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Old 06-06-2012, 04:37 AM   #1
grndslm
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Default Does anyone WHIRLPOOL when transferring to secondary???

I asked this question with the word "aerate" instead of "whirlpool", but that was a clear mistake.

What I consider whirlpooling seems like aerating, but it's obviously not. There's a difference.

Sooo... anyway....

My beer tastes best when I whirlpool....

- when I boil
- when I whirlpool after boil
- when I shake the carboy up BEFORE pitching
- when I shake the carboy up AFTER pitching
- when I am mixing in priming sugar
... and I just started a new experiment of
- turning bottles upside down once or twice, since no more oxygen can be added into a sealed bottle cap (we'll see how this last one worked, but I doubt it could do any harm, probably won't help an incredible amount either, tho)

Now I'm left wondering if anybody whirlpools **AFTER** racking from primary to secondary??? I could hardly see any disadvantage, since there is no trub... and since it works when whirlpooling with the priming sugar....

BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO IT??

The difference between my buddy who started us down this homebrew path is that he never wanted to disturb the beer, but I want to whirlpool it every chance I get (not introduce bubbles thru splashing, however!). It's all about an even solution, imho. Anybody else see this??

Sure temp is likely more important, but I think whirlpooling is another function that creates consistent brews.

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Last edited by grndslm; 06-06-2012 at 02:32 PM. Reason: **AFTER**, not "while" racking from primary to secondary
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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It's not as much about introducing bubbles, but rather about increasing the contact area between the top of the beer and the air in the top of the fermenter. I don't think you understand the transfer of O2 into a solution, but that is all you're going to do if you whirlpool while racking to secondary. Many people don't even bother with racking to secondary unless the style or recipe specifically calls for it because of the increased risk of off-flavors due to oxygenation by merely splashing just a little bit. The only thing that I see happening is you oxidizing the hell out of your beer.

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Old 06-06-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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I've only been here since the END of March, so it's really like 2 & 1/2 months I've been here, but who's counting??? (edit: hmm... looks like I was off by a couple weeks, so obviously I haven't been counting)

I've already brewed 6 batches, because my friend already had the equipment... but he was having problems with consistency. I have solved his problems with my "even solutions" solution.

Just wondering if I'm the only person who has considered this??? I've seen a number of people who believe that oxygenation is not something that's as serious as others here make it out to seem.

Again, I get a MAD whirlpool going on when racking to the bottling bucket.

WHY??

Because of my friend's experience. He didn't want to stir the priming sugar in, because John Palmer told him not to. I never read Palmer's book, and I'm thankful I didn't. I could see that maybe 1/3rd of my friend's bottles were over-carbed, another 1/3rd were under-carbed, and the last 1/3rd were just right??? He must have done dozens of batches without me, while away at college, and he never thought to stir...

I've now seen other people who whirlpool in bottling bucket... and, surprisingly, even people who turn their bottled beers upside down a couple times (search my posts).

I've yet to see somebody say they whirlpool in secondary, however. Sure, you don't like secondary. That's for another thread.

But we like doing secondary!! We get the beer off the bulk of the trub, and we can wash the yeast for later storage. We have plenty of yeast, so we can use some of the older yeast in a boil as yeast nutrient

Anyway....

Let's get back to THE TOPIC....

Does anyone WHIRLPOOL, or STIR, their beer when transferring to secondary??

edit: sure I could do this on 2 or 3 of our next few batches, but the entire point of me posting on a discussion forum is to discover things I wouldn't discover on my own (i.e. - cheap 15 gal conical fermenters, hop bursting, adding zero-min additions after chilling wort to 180-190 deg, yeast washing, tossing old yeast in the boil as yeast nutrient, yeast harvesting from Rogue Brutal bottles, etcetera). But today I want to discuss one thing from somebody with experience.

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Last edited by BierMuncher; 06-06-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Removed un-needed commentary
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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I whirlpool into my secondary and into my bottling bucket...basically because having the tubing parrallel with the bucket is the best way to avoid oxidation and naturally creates a whirlpool. Never had an oxidation issue with a secondary either.

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
This doesn't sound arrogant.

