Author Topic: Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy  (Read 486 times)

Offline Scott

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Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« on: July 01, 2019, 01:34:18 AM »
The last few batches my wort is going from crystal clear before whirlpool, which is also going through a plate chiller, to cloudy after the fact.

I have a 3 vessel, single tier system. I recirculate for the entire mash, so the wort going into the boil kettle is extremely clear. After a 60 minute boil, the wort is still really clear, with a bunch of large protein clumps starting to form and fall down to the bottom. This is when I run the wort through a plate chiller and whirlpool it. If I'm adding a bunch of hops, I won't chill it down right away. If I'm not, then I chill it down right away. I always recirculate it back into the kettle and chill it down. The plate chiller gets it down to 50-75f in 10-15 minutes, depending on ground water temp.

The past few brews, the wort is going into the plate chiller clear, then coming out cloudy. I'm not sure if the large protein clumps are getting sucked into the plate chiller, breaking up while passing through and coming out as small particles. Or if the force of the whirlpool is breaking up the protein clumps while it's whirlpooling inside the kettle. I'm thinking it's the first option, since I've played around with the flow from the pump and it doesn't seem to matter.

I've also done this same exact setup and the wort remained clear, with the large protein clumps remaining. I'm not sure what would have changed? I baked my plate chiller in the oven recently for a couple of hours and flushed it out good. I figured that would help it, not hurt it.

I use a mesh bag for all my kettle additions, so nothing is getting sucked into the plate chiller, other the wort.

Offline santoch

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Re: Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 04:56:05 AM »
That is showing that your chiller is working.  What you are seeing is called cold break.  It forms when the wort is chilled down quickly.

There are articles out there discussing the pros and cons of eliminating all break material from your wort going into the fermenter. Old school says you want to get rid of as much as possible.  New school says just let it in.

If you do let it in, the break material will settle out in the fermenter (some experiments say the finished product clears faster than when break is eliminated).
Bottom line is, don't worry about it.  Your beer will be fine.

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Offline BrewBama

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Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 11:43:40 AM »
Some folks just dump whatever is left in the kettle after the boil which is great for Brewhouse efficiency (no loss). I like to try to eliminate break and trub from the fermenter but despite my best effort never quite get it all and end up with some.


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Offline Scott

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Re: Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 02:24:53 AM »
I get the cold break aspect, that's why I'm chilling in my kettle, to leave that behind. My issue was I used to get very large protein clumps from both the hot break and cold break. But now, the plate chiller seems to be breaking up those large protein clumps and making the wort go from clear to really cloudy. And even if I let it settle after chilling, it's still not as clear as it used to be.

Nothing in system or process changed in the last couple of brews. I think I'll just switch to a counterflow chiller.

Offline soymateofeo

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Re: Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 08:08:55 PM »
Huh. What does it look like after you ferment it out?  Does that stuff drop out? 

If the beer tastes great, and I am sure it does, then I'd say fine with gelatin and drink great, clear beer that wasn't clear when you put it in the fermenter.

Offline soymateofeo

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Re: Whirlpool/Plate Chiller making wort more cloudy
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 09:20:19 PM »
how do you have your plate chiller set up?  Are you gravity feeding through the chiller or are you recirculating through the chiller back into the boil kettle?