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Old 01-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
BrooZer
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Default Whirlpooling vs. strainer.

Hey all,

I have been using the dump through a strainer method of getting clean wort into my primary. I just got done reading the excellent FAQ about whirlpooling in the beginner section. Now I am curious. I am toying with switching to this method.

I have one concern. With whirlpooling you have to siphon the wort out into the fermentor. It seems to me that this would lead the cooled wort to being exposed to air the entire time you are transferring. When pouring through a strainer it only takes a couple of minutes.

My question is, is the benefit received from whirpolling great enough to risk infection? I thought of siphoning with tin foil as a lid but that seems to be a huge PIA because you would not be able to see if you were getting trub or not.

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Old 01-02-2008, 05:08 PM   #2
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Aerating cooled wort going into your primary is beneficial to the fermentation. In terms of infection risk, it can be mitigated using good technique.

What I do is:

Whirlpool with a sanitized spoon

Cover kettle for 20 minutes (or 30)

Start a siphon with an autosiphon (it and the tubing pre-sanitized, or course)

I also place a sanitized hop bag over the end of the siphon (in the wort) to keep the gunk from clogging things up. If the whirlpool works as intended, and if you position the siphon correctly, you should avoid the gunk anyway.

Another option (which someone will likely suggest) is adding a spigot to your kettle.

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Old 01-02-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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I'm assuming you mean transferring cooled wort into your primary, not your secondary.

If you are paying attention to sanitation, there shouldn't be any concerns with the cooled wort picking up any errant yeasts or bacteria. It only takes a couple minutes to siphon, and any potential risks are probably outweighed by the fact that you aren't trying to pour from a kettle, with your head right over the wort. What if you have to sneeze and you've only poured out half of the wort? I don't see how racking with a siphon really increases any contamination risks when you look at the whole picture. And I find it much cleaner to rack with a siphon than to try to pour into a funnel.

I don't bother with whirlpooling when I'm doing stovetop partial boils. The small quantity of wort and the shape of my kitchen kettle pretty much negate my efforts anyway. A little bit of residue ends up in the fermenter, but with the autosiphon you can minimize that by just letting the tip rest on top of the sludge in the kettle and just siphoning the clean wort off the top of that bed.

If/when I fix my keggle, I'll probably go back to whirlpooling because it seems to work very nicely with the larger full volume boils and the dished bottom of the keggle. Of course, I've never noticed any off-flavors in my beer even when lots of hop particles and protein break end up in the primary. The beer is probably out of that environment and into the secondary long before the bits can impart any off-flavors. I guess if you aren't secondarying at all, and the beer is going to sit on that trub for several weeks, you'd want to be more picky about what gets into the fermenter in the first place.

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Old 01-02-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixFoFalcon
I'm assuming you mean transferring cooled wort into your primary, not your secondary.

If you are paying attention to sanitation, there shouldn't be any concerns with the cooled wort picking up any errant yeasts or bacteria. It only takes a couple minutes to siphon, and any potential risks are probably outweighed by the fact that you aren't trying to pour from a kettle, with your head right over the wort. What if you have to sneeze and you've only poured out half of the wort? I don't see how racking with a siphon really increases any contamination risks when you look at the whole picture. And I find it much cleaner to rack with a siphon than to try to pour into a funnel.

I don't bother with whirlpooling when I'm doing stovetop partial boils. The small quantity of wort and the shape of my kitchen kettle pretty much negate my efforts anyway. A little bit of residue ends up in the fermenter, but with the autosiphon you can minimize that by just letting the tip rest on top of the sludge in the kettle and just siphoning the clean wort off the top of that bed.

If/when I fix my keggle, I'll probably go back to whirlpooling because it seems to work very nicely with the larger full volume boils and the dished bottom of the keggle. Of course, I've never noticed any off-flavors in my beer even when lots of hop particles and protein break end up in the primary. The beer is probably out of that environment and into the secondary long before the bits can impart any off-flavors. I guess if you aren't secondarying at all, and the beer is going to sit on that trub for several weeks, you'd want to be more picky about what gets into the fermenter in the first place.
Youre right i changed it to my primary.. I am doing a full boil in a 30 quart pot. Will whirlpooling be pointless if it is not a keggle. Also do you physically hold the auto siphon above the trub level or just set it against the side of the pot and let it touch bottom?
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooZer
Youre right i changed it to my primary.. I am doing a full boil in a 30 quart pot. Will whirlpooling be pointless if it is not a keggle. Also do you physically hold the auto siphon above the trub level or just set it against the side of the pot and let it touch bottom?
You can whirlpool any kettle. If you don't have the auto-syphon with the little end cap you will probably want to hold it up. But if you get a nice trub cone (irish moss in the boil helps a lot) you don't even need it. Mine is just a copper dip tube with no filter at all.

Here is my 40QT aluminum kettle after whirlpooling and draining through my CFC.

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Old 01-02-2008, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianP
Cover kettle for 20 minutes (or 30)

Start a siphon with an autosiphon (it and the tubing pre-sanitized, or course)
I tried that once:
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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Well, you gotta cool the wort first....

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 Is Not Enough
I tried that once:
I'm sorry, but that is hilarious.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:22 AM   #9
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I keep a lid on the kettle while siphoning and peek once in a while to see if I have to lower the racking cane a bit.

Kai

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Old 01-03-2008, 01:52 AM   #10
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I don't have great success with whirpooling but I still do it and use the auto-siphon clipped to the edge of the pot. I keep the lid on partially and cover the rest of the opening with one of my cleaning rags. You can move it down as the level drops and then for the last part I dump it through a straing bag in a 3 gallon plastic pale, then into the carboy. Works fairly well.

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