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Old 12-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
Jeffries55
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Default Whirlpool Arm

I'm nearly done buying equipment to upgrade my brewery (bought a kegging system, Johnson controls temp controller, Steelhead pump, thrumometer, and a plate chiller), but of the last few things i plan on getting, I am still unsure of where to place the whirlpool arm, and how to use it with the plate chiller and pump at the end of the boil.



This is the Whirlpool arm from morebeer... I'm a bit confused by where they say to place it: "Designed for installation underneath the handle of your kettle"... now the brewer in me is worried about oxidation (I've got a keggle.. so perhaps they were talking about 8 gal kettles?). Is the correct placement supposed to be at or just below the remaining wort after boil? Also, if you do a whirlpool, do you just go from a boil to a 15 min whirlpool, then chill? I'm not sure when I should be using the chiller... after whirlpool or during?

Also, since currently my keggle only has a 3 piece ball valve, I was planning on using either hard piping or high-temp hose to connect from the ball valve to a false bottom with a 90 degree barbed fitting... my thought was this would help with pickup after the whirlpool has settled most of the hop sediment on top of the FB.

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Old 12-25-2013, 02:22 AM   #2
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False bottoms are not really all that great for pellet hop debris and it conflicts with the operation of a typical whirlpool as well. It looks like Morebeer is doing something similar to how I put my low port whirlpool port together. It's meant to install about an inch under your typical batch level. You'd run it at the same time that you turn on your chilling water. Once you reach your desired temp, you remove the chiller from your pump loop and continue to whirlpool for about 3 minutes. Shut down the pump and let it settle for 5 more minutes. Then run off to your fermenter.

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Old 12-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffries55
I'm nearly done buying equipment to upgrade my brewery (bought a kegging system, Johnson controls temp controller, Steelhead pump, thrumometer, and a plate chiller), but of the last few things i plan on getting, I am still unsure of where to place the whirlpool arm, and how to use it with the plate chiller and pump at the end of the boil. This is the Whirlpool arm from morebeer... I'm a bit confused by where they say to place it: "Designed for installation underneath the handle of your kettle"... now the brewer in me is worried about oxidation (I've got a keggle.. so perhaps they were talking about 8 gal kettles?). Is the correct placement supposed to be at or just below the remaining wort after boil? Also, if you do a whirlpool, do you just go from a boil to a 15 min whirlpool, then chill? I'm not sure when I should be using the chiller... after whirlpool or during? Also, since currently my keggle only has a 3 piece ball valve, I was planning on using either hard piping or high-temp hose to connect from the ball valve to a false bottom with a 90 degree barbed fitting... my thought was this would help with pickup after the whirlpool has settled most of the hop sediment on top of the FB.
I have the same whirlpool arm on my 10 gallon kettle (doing 5 gal batches). After a lot of research myself, I ended up installing it at the 4 gallon mark. With that said, I would ask yourself how big of batches are you planning in the keggle? If 10 then, you'll want it at about the 8 or 9 gallon mark, if less then figure a gallon under where you expect your smallest batch to be.

As far as the plumbing goes to whirlpool & chill at the same time, or just whirlpool and then chill is up to you I guess, as I've done it both ways. I've read on this forum about people starting the whirlpool running through the plate chiller with about 15 minutes left in the boil to sanitize the plate chiller. Then turning the cold water on after you turn the flame off. You can do it this way. Or, you can sanitize the plate chiller in a bucket with Star San and a pump recirculation and start your whirlpool before hooking up the plate chiller. That is what I do now. Sanitize the plate chiller separately. Hook up your plumbing from the main ball valve > pump > whirlpool, and let that run for about 20 minutes. After your whirlpool has settled you can hook up your main ball valve > pump > chiller > fermenter.

I use a side pickup tube in my flat bottom kettle, so I'm not 100% on the false bottom. I would assume that you'd be okay, but the FB may not get all of the hot break & hops.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:19 AM   #4
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I made mine out of copper fittings and crimped the end a little to get better flow out of it.

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Old 12-27-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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False bottoms are not really all that great for pellet hop debris and it conflicts with the operation of a typical whirlpool as well.
It seems like it wouldn't interfere with a whirlpool, other than the hop sediment would sit on top of the FB, I assume a little hop sediment would get through to the pickup, but even if it reduced the amount going into the fermenter by 60%, I would be happy. I currently don't have a pickup; I've got a three-piece ball-valve, but the side inside the kettle only has enough threads for the nut... I'm looking at getting a barbed fitting or 90°SST tube to reach near the bottom of the keggle.

I've been looking into getting the Blichmann Hop-Rocket as a possible in-line filter, though there may be some challenges to that as well, I think it could be done with the use of a fine-mesh screen (I'm thinking not to dissimilar to the way a french press works).



Quote:
It's meant to install about an inch under your typical batch level.
This confirms what I thought.. I only plan on doing 5 gallons now, maybe some time down the road I'll graduate, but for the time being 5 gallons is the perfect amount to experiment with, without spending a lot and producing mediocre beers! I've made a lot of bad beer recently, but I also had an epiphany on christmas day that there has been a common trend .... all of my 4-4.5% session ales have been amazing, while anything over 5-6% has been atrocious.. I'm thinking this has more to do with under-pitching yeast than it does with not having temperature control, but the two issues are closely related (because again, none of the beer i've made so far has had temp control during fermentation).
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