Whirlpool Port location

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bbbrew

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I have a question for your veterans pertaining to your whirlpooling port locations. I have seen a number of configurations that place the port for the whirlpool near the bottom of the keggle. Given that I use a CFC and have a dip drain tube hugging the side wall, in your opinion, would it be better to add the whirlpooling port in the middle section of my batch (ie. height elevation). This way it circulates the main mass right after boil.

Most everyone seems to put it closer to the bottom and I wonder if this just doesn't mix more than having a constant flow from the pump. Thanks for you comments. By the way, I'm going to drill the holes tomorrow so any input prior would be appreciated.

Thanks,
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Catt22

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I have mine located through what was previously a dial thermometer port. I have an elbow attached to the inside and I angle it down and to the side (its actually one regular elbow and one street elbow used together). The two elbows are not glued together. This allows me to aim the output easily, yet they stay in position once set. I made a special adapter for the threaded thermometer port. Basically it's a section of 1/2" hard copper with a npt x sweat fitting on each end. I drilled out one of those fittings so that the pipe would slide all the way through it and into the kettle where the elbows attach. I typically aim the return flow down at about a 30 degree angle and against the inside wall. The return flow hits the wall and bounces off creating some turbulence which I think improves the mixing. It looks good when in operation and I've been producing some good beer with this set up. I can post a pic later if you need more detail, but it will likely be later this evening as I am starting a batch right now.
 
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bbbrew

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If you have time between processing, an image would be great Catt22. I talked with a guy from the local microbrew a few hours ago. He said that his 30 barrel system has the whirlpool port more than half way up. The only down side that he gave me is that if I wanted to do smaller batches (less that 5 gallons), I might not have enough wort to capture the volume.
Thanks.
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Catt22

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Sorry it took so long to get these pics up, but you know how that goes:

These are the basic components.



this is a close up of the custom fitting made from two male NPT X sweat fittings with one drilled out to permit the pipe to pass through it completely.



This is what it looks like on the outside (upper port) with a valve attached



and inside with the cpvc elbows attached



So, as you can see it's mounted at about the six gallon level. I typically brew either 6 or 12 gallon batches. The port is very close or at the surface at the end of the boil for a 6 gallon batch, but the attached elbows put the return flow a couple of inches below the surface. I've had good results with this configuration. It was also easy and inexpensive to build and install. I no longer use the port for a dial thermometer. I went with a digital thermocouple type thermometer and the thermowell for it is mounted vertically from the top of the keg, not horizontally. Hope this is of some help to you.
 

Alemental

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The best place for the return is just below the top surface of the liquid. This way, the wort from the bottom is being moved to the surface & the entire batch gets thoroughly recirculated. This give the best and fastest cooling.
 

Catt22

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The best place for the return is just below the top surface of the liquid. This way, the wort from the bottom is being moved to the surface & the entire batch gets thoroughly recirculated. This give the best and fastest cooling.
Maybe yes and maybe no. IMO, the location of the port isn't all that critical. What I do think is important is to configure the return so that it creates turbulence in the kettle for improved mixing action. Simply drawing from the bottom and having it return to the surface might not be the most effective method. I do think that maintaining a high flow rate for both the wort and the cooling water is the key to fast cooling.
 

bendavanza

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Im making mine adjustable like a racking arm so that I can adjust for 5-10 gallon batches, and once the temp drops into the 70's I will adjust it to aerate wort.
 

ScubaSteve

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Also, I think a lot of it has to do with the pump you're using and the ID of the plumbing. A lot of people report better whirlpooling with a bit more restriction, so the wort "shoots" out.....
 

nostalgia

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Well, that's amusing:



Mine comes out at the bottom, but like yours is on a swivel so I can point it wherever I want. I agree with a previous poster: for chilling it doesn't so much matter where it is as long as it thoroughly mixes the wort. I think the difference of top vs. bottom at our scale would be meaningless. /opinion



-Joe
 

BadgerBrewer

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Mine is a separate unit I built that connects to my IC and I can raise and lower it depending on the size of the batch I am doing or how fast I want the whirlpool to run. I have been thinking about adding a 'Tee' to the tube to have 2 right angled jet ports. I crimped the one I have now to make it better shoot the wort out which creates a nice whirlpool

If you haven't drilled your hole for your whirlpool unit yet, you might want to try a separate attachement to avoid putting additional holes in your keggle/pot. Just my $0.02
 

pcollins

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From a commercial stand point the whirlpool inlet/port should be ~1/3 from the bottom of kettle. At the brewery where I worked the inlet was about half the way up. Direction of rotation is not important.

That said, I totally agree with nostalgia on this one: "I think the difference of top vs. bottom at our scale would be meaningless. /opinion"

YMMV
 

ScubaSteve

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Theoretically, it WOULD be easier to go clockwise like a toilet, based on the rotation of the earth.....

