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pro brewers' flameout procedure

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Budzu

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I am curious about the technique and procedure that pro brewers use at flameout. I know a bit about whirlpooling, but I wonder if it is standard to whirlpool a flameout hop addition before any chilling.
So what I'm asking is, is the standard procedure to shut off heat, add hops, whirlpool for 10 minutes, then start chilling? (and how long is usual chill time for multi bbl batches?)
OR is the chilling started as the hops are added and whirlpooled?

The reason I'm wondering: I'm having trouble getting the same kind and intensity of hop aroma and flavor. Some microbrews can blow me away with fresh hop flavor, but then after researching I hear that they aren't even dry-hopped. I hope there is some way I can achieve similar results.

Thanks and cheers all
 

TipsyDragon

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if your recipe has a flame out hop addition add it when you shut the heat off. i usually let the brew sit with the lid on for 5 minutes after heat is shut off. then i cool the wort as quickly as possible using a wort chiller and a tub of water with a block of dry ice in it. once its cool i top off to 5 gallons if needed then whirlpool. i try to see how deep i can get the whirlpool to go. then i let it sit covered for 10 minutes. this is usually when i take a hydrometer sample. then i siphon from the outside edge of the pot into the fermenter.
 
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Budzu

Budzu

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Thanks, I have my own similar procedure, but I'm wondering specifically about how its done in larger operations.
 

mullenite

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I volunteer in a brewery and this is how it works there:

The heat is shut off the kettle and it is whilpooled for ~10 minutes. After the whirlpool the beer is transferred from the kettle, through a large, glycol cooled plate chiller (it's about 2.5 feet tall and 6" wide) and then in to a fermenter.

The water coming from the CLT is at or below freezing, so it cools off pretty quickly.
 

rjebrewer

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I believe what he is wondering about is hop usage of professional breweries, more so than the cooling procedures they use.

I've noticed the same difference in my beers versus some craft beers. I've even read some notes that elude to some brewery's only using a bittering addition, along with a massive whirlpool and dry hop addition. One of my buddies who used to work for a large brewery in Atlanta mentioned possibly doing this whirlpool addition in the kettle once the temp is down to 180.

Any facts about this would be nice, I have not had luck finding much about it. Possibly a pro brewer's best kept secret scenario?
 

mullenite

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I believe what he is wondering about is hop usage of professional breweries, more so than the cooling procedures they use.

I've noticed the same difference in my beers versus some craft beers. I've even read some notes that elude to some brewery's only using a bittering addition, along with a massive whirlpool and dry hop addition. One of my buddies who used to work for a large brewery in Atlanta mentioned possibly doing this whirlpool addition in the kettle once the temp is down to 180.

Any facts about this would be nice, I have not had luck finding much about it. Possibly a pro brewer's best kept secret scenario?
It's going to depend on the beer. There is no set hop schedule that pro brewers use. Some beers might get a knock out/whirlpool addition and others might not.

Cigar City used to let people volunteer, why don't you see if you can give them a hand brewing one day and see for yourself? Even at Tampa Bay Brewing the brewer has always been more than happy to answer my questions.
 

Wayne1

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There are multiple ways to add additional hop flavor. A lot depends on the brew system and what the brewer is trying to achieve.

Hops can be and are added during whirlpooling. They can be added at the start, during the whirlpool or at the end. Depending on the brewery, the wort can be left to settle for 5-30 minutes and then run through the heat exchanger.

Hops added during whirpool will give a nice flavor and aroma, but not quite as much as dry hopping. In between would be using a hop back. I have found that to give a great fresh hop aroma. Hops are added to a vessel and hot, whirpooled wort is run through the fresh whole hops and then into the heat exchanger. This can be challenging to adjust the flow rate. It also can clog up the heat exchanger with hop particles.

Other methods would be to mash hop, add hops to the sparge water and hop bursting (adding massive amounts of late kettle additions with very little early boil hops)
 

steveo929

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I've also found that my aroma and flavor has been lacking. I think it was partly due to the hop bag...it doesn't leech out the hop oils as quickly as throwing them in freely. On my past 3 batches I added the 0 minute hops at 3 minutes and have my whirlpool immersion chiller pointed directly at the hop sack. They'll be done in a few weeks so I'll let you know if that gave me the extra hop burst I'm after.
 

