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Old 02-22-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
eyedoctodd
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Default What is the best way to whirlpool?

Currently brewing 5 gal batches of all-grain in a 10-gallon Megapot (no ports/bulkheads) and I'm having a very hard time getting a reliable cone of trub/break/hops in the center. I do rack from the side with an auto-siphon and feel i am successful at minimally disturbing the liquid after whirlpooling. I have used the drill-attached aerator with the swing-down nylon blades but the plastic shaft causes it to whip too much. I have used a big stainless spoon. Nothing is working well, though I remember a couple years ago having better success condensing the crap. Is it something to do with my pot geometry (too wide for this volume?) - is it not a vigorous enough boil do create sticky trub and chunks of break to hold the cone together? Would this stirrer possibly work better because of the metal shaft reducing whipping? http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/pa...-using?page=12

Help please.. What can I do to improve my whirlpool?
Thanks

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:14 AM   #2
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I would suggest not using an aerator for you whirlpool. Personal preference. I've actually had really good results just stirring with my mash paddle (which has been in and out of boiling liquid and taken a quick dunk in sanitizer so it's as clean as wood gets) and then draining my pot. Of course I have a valve and it sounds like you don't.

So, I'd say stop worrying so much. Your trub will fall out after fermentation. And what ever is left will fall out when you go into secondary. And if there's any miniscule amount left in will fall out in the bottle. And if there's still any left in suspension it will fall out if you just give your beer a week in the fridge.

My point is stop worrying about it. And all the technical crap. It's just going to make your head hurt and over complicate your brewing. (as a disclaimer you need some technical aspects to your brewing but you can't convince me that pot geometry has anything to do with your situation. A whirlpool is a whirlpool)

I think you're over thinking the problem. Of course we all have our pet peeves don't we?

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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^^^This. Just what perceived problem are you trying to solve by whirlpooling? Separation of the trub before going to the fermenter? Why bother when gravity will do it for you in the fermenter with the hops settling first and getting covered by the yeast which you rack above anyway.

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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I've never whirlpooled, couldn't tell you the first thing about it. I've got a basic pot with no valves or anything. I've typically use leaf hops and usually use hop bags throughout the boil to minimize this as much as possible. After chilling, i usually just dump the wort into the primary, trying to leave any break material in the pot. Sometimes if it looks excessive, I'll pour it through a sanitized strainer.

I don't claim to be a pro, but I agree with the other posts, most of the trub should settle during fermentation. I'll admit, I don't always get the clarity I would prefer, but that's not quite at the top of my priority list. I'm not aiming for winning awards with my homebrew. I enjoy the hobby, and drinking/sharing the results of my labor. You can make your brewing experience as labor intensive as you choose. It's all about your personal preference.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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Agree with the above although I do whirlpool to try to reduce the amount of trub I transfer to primary. I don't obsess about it. Also, if you are looking for a tight bound up "cone" of trub ... forget it! The trub just settles a bit more in the center of the pot leaving the trub at the edges a little less deep. You will rack less, (I use a an auto-syphon) but you will always get some unless you want to leave behind a lot of wort. Nothing I know of makes the trub "sticky"!

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #6
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I siphon from my pot to the primary. This leaves behind a lot of true. I used to pour into primary and found pouring 3 to 5 gallons terribly difficult.

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies. I didn't really intend for this to be about the value (or lack thereof) of the whirlpooling, I am interested in the best technique to do so.

Perhaps there is not a tremendous value in omitting some trub from my fermenter but I see it as something that doesn't take a lot of effort, and so to me it's worthwhile if I can improve clarity and reduce the potential for off-flavors. Part of the reason I have been brewing for close to 10 years but only more consistently and seriously lately is that earlier efforts resulted in brews that tasted "off". I like to show off my better beers to my friends and have them be impressed that this was made at home. So any small source of off-flavors is worth removing to me. Likewise I want it to be as clear as possible as the appearance is more important to non-homebrewers or non-craft beer lovers. Yes, I'm a perfectionist. That's my rationale for wanting to omit as much trub as is feasible.

As far as stickiness - that was a poor choice of words. What I meant is I've seen trub and hops coalesce into more of a defined mass around which clear wort can be racked. Both personally and like in this photo:


So to summarize, I'm not worrying so much, I know that some stuff besides clear wort will make it into the primary and secondary and into the keg, and it will settle with time. I still would like to reduce/minimize it if for nothing else to have less time to wait for things to clarify.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:26 PM   #8
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I dont know much brewing but it looks like they used whole hops in that pic.

For a good whirlpool i would say dont go crazy just keep a constant spin and you should be good to go. I use a paint strainer on my bucket when i pour the wort to filter out the bigger things. The strainer i think in my little world also helps to aerate the wort.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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When I whirlpool I get a good spin going with the biggest spoon I can lay my hands on. I get a nice pile of mess in my keggle. Hops or pellets regardless. The keggle bottom is concave and it's shape naturally helps to act as a mitt for all the break so that may also be an advantage there

Im working on incorporating my pump and therminator into the mix so i can chill the entire volume while i whirlpool but im still in planning stages there.

The master brewer at a local microbrewery turned me on to the necessity of whirlpooling after hanging out with him after a brew session. He mentioned that the break left at the bottom of the tun after a successful whirlpool contains proteins have potential to contribute significant off flavors in beer. (I said POTENTIAL to contribute). Something else about "soapification". He also filters the wort through a giant hop back/keg packed with hops. His wort was crystal clear going into the fermenter.

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyedoctodd View Post
Currently brewing 5 gal batches of all-grain in a 10-gallon Megapot (no ports/bulkheads) and I'm having a very hard time getting a reliable cone of trub/break/hops in the center. I do rack from the side with an auto-siphon and feel i am successful at minimally disturbing the liquid after whirlpooling. I have used the drill-attached aerator with the swing-down nylon blades but the plastic shaft causes it to whip too much. I have used a big stainless spoon. Nothing is working well, though I remember a couple years ago having better success condensing the crap. Is it something to do with my pot geometry (too wide for this volume?) - is it not a vigorous enough boil do create sticky trub and chunks of break to hold the cone together? Would this stirrer possibly work better because of the metal shaft reducing whipping? http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/pa...-using?page=12

Help please.. What can I do to improve my whirlpool?
Thanks
How do you currently chill your wort?
How long do you stir the wort for currently when you whirlpool?

I ask because I am trying to figure out the purpose for your whirlpool. IMO this is a tough question to answer because you say your pot does not have an outlet setup on it, which really limits your options. The other thing is, if you arent pulling the wort out of the kettle from the bottom via a bulkhead/hop screen (as you say you use a siphon) if you wait long enough the particulate will drop to the bottom anyways, and you can carefully siphon the wort out.

With the gear you have its going to be tough to whirlpool any other way than with a spoon without spending money on a pump and adding a bulkhead to your kettle and purchase the Jamil styled whirlpool chiller from More Beer - http://morebeer.com/view_product/914...e_-_Option_One and description here - http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

If you are looking for a way to get the particulate to be chunky and stick together, do you use something like whirfloc in the boil? That will help with that and will probably help achieve the results you desire.

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