Safe Whirlpool temps

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beerd

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At what temperature does it start to get risky to leave your kettle open after the boil - from an infection perspective? Think I've been too conservative.

I usually end up throwing in my 'whirlpool' hops right at flameout and immediately covering kettle and letting it sit for 15 minutes for fear of something floating in. So that's bascially just and extended boil, maybe a few degrees cooler. Sometimes I'll cover loosely at flameout, let it sit for 20 minutes or so to get down to 200 or 195 then drop the whirlpool hops in. If it's still actively steaming I usually don't worry.

Do you think I could safely get away with leaving lid off, chilling to say 180, then adding the whirlpool hops and letting it drop or chilling down to say 170 before pulling the hops and covering the kettle?
 

Dgallo

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pasteurization temps are 145*f+ , so 120 is too low in theory. That said your most likely would be fine if it was for a short period, you had over 20 ibus and if your pitched a proper amount of yeast that it would be active and quickly out compete the possible infection.

now the bigger question why do you want to do it on the low side? The current best practices suggest short hotter whirlpool temps and then heavy dryhop loads for increased aroma and flavor
 

DuncB

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I whirlpool at 67 celsius but keep the lid on. Tricky for anything to live at that temp


The mean log10 reductions and temperatures of inactivation of the major milk-borne pathogens during a 15-second treatment are:

(A log10 reduction between 6 and 7 means that 1 bacterium out of 1 million (106) to 10 million (107) bacteria survive the treatment.)

ANd with beer we are lower pH and coming from sterility not cool and likely bacterial load with milk.
 

Dgallo

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@Dgallo

I think that 120 was a misread, the OP mentions 170 not 120.
thanks for clearing that up. I was confused since there was another post in the thread that mentioned 120*f
 

bkboiler

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sorry...I should have posted that in green...I was being facetious since 120 is closer to lacto territory
 
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beerd

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Thanks all. Sounds like I can keep the lid off quite a bit longer than I have been.

now the bigger question why do you want to do it on the low side? The current best practices suggest short hotter whirlpool temps and then heavy dryhop loads for increased aroma and flavor
Until this post seeing my wort uncovered at under 200 degrees had me pretty nervous. The thought of opening the fermenter an chucking something in at room temp gives me cold sweats :) Obviously it's not that a big a deal, but I just haven't gotten to dry hopping yet. Figured a cooler whirlpool will at least give me some more aroma than hotter, in the absence of dry hopping.

Plus, my current chiller setup must be undersized, takes me an hour or more to get to pitching temp. Figure if I can just turn the chiller on and leave the whirlpool hops in for 10-15 while it gets down to say 165, then yank em and cover - doesn't add any extra time to my cool down.
 

day_trippr

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^Why?^
fwiw, my typical last kettle addition is a whirlpool at 170°F for at least 20 minutes, adding heat as needed...

Cheers!
 

DuncB

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@daytrippr

I was interpreting that hops went in at flameout when chiller went on, so they weren't going in at 165, hence idea to add some around that temp.
I worry that the hops might get scorched if heated a bit to maintain temp, my element in bottom of boiler and hops free floating, do I have a concern re this?
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, while I often employ that technique, hops added at flameout will be exposed to a good 40°F higher temperature than my last WP additions.

I run a gas 3v2p herms rig so I don't know how e-elements are controlled wrt maintaining lower-than-boiling temperature. I would hope PWM control would allow the actual heat output to be moderated to be as benign as possible. I'm assuming my very low power burner inputs when needed (usually just one brief period over 20 minutes) are equally benign...

Cheers!
 

nwhall3

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If the wort has already been boiled, I really wouldn't worry about taking your whirlpool temps pretty low. Yes, it might get infected with a tiny, tiny bit of wild yeast or bacteria if you're whirlpooling really low, but if you pitch a healthy amount of viable yeast it really shouldn't be a problem. I mean maybe if you age it for months at room temp, but if you're asking whirlpool temp questions I'm assuming you're talking IPAs, which should be drunk fresh anyway.