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Here's what we do at our brewery for a 65 IBU IPA (25 bbl brewhouse)

90 min boil
Hop Additions: 90, 30, 15, 10, 5, 0

Then I cast out to a separate whirlpool vessel and let it ride around for about 10 minutes. The wort begins to calm, then I can take a volume reading to dilute if necessary. After the 10 minutes, I'll throw in a whirlpool addition (same weight as the knockout addition). Then I'll let it set for about 10-15 more minutes to let the remaining trub and hop bits settle into the trub cone.
 
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Budzu

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Here's what we do at our brewery for a 65 IBU IPA (25 bbl brewhouse)

90 min boil
Hop Additions: 90, 30, 15, 10, 5, 0

Then I cast out to a separate whirlpool vessel and let it ride around for about 10 minutes. The wort begins to calm, then I can take a volume reading to dilute if necessary. After the 10 minutes, I'll throw in a whirlpool addition (same weight as the knockout addition). Then I'll let it set for about 10-15 more minutes to let the remaining trub and hop bits settle into the trub cone.
That is very interesting and definitely the kind of technique I'm looking for.. that is additions post-boil.

1 question:
After your whirlpool addition, and after settling your cone, do you then remove the wort from the trub before chilling?
 

schweaty

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Here's what we do at our brewery for a 65 IBU IPA (25 bbl brewhouse)

90 min boil
Hop Additions: 90, 30, 15, 10, 5, 0

Then I cast out to a separate whirlpool vessel and let it ride around for about 10 minutes. The wort begins to calm, then I can take a volume reading to dilute if necessary. After the 10 minutes, I'll throw in a whirlpool addition (same weight as the knockout addition). Then I'll let it set for about 10-15 more minutes to let the remaining trub and hop bits settle into the trub cone.
So the wort actually sits and cools for 20+ additional minutes before hitting the plate chiller? Interesting.
 

Maltose

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@Budzu : After the 20 minutes of whirpooling and settling, I pump the wort from a side port, through the heat exchanger, to the fermenter.

@schweaty : Before casting out to the whirlpool, I preheat the whirlpool vessel with water from the HLT at about 150* to start cooling the boiling wort and to get it below DMS-producing temps. The vessel is buttoned up during whirlpooling and doesn't lose much heat, while also protecting the cooling wort from any airborne contaminants. Some critics may caution against letting the wort sit at that range for 20+ minutes, but trub separation is worth it IMO....especially if you are responsible for filtering ;)
 

pcollins

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Where I worked the standard hop additions were at 60 minutes and 5 minutes. Nothing after that unless dryhopped in the cask.

At flameout we took readings of volume and gravity and then started whirlpooling (we had the whirlpool IN the boil kettle). Then rest for half an hour and then cool in to the fermenter through the plate heat exchanger.

We did full batches over two days so yeast was pitched on day one and then the second half of the batch was added on day two.

Hope that helps.
 

MikeRLynch

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I've been wondering about the pro whirlpool process myself. I've recently upgraded to 10 gallons, but I haven't upgraded my immersion chiller. This means with my smaller chiller, it takes significantly longer to chill my volume down. So almost by accident I'm mimicking the long, high temp, post boil exposure the hops get in professional systems. I just brewed a dark IPA, with a significant amount of flameout hops, so we'll see if there's a noticeable difference.
 

JuanMoore

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I've talked with several pro brewers about whirlpooling, and it seems to me that whirlpooling for 20-30 minutes is pretty common. I don't think the wort cools much during that time, especially with the volumes breweries are dealing with.

I've had good results using a combination of hop-bursting and dry-hopping. I might use 10% of the hop bill for the bittering addition, and the rest split between 10, 5, 0, and -5 min. I do a 15 min whirlpool and then drain through my chiller and into the fermenter. It takes more hops to achieve the same bitterness level, but it results in great aroma and flavor.
 

bgough

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Great topic. I've been wondering a bit about this as well. I can tell you that I just listened to the Firestone Walker Union Jack episode of Jamil's Can You Brew it podcast and this is what they do:

Oh, I should mention that Union Jack, Firestone's IPA, took gold at GABF 2 years in a row.

