Kettle Upgrade for Whirlpooling/Improved Cooling Questions

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CoreyG

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K hopefully this multiple part question doesn't get toooooo big.

I'm looking to improve my cooling setup as I'm running 12-14 gallon batches on a tiny copper immersion cooler and when the ground temperature gets hot its just unefficient.

The plan is to get a pump and plate chiller. My initial plan to add a second port on my brew kettle and hook up the pump alone to pull from the bottom and return the beer to the top with all the proper angled connections to create a whirlpool. Whirlpool for 10 minutes of so. Let it sit 10 minutes then hook up the plate chiller and if the ground water is cool enough, turn on the water and the pump and filler the fermenter directly... if the water is too hot... turn the system on and return the beer to the kettle until the entire thing has cooled down to a proper temperature (or pre chill the ground water with my immersion chiller + ice ... tbd)

Few questions.
1) Is this stupid? I always was afraid of whirlpooling hot or disturbing the beer in fear of oxidation. I'm starting to read some stuff suggesting that this is not really a big issue? Any opinions?

2) The plan of whirlpooling, sit , then cool is trying to minimize my chances of clogging the plate chiller? Anyone have experience with this? Any suggested improvements? ( I do want to avoid counterflow chillers just from a space point of view - tiny apartment and I've already pushed my gfs limits with the space I use)

3) Anyone got suggestion for the return port. I was thinking of placing it relatively high in the kettle (like at the 10 gallon mark on a 14 gallon kettle - I don't tend to make 5 gallon batches). Not sure if this should go lower but i figured it would be better to have it far was the outlet port.

4) If anyone has suggested alternatives, please feel free to comment :)

Anyways, hope to hear from y'all. Thanks in advance for the opinions
 

Staticsouls

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Whirlpool alone does not really drop temperatures for me.

My return port is below the surface of the wort a few inches so as not to bring in any unwanted o2.

If you are worried about clogging your plate chiller then look at a counter flow chiller instead. They are not that much bigger.
 

day_trippr

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imo you want the return port low enough on the boil kettle wall that it can be aimed to put a decent amount of "oomph" along the kettle bottom to help cone up the debris in the middle and keep it out of the PC...

Cheers!
 

augiedoggy

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Whirlpool alone does not really drop temperatures for me.

My return port is below the surface of the wort a few inches so as not to bring in any unwanted o2.

If you are worried about clogging your plate chiller then look at a counter flow chiller instead. They are not that much bigger.
But its worth mentioning a counterflow chiller is not as effective as a plate chiller. So if you have warmer water a plate chiller could be your best option although I would recommend a longer plate chiller over the short therminator style with more plates for multiple reasons, one being they do not plug up as easily.

I believe the lodo thing matters more if your beers are stored for longer periods. and if your going that route whirlpooling as stated still wont be much of an issue.
 
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DC-Brewer

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This is my exact protocol and it’s worked for a few years without issue. For the cooler I use

https://jadedbrewing.com/products/jaded-counterflow-chiller-cfc

It returns the wort at high enough speed to whirlpool. I use groundwater in Mississippi to get the wort down to around 80. I then run the cooling tap water through my HERMS coil with a ton of ice packs in water in my HLT. At this point I can generally redirect to my fermenter and adjust cooking water and wort flow rates to hit my ideal temp.

I have a dial thermometer in line with the wort out of the cooler to dial it in right. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll just send it quicker to the fermenter and pitch the next morning.



But its worth mentioning a counterflow chiller is not as effective as a plate chiller. So if you have warmer water a plate chiller could be your best option although I would recommend a longer plate chiller over the short therminator style with more plates for multiple reasons, one being they do not plug up as easily.

I believe the lodo thing matters more if your beers are stored for longer periods. and if your going that route whirlpooling as stated still wont be much of an issue.
 

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