Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Hot whirlpool and HERMS question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #1
fafrd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 111
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Hot whirlpool and HERMS question

My all-grain brewing has all been with an old-fashioned manual set up, but I am in the planning stages of a 110v electric HLT + propane BK HERMS system and have been reading and learning a great deal on this forum.

I have a question for those with HERMS systems - does anyone use the HERMS coil in their HLT as an immersion chiller to cool the hot wort? The idea would be the following:

a. use pump to whirlpool hot during the last 15 minutes of boil in the BK

b. after cutting flame, wait appropriate time for hot trub cone to form

c. as soon as outside edge of BK is clear, begin transferring hot wort to sterile HLT (leaving hot trub behind)

d. run cold hose water through HERMS coil while recirculating cooling wort through HLT (using prechiller/ice if needed)

e. when target temperature reached, wait appropriate time for cold trub cone to form (if reducing cold trub in fermenter desired)

f. transfer cool clear wort to fermenter

Is there any reason this would not work? Transferring hot wort to the HLT is an extra step, but avoiding the cost of a second IC coil is a savings and separating the hot trub from the cold trub seems like an advantage (leave all of the hot trub out of the fermenter and as much of the cold trub out/in as desired).

Comments from those with HERMS rigs and whirlpooling with immersion chillers greatly appreciated.

-fafrd

__________________
fafrd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 05:00 AM   #2
tally350z
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
 
tally350z's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,134
Liked 70 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Seems like it could work. I would just be concerned with the added step in sanitizing, but if you are thorough and do it right I am sure it could work. What size coil are you using as your HERMS. Are you planning on Whrilpooling in both vessels?

EDIT: I am sure you may have read some where on here, but I would look into using a hop spider. I use one for my hop additions and it works like a charm. Using a plate chiller I have yet to have any issues with glogging(knock on wood).

__________________
Toasting Tortoise Brewery
Primary - Smoked Belgium
Secondary - SOUR TORTOISE
Kegged
- Burton IPA, Munich Lager, Cream Ale
Bottled - Muscadine Port, Imperial Stout

North Florida Brewers League
tally350z is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
fafrd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 111
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Tally350z,

thanks for the response. What I am considering to do for sanitizing is to use the time that the wort is boiling in the BK to bring a gallon or two of water up to a boil in my eHLT so I can recirculate boiling water through the HLT, the pump and all the relevant hoses during the BK boil. That hot liquor in the HLT will need to be transferred out (probably to the then-empty MLT) prior to beginning the recirculation pump for the final 15 minutes of the wort boil.

I'd rather avoid the use of sanitizers other than boiling water until the brew cycle is compete if I can.

It's a few more steps but it allows me to buy one nice coil rather than 2 smaller or cheaper ones. I'm planning on getting a 50' 1/2" SS coil for the 15 gallon HLT (5 and 10 gallon batches).

There are so many creative and experienced brewers on this board, I'm sure someone must have though of this before me - aside from needing to run a sanitation cycle through the HLT and plumbing prior to hot wort transfer, is there any other reason that this would be a bad idea?

And yes, I am planning on whirlpool fittings for both the HLT and BK vessels. I have still not settled on the solution I want use to transfer the cooled wort into the fermentation vessel, so not yet sure if I will have a fixed whirpool return in the BK or a wand that can also be used to transfer into the carboy(s).

-fafrd

p.s. definitely planning for all of my coils to be wide enough to accommodate a hop spider, but still not 100% sold on the need yet - even if they do not reduce hop utilization, they certainly don't improve it, and if whirlpooling hot is as effective as it sounds like it can be, that seems like a simpler way to leave the hops and hot trub behind... Trying to keep all of my options open in the new build, but it's tough when I have never used so much of this new technology before.