They add hops at 90 min, 30 min, and whirlpool.

First, they pump from the kettle to a separate whirlpool vessel. They add the hops and then he says they rest hot for 20 minutes before cooling. I think he means that they whirlpool hot, not just steep them, but I'm not sure.

The brewer said that it takes them about 40 minutes to chill, so some of the whirlpool hops get contact time for up to an hour, but most of the wort is in the fermentor by then.


Great interview by Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker by the way.

This kind of goes against what I had previously thought that the secret was (adding flameout hops, and then chilling down as fast as possible) to get big hop aroma and flavor. I think that there is merit to this hot rest/whirlpool method though. I live 30 minutes from this brewery and can vouch that if you can find it fresh, this is a pretty amazing beer, and definitely has big-time hop aroma and flavor.

On my scale, I may try to combine the best of both worlds; add half of my whirlpool hops right at flameout, whirlpool (or just stir) hot for 15-30 minutes, then add the other half of the whirpool hops, and chill it down as fast as I can.

Hope that's helpful :mug:
 

MikeRLynch

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Great topic. I've been wondering a bit about this as well. I can tell you that I just listened to the Firestone Walker Union Jack episode of Jamil's Can You Brew it podcast...
I listened to that show too, it's what got me thinking about this technique. They've run into this issue before, when trying to translate a probrewers recipe into a homebrew setup. When a probrewer says "flameout," it actually means that the hops are staying in hot wort for up to an additional 30 to 40 minutes.

Another thing to keep in mind is when the flame goes off and the wort is being pumped through a chiller in a commercial setting, only a small amount of wort is being chilled at a time. The rest of the wort in the kettle is being held at a post-boil temp for a while. Our immersion chillers are chilling the entire volume all at once. This may account for some differences as well.
 

tsb22

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I have also been trying to gain some knowledge on the process of whirlpool hopping. It seems according to the interwebs a couple breweries including Firestone-Walker, Aleworks and Stone put significant amounts of hops into the whirlpool to achieve a massive hop aroma/flavor.

Here is a great little writeup from Jamil Zainasheff,
http://www.mrmalty.com/late_hopping.php

While there are other ways of achieving the hop aroma such as First Wort Hopping, Hopbacks & dry hopping, there are commercial breweries putting in hops at different increments DURING whirlpool. Basically from flameout all the way til they cut off the whirlpool pump to let the debris settle.

There is a great thread here about the IBU additions from these later adjustments:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/whirlpool-ibu-calculations-276217/

And some discussions on ibus from probrewer
http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=19619&highlight=whirlpooling+hops

I think there is some consensus that getting the wort down to 180deg will allow the majority of the aroma to stay in the wort, since you are no longer boiling, much less aroma can be carried away with the evaporating water in the wort.
Im sure there is plenty of talk about DMS being produced from 45min stands at this temperature, but idk what the theory behind that is, as most commercial breweries I know of couldn't run that much beer through there plate-chillers fast enough.
The only thing the wiki mentions about it is to boil for 90mins when using pilsner type malts.
 

lewybrewing

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Most of my recipes have changed over the past year to include whirlpool hops as a major source of flavor hops.

Normally, I turn on my pump and recirc the wort by its self for 10 mins. Then I start the cooling water via a counter flow chiller. Once I'm at 190 I turn off the water and add the whirlpool additions. Let sit for another 10 mins of whirlpooling via the march pump and chill as normal. My beers have delveloped a massive amount of aroma hops since using this process. Also I still have some 10 and 5 min additions but I have all but dropped the 30, 20 and cut the bittering (60 Min) down to about an 1oz or 1.25 at most. Also this really works best with a dry hop addition on day 3 to 4. Plus a good old shake to get the yeast back in suspension. I feel this takes away some of the green flavors in the dryhopping.
 