Whirlpool at whatever temp you want. I prefer 185F after reading Scott Janish's The New IPA (at least for hazies), but I've had many beers that were whirlpooled as low as 135F with no deleterious effects from infection.
 

day_trippr

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I was going to say the pasteurization curves extend as low as 135°F - though iirc it takes 20 minutes at that temperature. I have used that when doing over-night low-temperature pasteurization of fruit to avoid cooking out character :)

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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Agreed. Still, I'm prone to investment protection as the Prime Directive, so anything I can do to assure a positive outcome is worth the effort...

Cheers! :D
 
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beerd

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So if starting a whirlpool addition at say 185 - I assume you use the chiller to get it down to 185 faster rather than wait for it to cool on its own?

I guess I should either be removing the boil hops at flameout or account for the additional bitterness if I leave the boil hops in while I chill and then whirlpool? Does it matter either way?

It seems difficult to get an actual whirlpool with the chiller in there (no pump, just stirring) so if I want to get a trub cone, OK to use a sanitized spoon after I take out the chiller once cooled and give it a quick stir?
 

day_trippr

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I do use an SS IC with a recirculation pump to drop the wort temp to 170°F then dump in the WP hops. I recently switched from an SS spider to a HopstopperV2, so all of my kettle hops are free swimming pellets, and nothing gets removed prior to filling the fermentors, so 60 minute hops are still in the kettle at the end.

I remember my gravity 5 gallon rig days and using my big ol' brew spoon to keep the wort in motion with the IC running. Makes me love pumps that much more :D

Cheers!
 

DuncB

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You will find that if not boiling the hop bitterness isn't really factored in, no need to remove the boil hops once not boiling.
If you look at the ibu calculator in brewersfriend and put in any amount of hops at 0 minutes there is no utilisation on that calculator.
However some bitterness will occur just not much.

I would add flameout if indicated then start your chiller and when at say 67 celsius tip in your whirlpool hops and give it a really good stir with a sterile spoon either inside or outside the chiller you should still form a cone. Once rested at that whirlpool for however long you or recipe decides then chill further. If you take the chiller out the currents may upset your hop cone and it could get bugs grow on it whilst you stir ( much more of a risk than the worry of bugs falling in). I used to leave mine in until wort transferred to fermenter and the " fun " cleanup begins.
Have now converted to counterflow chiller and whirlpool after the chiller and a trubtrapper to catch the hops and some trub.
trub trap and coil.jpg
Very little waste
 

day_trippr

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Isomerization vs temperature is not a binary/step function. There's isomerization from ~180°F on up, the higher the temp the higher the rate, until the hops are exhausted...

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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hahahaha! "Metricated". Honest to Big Hairy Thunderer In The Sky, I had never read that word before :D
Still, not sure that changes anything. There are isomerization temperature vs time curves, and the edges are not square...

Cheers!
 
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beerd

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Looking around in BeerSmith there is a setting in the equipment for Estimate Hop Utilization in Boil. Toggling that, my estimated IBUs go from 35 to 45 (even with no actual whirlpool addition). So I guess BeerSmith will estimate this for you - obviously the actual contribution from the boil hops will be dependent on how long you take to chill, etc.

For the time being, I am using a hop strainer. It's already taking me an hour to chill - so I end up mini-swirling the chiller around (with the lid and foil still on) to try to cool it faster. Not sure there's any good way then to retain the trub pile without stirring after chilling.

So I guess my near-term approach will be: chill to ~175, drop in whirlpool hops, maintain temp above at least 160 for a safety margin, after however many minutes are called for, pull the hop strainer, chill, hold my breath and stir with a sterilized spoon, leave chiller and drain.

Seems like my very next investment should be a pump, but need to figure out if I can make that work with my kettle with only a single port, or if this will be an even larger investment.

If you look really closely that curve is probably made up from a lot of tiny straight lines!
When I started this thread, I knew I was asking some detailed questions. I don't think anyone could have anticipated though that it would devolve into calculus. I can't be held accountable for this :)
 
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