Originally Posted by Brewcycle69
What I do is at flameout recirculate through my plate chiller until I hit 170F, then just turn off the water running through the chiller and keep recirculating. I usually recirculate for 20 -30 min, the temp will drift from 170F down to 160F.
What I have found to yield the best flavor and aroma is to crash as quickly as possible at the end of the boil after adding the last addition.
As for how steeping time effects flavor and aroma I have a recent example of that. A few months ago I made another batch of Boston Lager clone. This is one of my favorite beers and I like to have it on tap at all times. The brew day went great, but when I went to chill via whirlpool IC I got nothing when I turned on the faucet. The hose had frozen solid. 15 minutes of messing with the hose and 15 minutes of rigging up another cooling solution later I got the beer chilling. Where it normally takes me <5 minutes to get below 120 it had taken me ~30. There is very little hop flavor or aroma in that batch as a result. If I didn't know better I would say it wasn't the BL clone recipe at all, it tastes that different.
A point to remember is that if you are trying to clone a commercial brew then a whirlpool/hopstand step is going to be critical to get the same character in your finished beer. You need to get your process as close to theirs as possible to have success, and a commercial brewery just can't chill their batch as fast as we homebrewers can. They may have a 30 minute whirlpool that reduces hop flavor/aroma and adds bitterness. Large doses of dry hops are often used to offset this loss of volatile hop compounds.