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Here's the process at Troegs:

1. 4th hop additions (like in Hopback, Perpetual, Nugget, Mouflan, some scratch beers) usually signal the end the boil.
2. We add them, and then there's a 5 minute protein break, to let some crap drop out. This is done in the kettle, so the beer stays at roughly boiling, like 211.8*F, so we're not actively adding heat, but probably still isomerizing, but whatever.
3. Beer is pumped out of the kettle into the whirlpool. Once all beer is over, a 10-minute counter starts. We used to do 15, but have since switched to 10.
4. At the end of that 10 minutes, beers that get hopbacked are pumped through the hopback, then the heat exchanger. All others bypass the hopback and are chilled immediately.
5. There's a sock filter post-hopback pre-HX to filter out hop seeds and leaves, because we use whole cones in the hopback. So there's no need for extra whirlpool time after hopbacking.

So draw some conclusions for that if you want. We have pretty good results, and we don't have to dry-hop things unless we want stupid silly hop aroma, like in Nugget and Perpetual.
 
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Budzu

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Here's the process at Troegs:

1. 4th hop additions (like in Hopback, Perpetual, Nugget, Mouflan, some scratch beers) usually signal the end the boil.
2. We add them, and then there's a 5 minute protein break, to let some crap drop out. This is done in the kettle, so the beer stays at roughly boiling, like 211.8*F, so we're not actively adding heat, but probably still isomerizing, but whatever.
3. Beer is pumped out of the kettle into the whirlpool. Once all beer is over, a 10-minute counter starts. We used to do 15, but have since switched to 10.
4. At the end of that 10 minutes, beers that get hopbacked are pumped through the hopback, then the heat exchanger. All others bypass the hopback and are chilled immediately.
5. There's a sock filter post-hopback pre-HX to filter out hop seeds and leaves, because we use whole cones in the hopback. So there's no need for extra whirlpool time after hopbacking.

So draw some conclusions for that if you want. We have pretty good results, and we don't have to dry-hop things unless we want stupid silly hop aroma, like in Nugget and Perpetual.
Thanks for this awesome info! Do you add additional hops besides the 4th hop addition into your whirlpool vessel? What temperature does the vessel drop the wort to?
Thanks for chiming in here, I posted this thread originally long ago, but am currently brewing on a 2 bbl, whirlpooling in the kettle and am not really satisfied with my post-boil techniques.
 

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I'm loving this discussion (though it appears to be past-tense). I question whether whirlpooling is something that I can do. I have a plate chiller connected to my keggle. The diptube draining the keggle is situated central, and about 1cm off the bottom (hey, that's a few pints that I'm missing out on if I leave it up higher). That makes me think that whirlpools are off-limits. Essentially, wouldn't I be sucking up the cone of shame? My other question, is everybody that's doing the jacuzzi doing something different with their diptubes?
 

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I'm loving this discussion (though it appears to be past-tense). I question whether whirlpooling is something that I can do. I have a plate chiller connected to my keggle. The diptube draining the keggle is situated central, and about 1cm off the bottom (hey, that's a few pints that I'm missing out on if I leave it up higher). That makes me think that whirlpools are off-limits. Essentially, wouldn't I be sucking up the cone of shame? My other question, is everybody that's doing the jacuzzi doing something different with their diptubes?
My pickup tube is a short piece of 1/2" stainless into a 90º compression fitting aiming down to the side of my keggle at about a 45º angle, bevelled end. I lose about 1/2 gal that is accounted for in recipe formulation. Just started the whirlpool flame out regimen, but results thus far have been positive.
 

davepeds

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I'm a visual guy - logdrum. Do you think you could show me a pic? I was thinking about turning my diptube sideways. Now, it runs about 5 inches into the keggle, then 90 degrees down for about 3 inches to the bottom. I though about letting it take a 90 to the left from the start and letting it head down a little bit towards the dome bottom of the side. Is that what yours does?
 

Wayne1

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Here is what I use in my keggle:



The outlet is an elbow with a close nipple screwed into it. It leaves enough room at the bottom of the keggle for the trub pile

 

logdrum

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I guess my pickup is actually a stainless 90 w a straight compression fitting, the whirlpool return has the comp 90...
 
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