Theoretically. :)
 

Catt22

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Well, that's amusing:

Mine comes out at the bottom, but like yours is on a swivel so I can point it wherever I want. I agree with a previous poster: for chilling it doesn't so much matter where it is as long as it thoroughly mixes the wort. I think the difference of top vs. bottom at our scale would be meaningless. /opinion
That is amusing! :D How many others do you suppose are out there? I agree that at our scale it doesn't much matter where you put it. A good mixing action is very important and a high flow rate even more so. I'm not at all convinced that pinching down the output to increase the velocity is the best approach. I think it's better to keep the restrictions to a minimum and optimize the flow volume. There should be more than enough velocity, at least there is with my set up as it generates a pretty nice whirlpool.
 

Catt22

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Theoretically, it WOULD be easier to go clockwise like a toilet, based on the rotation of the earth.....

Theoretically. :)
That only applies in the northern hemisphere and if directly on the equator I think you might be pretty well phuked regardless. :D
 

bendavanza

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I think the direction/equator only comes into play if you are bottom draining at a velocity high enough to create a natural whirlpool, like in the case of a toilet.. Otherwise, and you physics majors correct me if I'm wrong, it should not matter which direction you want to stir or pump the wort to make a good whirlpool.
And my return fitting is 1/2" up to the actual return tube, which is 3/8 for restriction/velocity. I've tried the full flow option with a scrap piece of copper and pinching the end of the tubing for velocity helps. Just imagine an open ended garden hose vs. your thumb over the end to create some restriction. Which is more powerful? Which pushes dirt off your driveway better? This is the same principal as a pressure washer. Without the tips, they just squirt a stream of water, with the tips, they can tear through your skin fast.
 

Catt22

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I think the direction/equator only comes into play if you are bottom draining at a velocity high enough to create a natural whirlpool, like in the case of a toilet.. Otherwise, and you physics majors correct me if I'm wrong, it should not matter which direction you want to stir or pump the wort to make a good whirlpool.
And my return fitting is 1/2" up to the actual return tube, which is 3/8 for restriction/velocity. I've tried the full flow option with a scrap piece of copper and pinching the end of the tubing for velocity helps. Just imagine an open ended garden hose vs. your thumb over the end to create some restriction. Which is more powerful? Which pushes dirt off your driveway better? This is the same principal as a pressure washer. Without the tips, they just squirt a stream of water, with the tips, they can tear through your skin fast.
Dude...it was a joke...you know...meant to be humorous and such.

I don't agree on that there is an advantage to restricting the flow in order to increase the velocity. We aren't cleaning gum off of sidewalks here. Any restriction will slow the flow rate and IMO, it's all about how quickly you can "turn over" the entire volume of wort for repeated passes through a CFC or, in the case of an IC, move it past the cooling coils. Creating turbulence in the kettle is definitely helpful, but that's not difficult to achieve if you have a high flow rate and some means to direct the output of the wort return. Obviously, there are many possible ways to configure these systems and most will probably perform very well. Only controlled testing could verify any as being superior to the others and I suspect that the differences would not be all that great. The fastest chiller I've seen so far is the guy that uses a big stirring gizmo on a drill with an immersion chiller. I've forgotten who posted that method, but it was quite impressive. Probably the biggest factor of all affecting the cooling rate is the temperature of your tap water. I'm golden in the winter.:mug:
 

ScubaSteve

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That only applies in the northern hemisphere and if directly on the equator I think you might be pretty well phuked regardless. :D
I was actually serious, though I realize the effect would be minimal. With a weak pump, it might make things easier.

That drill mechanism sounds frickin' awesome. I used to get a wicked whirlpool with a brew spoon and IC, far better than anything a pump could create. A 50' 1/2" IC is way underrated....they can chill QUICK if you stir the wort. I think most of us like the gadgets, so we go with plates and CFC's, but IC's can't be ignored.

Moreover, I think creating a perfect whirlpool is overrated...a side oriented diptube or drain is equally, if not more important...especially with a diverter plate.
 

Catt22

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My toilet whirlpools to the right. My kettle whirlpools in whichever direction I point the return outflow thingy as it doesn't have a bottom center drain like the toilet does.
 
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bbbrew

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So this is the way it ended up.



I positioned the valve offset of the drain port, opposite the sight glass. I have to say, its so much nicer having a calibrated sight glass then having to try and figure out the volume by dipping, especially right after boil. After some discussion with my brew partner, we decided to keep the port just at the 6 gallon height just in case we wanted to make this size batch in the future. I suppose it wouldn't hurt just to rotate the 90 degree elbow down if I had placed it higher on the keg or have an alternative tube to get to that level.

Here's a picture of what it looks like in the inside. McMaster 90 degree stainless compression coupling (ouch $$) and a 1/2 tube x 0.015 thick crimped at the end.



Hope this helps anyone else thinking about doing some more mods to their equipment. I hope you saw the AustinBrewers special yesterday (March pumps for $25 off). Great deal.

BB
 

MrNatural

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Well, that just goes against everything I was taught. I don't know WHAT to believe anymore! I think I need to have a home brew and reflect.:mug:
Hahaha.........
I had the same question when mounting my whirlpool outlet and looked it up.

Arrogance would suggest that the guys down there are backwards:D

Anyway, I still couldn't remember and had to look it up again :smack:

Happy reflecting:mug:
 
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