__________________
fafrd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
V-Twin
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Livermore, California
Posts: 21
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

The other option is you could just recirculate your wort through your HLT coils from your boil kettle while you have your HLT full of cold water. You'd have to keep refreshing or running cold water from your hose or whatever during the entire recirculation/cooling process. This would reduce your need for sanitizing your HLT.. you could start your recirculation from boil kettle through your empty HLT's coils 20mins prior to starting your cool down.. This will sanitize your HLT's coils. Then you could fill your HLT with water from your cold water source and keep it running to keep it cold in your HLT. If your ground water is warm during the summer months you could add ice to your HLT during the cooling phase as well.
I use a side oriented pick up tube so it siphon's from the side while the trub stays in the middle of the pot.

__________________
V-Twin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
tally350z
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
 
tally350z's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 1,134
Liked 70 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Twin View Post
The other option is you could just recirculate your wort through your HLT coils from your boil kettle while you have your HLT full of cold water. You'd have to keep refreshing or running cold water from your hose or whatever during the entire recirculation/cooling process. This would reduce your need for sanitizing your HLT.. you could start your recirculation from boil kettle through your empty HLT's coils 20mins prior to starting your cool down.. This will sanitize your HLT's coils. Then you could fill your HLT with water from your cold water source and keep it running to keep it cold in your HLT. If your ground water is warm during the summer months you could add ice to your HLT during the cooling phase as well.
I use a side oriented pick up tube so it siphon's from the side while the trub stays in the middle of the pot.
This was the first method I had tried with my HERMS coil and it is very inefficient in cooling. It took me almost an hour to get boil wort to 80-85*even with 10lbs of Ice in HLT
__________________
Toasting Tortoise Brewery
Primary - Smoked Belgium
Secondary - SOUR TORTOISE
Kegged
- Burton IPA, Munich Lager, Cream Ale
Bottled - Muscadine Port, Imperial Stout

North Florida Brewers League
tally350z is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
kpr121
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,754
Liked 58 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 57

Default

Mount your hex coil to a lid that fits both your HLT and BK. That way you can move the HEX to the BK 15 minutes before flame out and use it like a conventional IC.

Dropping out the hot and cold trub separately is unnecessary.

Edit: This also avoids drilling additional holes in your HLT, as much fun as that is.

__________________
ADD ME on GOOGLE+
Primary: Nugget Nectar 2014
Kegged:

Bottled:
Bulk Aging:
Up Next: ???? Suggestions?
kpr121 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
fafrd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 111
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks to all for the feedback on my original question.

I haven't bought anything for my new rig yet except the pots, so I appreciate these inputs while I still have time to modify my plan.

Taking a step back, if I've understood what I have read on this forum correctly, the primary goal in all of this wort cooling technology is to get the temperature of the entire volume of wort down below the threshold where DMS and loss of hop oils are a concern as quickly as possible.

I have no idea how 'fast' is fast enough - seems like some brag about being able to get the entire volume of wort to pitching in under 5 min, while many others seem to target under 15 minutes (opinions appreciated :-)

So I suppose one concern with my original idea is that the time hot wort is being transferred to the HLT is just that much more time into the whole equation. My HLT will probably be about 3 feet higher than my BK, so pumping through 1/2" hose with a March pump full on, I'm assuming it is going to take 5-10 minutes to pump a 10 gallon batch (again, no experience with pumps, so any experience / opinions appreciated).

If I am right about this, the transfer time kind of kills the entire concept (while getting the transfer done in 1 or 2 minutes might still be viable, but seems unrealistic from what I have read using standard pumps and 1/2" hoses).

So I am kind of coming full-circle on this and thinking about building a large/fast stainless CFC rather than going IC.

My guess is that if I use 25 feet of 1/2" O.D. 0.02"W SS tubing inside of 1" I.D. Hose, that CFC could probably bring hot wort down to close to pitching temperature at a flow rate of at least 1gpm (and possibly 2gpm) using a March pump at full bore. This would equate to a total hot-wort phase of only 5-10 minutes.

It also seems like a high-flow-rate and good-enough efficiency CFC would use less tap water than any other high-speed cooling solution (which is attractive to me).

