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Old 05-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Whirlpool Hopping

In the latest edition of BYO magazine (or maybe the one before) there is an article on whirlpool hopping, which for those who don't know is when you add hops to the wort after flameout and during your whirlpool. My understanding was that this also occurs before chilling, so that the hops somewhat isomerize while at high temps during the whirlpool.

My concern is that this procedure seems to fly in the face of everything I remember reading about as a new homebrewer, namely that you should try to chill as quickly as possible after the boil to reduce the risk of infection, reduce the risk of hot side aeration, and to get a good cold break to help with chill haze. I've always done it this way and typically only whirlpool after I've already chilled to pitching temps, to try and separate hop debris and trub. But I figure adding hops during my post chill whirlpool defeats the purpose as the temps are too low to get any isomerization.

Can someone help me understand this process better? Is it the case that updated understanding is that the risks of infection or hot side aeration are low enough to not worry about, so a quick chill isn't necessary? What about chill haze?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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I've played around with this on my last few batches of hoppy beers, with superb results. A couple of things to keep in mind:

-Use whirlfloc and chill rapidly (once chilling is started) to get a good cold break.
-Can't really comment on chill haze, b/c these heavily dry-hopped beers are hazy regardless
-Hot side aeration is really a myth, and not something to worry about.
-Infection is only a concern after the wort drops below 170F, so begin your rapid chill at that point.

I'm getting great results in terms of hop flavor/aroma by doing an extended hot whirlpool at about 200F for 20min, then adding a second dose of whirlpool hops once chilling is started and the wort drops below 170F (which is around the flash point for many essential oils).

After trying this, it has become evident that hops added between 30 - 5 minutes remaining in the boil might be a waste of hops if you're trying to perserve essential oil driven aroams/flavors.

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Ditto. Huge improvement in my IPAs with a 20-30 min whirlpool. I shut off burner, let it cool for 5 mins (to stop steaming), then throw the hops in with a whirlpool. You can play around with different temps for a slightly different effect.

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Essentially you want to add the hops and whirlpool. Once the whirlpool settles, then begin chilling. The time it takes to chill down is about the same time it takes for the hops to sit in the wort so you are really not extending your chill time by much at all.

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Old 05-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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This is a very long thread dedicated to this topic

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/how-get-best-hop-aroma-flameout-additions-213803/

I think most of the other comments in your post are correct about how and when to whirlpool, one thing I would add, is that to reduce chill haze you will need to use a finning, like gelatin or isinglass. Or buy cold crashing your beer at 31-34ºF for a day or more before racking. Ideally you would go to 31ºF for 24hr, but unless you have very good temperature control you risk going to low and freezing your beer. But too like was stated before, if you have a very hoppy beer the haze will be very difficult to remove completely.

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Old 05-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info.

One follow up - if I whirlpool at 200F and then allow 20 minutes for settling, how likely am I to mess up my hop/trub cone by adding my immersion chiller to the pot to start the chilling process?

Do those of you that whirlpool hop use a counterflow or plate chiller? I could see those chilling methods working without disturbing the cone, but I'm only set up to use an immersion chiller.

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Old 05-10-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
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This was talked about on BrewTV as well. They mentioned one brewery (the name eludes me) actually only does a 60 minute addition and a whirlpool addition. It gives what is needed and no waste.

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPal75 View Post
Thanks for the info.

One follow up - if I whirlpool at 200F and then allow 20 minutes for settling, how likely am I to mess up my hop/trub cone by adding my immersion chiller to the pot to start the chilling process?

Do those of you that whirlpool hop use a counterflow or plate chiller? I could see those chilling methods working without disturbing the cone, but I'm only set up to use an immersion chiller.
I use a Jamil-style whirlpool chiller, so not sure how you're going about it. I would always put my standard chiller in for the last few minutes of the boil regardless to sanitize it, and whirlpool around it.

One more thing that I should have mentioned is that you will get significant bitterness from a hot whirlpool, as utilization is still ocurring. I treat my 20min hot whirlpool as a 15min boil addition when calculating IBU's, and it seems to work out well.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPal75 View Post
Thanks for the info.

One follow up - if I whirlpool at 200F and then allow 20 minutes for settling, how likely am I to mess up my hop/trub cone by adding my immersion chiller to the pot to start the chilling process?

Do those of you that whirlpool hop use a counterflow or plate chiller? I could see those chilling methods working without disturbing the cone, but I'm only set up to use an immersion chiller.
Put the immersion chiller in close to the end of the boil (5-10min) this will insure you kill any thing that survived your washing of it. It might stop your boil momentarily, and any water in the coil might start shooting out of your in/outlets of the chiller. Then after you stop the boil start the whirlpool.

I have a counterflow chiller now, but this is the way I did it with an immersion chiller in the past.

This is Jamil's version of the immersion whirlpool chiller, it requiers a pump but it is a great way to chill your wort.

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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As of now,I do put my immersion chiller in near end of boil to sanitize, but I find it impossible (for me) to get a good strong whirlpool going with the chiller in there. I also have a temp probe in there attached to my boil kettle, so between it and the chiller I can't seem to get a good vortex going.

So what I do is add the chiller near end of boil to sanitize. Chill to pitching temps after flameout. Then remove my chiller, start my whirlpool, cover and sit for 20 mins or so. Then add my auto siphon and rack to my fermenter. This process has worked well for separating trub and hops on my system, but doesn't work so well if I wanted to try whirlpool hopping. Any suggestions on how to get a good whirlpool going with the chiller in the pot? Or should I just try to make Jamil's chiller setup and buy a pump? How hard is it to get the copper in Jamil's setup bent to the right angle to get a good whirlpool?

Thanks in advance!

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