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How do you whirlpool

 
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Roadie



Joined: 13 Oct 2013
Posts: 131
Location: Charleston, SC


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:54 pm    Post subject: How do you whirlpool Reply with quote


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We usually brew 5 gallon batches and use a hop spider in our BK which does a WONDERFUL job of keeping hop pellet debris out of the filter and plate chiller. No worries there. However we like to whirlpool and I find that when brewing IPAs that all the hop debris is clustered around the bottom of the hop spider and once I shut the element off the wort is no longer bubbling up past that trub hence any whirlpool hops I add don't get much if any wort actually over them to extract their hoppy goodness. Last brew I removed the hop spider prior to whirlpooling and added the large tea infuser type containers with the whirlpool hops in them but they allow too much hop trub out into the wort so not really happy with those and often one of them will open up when whirlpooling which is then a real mess and clogs the filter. I've thought of using the tall, skinny SS containers that I use for dryhopping in the keg but haven't tried that yet.

For those of you using a hop spider when brewing 5 gallons of an IPA with lots of hops, how do you add your whirlpool hops?
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Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently, I don't use a spider, but I only made that change this year. I used one all of last year.

My process was about the same as yours - I would add them in to the spider after the flame was off and do my best to "spoon whirlpool" the rest of the kettle, just hoping that there would be enough fluid flow through the spider to wash over the hops, like you said. As you also said, I was concerned that there wasn't enough flow to extract the hop oils I wanted.

This year I installed a side pickup tube and will be installing a whirlpool arm in the next month or so for use with a pump. I have simply been spoon whirlpooling so far, but then again I haven't done any hoppier beers yet either (and I don't think I will before the arm is installed). So, I don't have the most experience with it, but on the other hand, there is more than enough anecdotal evidence from other brewers out there to show that it works and works well.

And as I always say - a little trub/hops into the fermenter is no big deal.
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Dean Palmer



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 59
Location: St Petersburg, FL


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I whirlpool using a side input on the kettle and let the pump do the work starting 15min before flameout to sanitize the chill circuit, until the chill is complete. Pickup tube is close to the side of the kettle and angled up a bit off the bottom from experience depending on the hop and additive load. No screens or pickup filters these days, but also no whole hops swimming freely in this system.

Chiller has been changed to a simple counterflow unit, and the twin Blichmann Therminators have been moved out of the wort path due to clogging issues as well as the PITA to really get them clean. Still using them as heat exchangers for the ice water pump circuit.

Seems to work well, and whatever else gets to the fermentor just doesn't matter Smile

On my old kettles I whirlpooled in keggles but had a Sabco false bottom and center pickup tube. Worked great for whole hops but not so much with pellets. With the whole hops setting up as a nice filter bed on top of the false bottom the wort would be pretty darn clear going into the fermentor.

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Dean

http://www.thebeerjournals.com/
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Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dean - no issues with pump cavitation pumping while you're boiling?
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Dean Palmer



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 59
Location: St Petersburg, FL


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, absolutely. The pump gets throttled back quite a bit when the boil is still going, and the heat is turned up at the same time to maintain the boil. The main purpose during that time is just to get the chill circuit hot enough to sanitize, and as long as the wort is moving it's no problem. The faster whirlpool happens after flameout.
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Dean

http://www.thebeerjournals.com/
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Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha - thanks!
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HeyK84



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 70
Location: United States


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tungsten, did you ever get your whirlpool setup going? If so, can you describe it and tell us how it's working. I'm on the fence between whirlpool or hop stopper, and just looking for some more info to help make a decision.
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Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! The setup was very much a DIY setup put together using some knowledge from Kal's setups, some "a la carte" parts and a dip tube kit originally intended for an actual dip tube that I did not end up using (from bargainfittings, I think). The setup includes:

- Bulkhead styled after Kal's close nipple & O-rings. I am not sure if the nipple I bought is longer than the ones he used, but I need O-rings on both sides of the kettle wall to prevent the fitting from being quite loose. Not a big deal though as it's never leaked. It may also be because the elbow I used doesn't have as many threads as a standard coupler.
- 90 degree elbow
- Compression fitting and stainless tubing from the dip tube kit (here's the link to what I used, specifically http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&keyword=dip tube&category_id=0&product_id=157)
- The dip tube in my kettle is simply a 90 degree elbow and the (crappy) barbed fitting that came with my brewpot originally.

Some notes about my process:

- My "big boy" setup is still in process so I still use a 10 gallon pot on a propane burner. Due to my space, I have to lift the pot onto a separate stand after boiling is complete.
- Hook up hoses (BK > pump > chiller), open ball valves and start pumping to sanitize the chiller. I realize it's not boiling, but 200+ degree wort should still sanitize the chiller completely. I do have a chiller from JaDeD that is "cleanliness verifiable" so I know it's clean before I do this.
- If I have hops, I throw them in right away as they can certainly whirlpool while the chiller is being sanitized.
- I consider the chiller to be sanitized after 10 minutes, although it's probably much less than that. If I whirlpool, I usually go at least 25-30 minutes as per Mike McDole's advice.
- Once the whirlpool is done (or once sanitizing is done if there are no flameout hops), I turn on the chilling water.
- I put the sanitized lid on at 140-145.
- Continue chilling until at or below pitching temps. If ground water is warm or if I'm doing a lager, I just chill to 70ish and chill the rest of the way in my fermentor. In the spring or fall I can easily get to pitch temps, and in the winter I can get to lager pitch temps.
- Turn off pump, turn off chill water. Let the whirlpool finsh and settle for 10-15 minutes. At that point I gravity drain into my fermentor. The one thing I don't like about my setup (for now) is that it's not very easy to drain the leftover wort out of the pump/chiller, so there is some waste unless I really make an effort to get it all out.
- Some hops do make it into the fermentor, but it's a negligible amount and I think that will reduce drastically when I move to a 20 gallon setup sometime next fall. This can be avoided some if you really slow the throttle near the end of your gravity drain, but I typically only slow it a little bit. There is quite a bit of cold break as well, making the wort appear very cloudy at this stage, but I don't have an issue with that and my beers are always very clear after a simple cold crash. There are some really good articles that suggest that a trub-heavy fermentation is just as good as a trubless one and possibly even better. I try to minimize so it's easier to track volumes, but I don't fret about a little bit.



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HeyK84



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 70
Location: United States


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, thanks for the detailed response! This makes me feel a lot more comfortable about going with the whirlpool method.

I decided to purchase this whirlpool arm to install in my boil kettle:

http://stainlessbrewing.com/Weldless-Whirlpool-Kit_p_230.html

I got the 1/2" x 14" version for my 20 gallon G2.

Then i figure i'll just bend the dip tube up about 100 degrees or so from its normal orientation. Then I think my process will be very similar to what you described. It sounds like a simple method as long as you don't care about getting a small amount of hop matter and hot/cold break in the fermenter, but as you mentioned and as other experiments have proven, this should not affect the quality of the beer.
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Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's pretty much exactly what I have. Good luck! I think it will work perfectly.

One thing I meant to add for anyone else reading was that it doesn't matter how high or low you put your whirlpool port. I put it midway up the BK because that's how long the stainless steel tubing was, but even if you put it too low you can always cut off part of the tubing. I don't have a picture of the exterior, but it looks exactly like the inlet/outlet of the HERMS on Kal's system; just a ball valve.
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