Why would you stir when you transfer to secondary? If the point is to get the beer off of the yeast, then why would you stir it back in before you rack it?
That IS a good question. Why WOULD you stir the trub back into the secondary, after leaving it behind in the primary???? I sure don't move the trub into the secondary, because that's the entire purpose of the secondary. I rinse the trub with boiled and cooled water.... throw that water into the 6-gal carboy.... swirl it all around and dump into a pot.... letting the actual trub fall to the bottom of the pot for 30 minutes (while cleaning the 6-gal carboy for another rounding of primary fermentation!)... then siphon the liquid "beer" on top into some mason jars, where they will THEN be put into a fridge. After a day or two, the yeast will have completely settled out at the bottom of the mason jars. When ready to pitch the yeast the next week... pour the liquid off, pour a tad bit of boiled & cooled water in to rehydrate the yeast, shake well, shake the carboy well also, then pitch the rehydrated yeast!!!

I'm theorizing that whirlpooling / stirring in secondary is good for the same reason it's good to whirlpool at any other stage -- to provide for an EVEN, PREDICTABLE solution for the yeasties. I have this theory of mine that homebrewers get such varied results when it comes to bottling for two main reasons -- (1) high temps, and (2) fear of "oxygenating, disturbing the yeast".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calichusetts View Post
I whirlpool into my secondary and into my bottling bucket...basically because having the tubing parrallel with the bucket is the best way to avoid oxidation and naturally creates a whirlpool. Never had an oxidation issue with a secondary either.
See....

This is what my buddy was doing. Letting the racking hose "naturally" create a whirlpool, as suggested by [Palmer?], at least most everyone on this forum. But his bottles just don't carbonate as consistently as when we take the racking cane and create a VORTEX swirl in the bottling bucket.

If a vortex swirl won't destroy the beer before bottling, then I don't see how the same exact amount of swirling at an earlier step, just after you have REMOVED the beer from the trub & sleeping yeasties... will destroy the beer.

Even a vortex swirl of ~1 minute or so [after the "natural whirlpool"] would give a fraction of a fraction of "oxygen" to come in contact with "surface yeast".

I'm really surprised more people don't physically use the racking cane itself to swirl than just let the output of the racking hose cause a "slight" whirlpool. Maybe our hose is smaller than most or something?? Either way, I've seen the light!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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I not only whirlpool every time I transfer. I also boil it. If boiling is good during one part of the process it must be good everywhere in the process. I boil my mash. I boil before and after pitching yeast. I boil before transferring to the secondary and I boil right before I bottle it. Kill all the nasties as often as possible.

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Special Hops View Post
I not only whirlpool every time I transfer. I also boil it. If boiling is good during one part of the process it must be good everywhere in the process. I boil my mash. I boil before and after pitching yeast. I boil before transferring to the secondary and I boil right before I bottle it. Kill all the nasties as often as possible.
But boiling the wort, even without the yeast... destroys the FOOD for the yeasties.

This is why it's been said the best flavor/aroma hops addition you can make is AFTER the wort has chilled to around 180 to 190 degrees, for about 10 min, then continue chilling.

(If you've ever met a good cook, their secret is to likely cook the food at a lower temperature for a longer time. Why would extracting sugars or isomerizing hop oils be any different??)

Boiling the beer is obviously going to destroy the yeast,
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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MalFet....

My friend has seen, time and time again, his bottled brews never receive CONSISTENT carbonation.

The only thing I changed was getting him to use the racking cane to swirl the solution in the bottling bucket. Since then, we have had ZERO problems with carbonation or anything else.

Again, perhaps his hose is thinner than most and does not create fast enough of a "natural whirlpool"???

But I just found it odd that he didn't want to "disturb the yeast", but then finally agreed once he realized that by racking to the bottling bucket... he just left the trub behind.

I've already discussed this elsewhere, and people say that they swirl and see NO EFFECTS OF OXIDATION. Has anyone seen the effects of oxidation from simply swirling and not splashing???

This *definitely* works in the bottling bucket. So you ask, why wouldn't the beer in the secondary be a solution?? I'm not a yeast, so I can't answer that question.... but half the time our last batch sat in the secondary (and even with a 10-day primary; ale, btw), it had dark and light "splotches" all throughout the carboy. It all became dark last time I looked (bottle day is in 2 more days).... but perhaps swirling in secondary could make secondary times go by quicker????

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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An even solution for the yeast IS NECESSARY, and most particularly in homebrew bottling.

I think the fear of oxidation is one reason why people move to kegs so quickly. They say it's "better", but they've never had one of my beers.

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
These things (sugars, hop oils, etc.) are in solution. That means that they are already as mixed as they can possibly be.
Soo... you're implying that when these proteins and such are mixed into a liquid solution.... THAT THEY'LL STAY IN SOLUTION FOREVER??!?!?

I don't think that's the case.
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