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Old 02-28-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
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Default Do you whirlpool hot?

My setup includes a 50ft 1/2" immersion chiller with the whirlpool arm. It does a good job, but I have a feeling that the whirlpool would work MUCH better if there wasn't a huge copper coil in the kettle. Also, it can be difficult to get to lager temps without 3 or more bags of ice, and if you under shoot the amount of ice you CANT get there.

I know most big brewers whirlpool hot, is there any negative side effects to doing this on a homebrew scale? I have a feeling I'll get much better trub & hop separation before sending it to the fermenter.

I am thinking of installing a dedicated whirlpool return and using a plate chiller after a 20 minute hot whirlpool. Any advice for or against? Also, whats the best way to get wort cooled to 45F with a plate chiller? Is it 3+ bags of ice again? I guess it would have to be if groundwater was above target temp.

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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I whirlpool hot, mainly because it's how I sanitize my pump/tubing. I start the whirlpool when I put my chiller into the pot at 15 minutes. I have a whirlpool attachment from Bargain Fittings, and it works great with my immersion chiller. Can't see anything negative about doing it hot, because like you said...the commercial guys do it. Hot side aeration is a thing/fear of the past IMHO. My well water is in the low 50s to high 40s almost year round, so I can't help you there.

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
I have a whirlpool attachment from Bargain Fittings, and it works great with my immersion chiller.
whoa, whoa, whoa... what?

Is that a custom thing? Not seeing it on the site... but I'm interested.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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before i had a cfc i tried once or twice whirl pooling in keggle and knockout to a 9g italian kettle where i chilled it with an immersion chiller. worked pretty good for an ipa with a lot of hops, but was just more of a hassle.

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Old 03-01-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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Bargain Fittings Whirlpool Fitting

Here is an older picture of the Bargain Fittings Whirlpool Fitting installed in my keggle.



I have since swapped the whirlpool fitting and the output around so the whirlpool has about 3/4 of the kettle to move about it before it hits the outlet.

I whirlpool hot. I add hops into the whirlpool for additional aroma. I usually whirlpool for 10 minutes and then rest the beer for 10 minutes. I usually get a very tight cone of hop material and trub. From the kettle the wort goes through my CFC chiller. I do use a pump for all this.

Sometime in the next few brews, I may try to run the wort through the CFC while whirlpooling. I guess I'll see if leaving cold break in the kettle is worth it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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thanks guys. those of you using the bargain fittings whirlpooler, how high is it set in your kettle? on the bottom, middle, or near the wort surface? It's hard to tell from the angle of your picture Wayne. thanks.

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Old 03-01-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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In my case, it is located very close to the bottom of the sidewall. I have no problem getting a good whirlpool going with either 5 or 10 gallon batches.

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Old 03-01-2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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Yeah, mine is placed near the bottom as well.

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Old 03-01-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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how good would you guys say your hop separation is when using, say, 6 or more oz of pellets in a 5 gallon batch? On beers with less than 4 oz of pellets I get a decent cone with my whirlpool/immersion chiller, but on anything with more hops than that the cone is weak no matter how long i run the whirlpool and lots of hop sludge gets into the fermenter.

I think that with a dedicated whirlpool return and no massive IC in the kettle I could achieve a much better cone with large amounts of hops, just want to be sure before I throw down the dough on a therminator and drill a hole in my kettle.

I could live with cold break in the fermenter if I had little to no hops/hot break I think.

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Old 03-01-2011, 05:27 PM   #10
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i have a dedicated "circuit" on my rig just for whirlpooling. One circuit goes from my BK, through a 32 plate chiller and back up into the BK. It doesn't whirlpool that strongly because of the lost momentum through the plate chiller.

So yes, I am "hot whirlpooling" and then, once chilled, I by-pass the plate chiller and go straight from the BK, through a pump and back into the BK (the dedicated whirlpooling circuit) and that whirlpool gets going really strong.

I always use hop bags in my boil so it doesn't matter how much pellets/whole hops I use. The hop bag cleans up a ton of hop dregs to begine with and then with the strength of the whirlpool I get going, I get NOTHING but crystal clear wort into the fermenter.

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