A separate CFC would obviously mean more expense and one more thing to clean, but the stainless coil is an expense I am going to have anyway for an IC (in fact, was planning on a 50' IC, so coil cost for the CFC could be less if I can get away with 25'), and 25' of hot water hose is only about $70, so total incremental cost is probably under $100.

Of course, this will mean cold-break in the fermentation vessel, but unclear if that is actually a good or a bad thing, and if I ever get motivated with keeping some/most of the cold-break out, I can always go back to my idea of using a sterilized HLT as a cold-wort whirlpool vessel before transferring to the fermentation vessels.

I realize that I have kind of hijacked my own thread and should probably start a separate post if I want any feedback on the idea of a high-flow CFC with 1/2" SS tubing, but if any of you HERMS brewers that have been kind enough to read through this thread also chill with active CFC (pump, not gravity), any advise or experience greatly appreciated...

-fafrd

__________________
fafrd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
kpr121
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,754
Liked 58 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 57

Default

I think that sounds like a good idea. I don't have experience with CFC so I will defer comment on that part.

I will say that I don't believe chilling in under 5 minutes is absolutely important other than it saves you time (and maybe waste water).

But there has been recent info suggesting that hop contact time with hot wort (but less than 170) greatly affects hop flavor and aroma for the good.

In fact I have adjusted my process for hoppy beers to a 20 min steep/whirlpool at around 150 to 165 f. I recirc the wort through my plate chiller at full bore until the entire volume drops to that temp, then start my steep.

I'm sure you could do this with a CFC (just turn down the chill water flow), its just another thing to think about!

__________________
ADD ME on GOOGLE+
Primary: Nugget Nectar 2014
Kegged:

Bottled:
Bulk Aging:
Up Next: ???? Suggestions?
kpr121 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
LBussy
OCD Procrastinator
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LBussy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Posts: 576
Liked 106 Times on 86 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
My all-grain brewing has all been with an old-fashioned manual set up
I used to have a whole wall of ribbons won the "old-fashioned way." The gadget-geek in me loves the idea of automation, but don't ever think for a second that more technology means better beer. The brewer makes better beer; the technology allows him to apply his experience more efficiently.

Quote:
I have a question for those with HERMS systems - does anyone use the HERMS coil in their HLT as an immersion chiller to cool the hot wort?
The first thought I have is that this will introduce even more waste to the process. If you are making 1/2 BBL batches of Bud-Miller-Coors clones then maybe not a big deal. If you are making a 5-gallon batch of Barleywine then every cup of wort is expensive. The second thought is that it potentially introduces aeration at a time when you really want to minimize that. If you are going to move hot wort it should be sealed and through a chiller.

CFC (or maybe those new-fangled plate chillers) is the way to go if you are building a new system IMHO. It was state of the art 20 years ago in homebrewing and I don't think a better way has been discovered to rapidly chill wort in a sanitary manner.

All this from a guy who was on sabbatical and only just returning; but beer is 3000 years old give or take and things don't change that much.
__________________

Lee Bussy
Bad decisions make good stories.

LBussy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-09-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
Dog House Brew
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dog House Brew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 930
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I will add that hose water in the CFC doesn't work too well most of the year. I use hose water in my CFC to get the wort to about 90. I have a tee on my CFC to also have a small submersible pump in a small kiddie pool of ice water. i freeze 4 milk jugs and use it for my ice. I can chill to lager pitching temps in about 15 minutes. Works great in even the summer when my tap water isn't cold enough to get to ale pitch temps efficiently.

__________________

Are You Going to Drink all That?

Dog House Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Whirlpool w/pump question Tomahawk All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 12-11-2012 07:55 PM
Whirlpool Question d_striker Equipment/Sanitation 1 06-22-2012 08:56 PM
Whirlpool Question Holter General Techniques 32 02-27-2012 09:53 PM
pH Meter/Whirlpool IC/Accessories or Whirlpool IC/March Pump/Kettle Valve jholen All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 01-20-2012 07:13 PM
Poor mans whirlpool (IC whirlpool question) phoenixs4r DIY Projects 4 09-06-2011 07:15 PM