worry about the little that goes through. 95% of why I whirlpool is rapid chilling.