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Old 06-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default Whirlpool Port location

I have a question for your veterans pertaining to your whirlpooling port locations. I have seen a number of configurations that place the port for the whirlpool near the bottom of the keggle. Given that I use a CFC and have a dip drain tube hugging the side wall, in your opinion, would it be better to add the whirlpooling port in the middle section of my batch (ie. height elevation). This way it circulates the main mass right after boil.

Most everyone seems to put it closer to the bottom and I wonder if this just doesn't mix more than having a constant flow from the pump. Thanks for you comments. By the way, I'm going to drill the holes tomorrow so any input prior would be appreciated.

Thanks,
BB

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Old 06-12-2010, 04:59 PM   #2
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I have mine located through what was previously a dial thermometer port. I have an elbow attached to the inside and I angle it down and to the side (its actually one regular elbow and one street elbow used together). The two elbows are not glued together. This allows me to aim the output easily, yet they stay in position once set. I made a special adapter for the threaded thermometer port. Basically it's a section of 1/2" hard copper with a npt x sweat fitting on each end. I drilled out one of those fittings so that the pipe would slide all the way through it and into the kettle where the elbows attach. I typically aim the return flow down at about a 30 degree angle and against the inside wall. The return flow hits the wall and bounces off creating some turbulence which I think improves the mixing. It looks good when in operation and I've been producing some good beer with this set up. I can post a pic later if you need more detail, but it will likely be later this evening as I am starting a batch right now.

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Old 06-12-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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If you have time between processing, an image would be great Catt22. I talked with a guy from the local microbrew a few hours ago. He said that his 30 barrel system has the whirlpool port more than half way up. The only down side that he gave me is that if I wanted to do smaller batches (less that 5 gallons), I might not have enough wort to capture the volume.
Thanks.
BB

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Old 06-15-2010, 03:13 AM   #4
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Sorry it took so long to get these pics up, but you know how that goes:

These are the basic components.



this is a close up of the custom fitting made from two male NPT X sweat fittings with one drilled out to permit the pipe to pass through it completely.



This is what it looks like on the outside (upper port) with a valve attached



and inside with the cpvc elbows attached



So, as you can see it's mounted at about the six gallon level. I typically brew either 6 or 12 gallon batches. The port is very close or at the surface at the end of the boil for a 6 gallon batch, but the attached elbows put the return flow a couple of inches below the surface. I've had good results with this configuration. It was also easy and inexpensive to build and install. I no longer use the port for a dial thermometer. I went with a digital thermocouple type thermometer and the thermowell for it is mounted vertically from the top of the keg, not horizontally. Hope this is of some help to you.

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Old 06-15-2010, 09:50 AM   #5
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The best place for the return is just below the top surface of the liquid. This way, the wort from the bottom is being moved to the surface & the entire batch gets thoroughly recirculated. This give the best and fastest cooling.

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Old 06-15-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alemental View Post
The best place for the return is just below the top surface of the liquid. This way, the wort from the bottom is being moved to the surface & the entire batch gets thoroughly recirculated. This give the best and fastest cooling.
Maybe yes and maybe no. IMO, the location of the port isn't all that critical. What I do think is important is to configure the return so that it creates turbulence in the kettle for improved mixing action. Simply drawing from the bottom and having it return to the surface might not be the most effective method. I do think that maintaining a high flow rate for both the wort and the cooling water is the key to fast cooling.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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Im making mine adjustable like a racking arm so that I can adjust for 5-10 gallon batches, and once the temp drops into the 70's I will adjust it to aerate wort.

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Also, I think a lot of it has to do with the pump you're using and the ID of the plumbing. A lot of people report better whirlpooling with a bit more restriction, so the wort "shoots" out.....

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
Well, that's amusing:



Mine comes out at the bottom, but like yours is on a swivel so I can point it wherever I want. I agree with a previous poster: for chilling it doesn't so much matter where it is as long as it thoroughly mixes the wort. I think the difference of top vs. bottom at our scale would be meaningless. /opinion



-Joe
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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Mine is a separate unit I built that connects to my IC and I can raise and lower it depending on the size of the batch I am doing or how fast I want the whirlpool to run. I have been thinking about adding a 'Tee' to the tube to have 2 right angled jet ports. I crimped the one I have now to make it better shoot the wort out which creates a nice whirlpool

If you haven't drilled your hole for your whirlpool unit yet, you might want to try a separate attachement to avoid putting additional holes in your keggle/pot. Just my $0.02

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