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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Protocol for Wort Chilling: To Stir or Not to Stir
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
natemietk
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Default Protocol for Wort Chilling: To Stir or Not to Stir

So I have heard two schools of thought about chilling wort with an imersion chiller:
1. Do not touch it when its cooling. Let the cold break, hops and other solids fall to the bottom of the kettle and either drain or syphon off the clear wort. This clears out the wort leaving the sediment behind, you do not need hop bags because all the hops fall to the bottom during chilling, yet it takes a lot longer to chill 5 gallons of wort.
2. Stir the wort, which chills the wort faster but leaves the sediment suspended when you add the wort to the carboy. I use hop bags because with stirring the wort, you are keeping the hops in suspension (especially whole hops). I have also heard that the yeast needs proteins and nutrients for a healthy fermentation so is this method better, even though it looks as if the beer is going to be cloudy?

What are your thoughts fellow homebrewers? Which one is better? Is there a preference? Does stirring the wort actually effect the haze and clarity of the final brew? Hop bags versus hops place directly in the kettle?

Cheers
Nate

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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I use a whirl pool in my kettle, so basically I'm stirring my wort. After the beer has cooled I let it sit for about 10 minutes. This lets most of the break material and hops settle to the bottom of the kettle. The added benefit of stirring the wort is to start the aeration process. Some are going to come on here and give you a scare about 'Hot side aeration', but as far as I'm concerned its a myth. Many large commercial breweries whirl pool and shake the begezus out of the wort as it cools. If it's good enough for them......

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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I'd say stir. I figure the faster you cool your wort the better. I'd just be gentle about it, so as to avoid hot-side aeration.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:07 AM   #4
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Stir the wort. Having a good cold break and quick cool down is much preferred to having some extra sediment in your beer when you rack to the fermenter. It will settle out in the fermenter anyway.

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:12 AM   #5
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When I was still using an IC to chill my work, I would move the IC in the wort to increase contact and thus cool faster. I would sometimes stir the wort to get the same effect, but moving the chiller proved to be more effective (IMO)...

Now that I have a plate chiller, it's not even a concern. I chill my wort in not even half the amount of time it would take with an IC. PLUS, it's going directly into primary as it's chilled. I oxygenate with pure O2 once it's in primary, before pitching my yeast. So I don't have to shake, rattle, or roll the batch at all to aerate/oxygenate it. Using pure O2 (IMO) is one of the things you can easily do to bring your brews to that next level. Plus, it's easier on those of us getting up there in years, or with bad backs...

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Old 08-05-2011, 02:19 AM   #6
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I didn't know there was a "debate."

I stir, first because it moves the wort around the chilling coils, helps to aerate the wort, and form a whirlpool for the solids to be left behind when I rack to a fermenter.

I don't see what hop bags have to do with this either, haven't used any since my second or third batch, I stopped using them long before I even used an IC, back when I just dumped everything, trub and all right into the fermenter.

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #7
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One quick question: do you take off hop bags after boiling or leave them in kettle while chilling? Will it make any difference since boil is over?

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for clearing up this confusion I have been having for some time. When I first learned how to brew, I was told to not touch the wort as it was cooling as to produce a cleaner beer then lately I have been reading the exact opposite! I can now chill my beer with confidence tomorrow when I make my Ben Franklin's clone recipe!
OG: 1.068 (suggested range = 1.060 – 1.086)
FG: 1.018 (suggested range = 1.014 – 1.030)
IBU: 27 (suggested range = 25 – 35)
SRM: 17 (suggested range = 12 – 25)
BU/GU Ratio: 0.39 (Strong Scotch Ale = 0.41 from AOB Style Guidelines & Daniels)
Ingredients for 5-gallons all-grain: (Assuming 63% efficiency)
Maris Otter (‘Low Malt’) = 8.5lbs. (59%)
Flaked Corn = 2.75 lbs. (19%)
Biscuit (‘High Malt’) = 1.75 lbs. (12%)
Special Roast (‘High Malt’) = 1.00 lbs. (7%)
Black Patent (‘High Malt’) = 2 oz. (1%)
Medium or Dark Molasses (not Blackstrap) = 4 oz (2%) – 15 minutes from end of boil
Mash: 154 F for 45 min or until complete conversion
Hops:
Whole Flower Kent Goldings (5.0% AA)
0.50 oz. - 60 min
0.75 oz. - 45 min
0.50 oz. - 30 min
Boil: 90 minutes
Yeast:
English - White Labs 002 (Wyeast 1968) OR Scottish – White Labs 028 (Wyeast 1728)

Taken from http://www.benfranklin300.org/etc_article_ale.htm

Cant wait to chill with some vigor! Though without a false bottom or some type of trap for my outlet valve on my kettle I am still weary to not use a hop bag. Am I just over thinking and being overly nervous about a trivial issue?

diS- I personally take the hop bags out once I start to chill the brew. Never really thought about it too much but I assume the more time you leave them in the higher your IBU count would be- even though it would be negligible... I think.

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Old 08-05-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Golddiggie- I am very curious about that 02 injection you were talking about. Sounds like a great idea, and yes I do have a bad back, which has prompted me to now use a March pump and a single tiered system. With this 02 system, are you putting a sterilized hose directly into the chilled wort and turing on the tank? If so at what PSI and for how long??

To everyone- http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
I was looking at this type of setup now that the air has been cleared with the stir or not stir question. Anyone have experience with it? Worth adding an extra copper hose to my chiller? Already have a pump and a valve so I do not believe it would be too much trouble....

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemietk View Post
Golddiggie- I am very curious about that 02 injection you were talking about. Sounds like a great idea, and yes I do have a bad back, which has prompted me to now use a March pump and a single tiered system. With this 02 system, are you putting a sterilized hose directly into the chilled wort and turing on the tank? If so at what PSI and for how long??
Check this out: http://www.williamsbrewing.com/WILLI...-P699C106.aspx

Works great for me.
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