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Old 02-06-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
lgoolsby
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Default Whirlpool setup

I will be punching a hole in my brand new 15gal boil kettle (if it ever shows up...) with the intention of setting up a whirlpool during the cold break. I would like some input on my approach and see if maybe I am overlooking something obvious.

I was thinking about setting the return from the plate chiller higher than the high water mark causing the wort to splash a little. To force the whirlpool I was probably going to use a 90 fitting with a spare barbed hose connection I have laying around. I see two advantages to this: 1, the splashing will help aerate the wort a little and 2, pumping the cold wort on top should help with some of the temperature stratification. The risk, obviously, is i am risking contamination and maybe making a bit of a mess. To mitigate these issues, I was thinking of putting the lid on the boil kettle for the last couple of minutes of the boil to sanitize the air in the kettle. Do I have to worry about DMS (or whatever the right TLA is for the bad volitile aromatics) assuming a 60-90 minute boil? I would see this as safter than using forced oxygenation using a diffuser stone. I am dubious that a diffuser stone can be completely sanitized.

Would I be better having the fitting for the whirlpool installed in the bottom of the kettle?

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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I'm not so sure you can 'sanitize' the air. Splashing the wort won't cause infection. Don't put the lid on til your chilling if at all (I don't even bother anymore). You'll probably get better 'whirlpool' action having the outlet lower in the kettle. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 02-06-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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DMS is produced when the wort is over 140 degrees so you wouldn`t want to cover it before then and if you do cover it at all it will most likely negate the cooling effect of your whirlpool. I think it would be better at the top of the kettle because you are drawing from the bottom and filling from the top like a sparge basicly. If your pick up and return were both on the bottom you would be recirculating alot of the wort you have already cooled. Whether above the wort level or below......I don`t see why above the wort splashing would hurt anything in theory but under is how the original whirlpool chiller was made. Check out the picks here http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php


VB

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:52 AM   #4
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A simple copper whirlpool arm (as shown in the whirlpool chiller link above) is a good way to test out different depths/angles without committing to a hole in your pot. Maybe once you test it out you'll want to drill a whirlpool return, but with my system, I got comfortable with the arm and just kept using it.

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:06 AM   #5
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Maybe I ought to take a picture, but with my plate chiller and 15 gallon megapot, I basically just thread the return hose through one of the handles on the pot so that it angles down and against the side of the pot. Creates a perfect whirlpool.

So far as aeration is concerned, I have been experimenting with different methods but I usually just fan out the wort against the side of the fermenter when racking, then give it a good frothy stir with a sanitized whisk. On my last batch I stuck a funnel into the hole in the lid of my bucket where the stopper normally goes, and have a fine strainer that fits into it which did a pretty good job of removing any sign of trub in addition to aerating. It's probably not sufficient for a HUGE beer, but for the average beer it seems to work pretty well for me, and I haven't had any issues with laggy or stuck fermentations.

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:19 AM   #6
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VegasBrew, that avatar is off the chain. The Packers owe you the trophy!

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
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VegasBrew, that avatar is off the chain. The Packers owe you the trophy!
I love my avatar.....HAHA!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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If you're doing a 60-90 minute boil, you'll probably be fine with DMS... Unless the grain bill is heavy on pilsner, definitely go for the 90min boil.

I vote for below the return to be below wort level. Are you going to be pumping this while the wort is hot/boiling? If so, I don't know how much aeration will be happening. Doesn't boiling push all the O2 out of solution? I don't know the answer for that but it's something to think about.

That being said I think pure O2 once the wort is chilled is the ideal way to aerate... Just my opinion though

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:25 AM   #9
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I have seen this used in some set ups. It is used in the machining industry mostly for cutting and cooling fluid. It may be a bit hard to see but it is the blue tube that looks kinda diamond on top of diamond. It is flexible and will stay where you put it, this would be a way to try both ways. If you live near a large town there should be a machine shop where you can find it.

VB

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Old 02-09-2011, 03:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasBrew View Post
I have seen this used in some set ups. It is used in the machining industry mostly for cutting and cooling fluid. It may be a bit hard to see but it is the blue tube that looks kinda diamond on top of diamond. It is flexible and will stay where you put it, this would be a way to try both ways. If you live near a large town there should be a machine shop where you can find it.

VB
That's a picture of loc-line. Most people use it for their sparge arm on the MLT. I haven't seen anyone use it for a whirlpool arm although it would be great for that. The only problem is they are only rated to 170F. I really wish they had a high temp applications as it would be an awesome solution. Vegas your avatar is definitely the best I have seen in a long time!

This is the best distributor for them.
http://www.modularhose.com/Loc-Line-.../12-kits/50813

This is the actual manufacturer.
http://www.loc-line.com/
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