whirlpooling

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whirlpooling

Postby substancep » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:33 am

I new to the hobby, only 4 batches in so far, and am having a difficult time with whirlpooling. It is quite frustrating as I end up with a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of trub on the bottom of the brew pot at the end of the boil and hate having to top up that much more at the end.

My process is as follows:
end of boil, turn on the wort chiller. cool to ~70degrees.
remove the chiller, give the pot a good stir, making a clockwise vortex
let sit for 20 or so minutes
Check to see all motion stopped and it looks clear on top, siphon from side of brewpot.


I have added Irish moss to the last 3 batches, and am begining to suspect it really only makes matters worse. Any how if anyone has any insight (some obvious but missed step etc) I'd appreciate it. Thanks
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Process looks good

Postby brewmeisterintng » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:31 am

I, myself, don't whirlpool. I do use hop bags to limit the dregs in the bottom of the brew kettle however if I transfer some of the trub into the fermenter it's no big deal. I secondary anyway and it will get left behind. The trub really doesn't effect the beer short term. I brewed on the 1st and there was a inch that settled in the carboy before the yeast started kicking it around.
Don't stop using the irish moss as that helps clear your beer.
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whirlpool

Postby slothrob » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:13 am

I've rarely had much luck with whirlpooling, either, so I can't help you there. Perhaps you could try using some whole hops and attaching a copper "scrubby" to the end of your siphon. The hops will act as a partial filter and the "scrubby" will help keep the siphon from clogging. Then you should be able to drain more completely. I've never tried that, though.

The Irish Moss does make more trub. That's why it makes your beer clearer in the end.

Just because you are losing some volume doesn't mean that you should be adding top up water. That's just diluting your beer. If you really want 5 gallons at the end, you should be making more volume to account for how much you're leaving behind.
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whirlpooling

Postby Legman » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:29 am

I haven't had much luck with whirlpooling either. There is always so much break material in the bottom of the kettle, I end up losing about 1/2 a gallon per batch. I never get a nice, neat little cone of trub in the center of the kettle like I hear folks talking about. There's just too much trub in there to do that.

I tried the copper scrubby my siphon too. Once the scrubby starts to stick out of the wort, the siphon loses suction and stops and I still end up losing the same amount.

For awhile I did try pouring or siphoning the wort through a 5 gallon paint straining bag. That worked really well and you can recover about 95% of the wort from your kettle. The down side to it, is that with all the hop/break material it clogs very easily and you are stuck there holding a heavy bag of trub over your fermenter waiting for it to drain. It's really a pain in the !@#.
I no longer do that method for that reason.

Just make you recipe for 5 1/2 gallons and just except that your going to lose some to the kettle....and definitely do not stop using Irish Moss. It's better to lose a little volume to the kettle than to have that suspended in your finished beer.
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Re: whirlpooling

Postby slothrob » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:23 pm

Legman wrote:For awhile I did try pouring or siphoning the wort through a 5 gallon paint straining bag. That worked really well and you can recover about 95% of the wort from your kettle. The down side to it, is that with all the hop/break material it clogs very easily and you are stuck there holding a heavy bag of trub over your fermenter waiting for it to drain. It's really a pain in the !@#.
I no longer do that method for that reason.

I did the same thing for a while and had the same experience.
The paint strainer bags work better to contain hops in the boil.

I've recently switched to a medium sized stainless steel kitchen strainer that fits into the top of a large funnel. The slightly larger pores seem to clog less than the paint strainer bag and, if it clogs, it's easy to invert into the trash and start pouring again. It's far from a perfect filter, but it cuts down the trub in the fermentor and seems to remove most of the hop material.

USPlastics sells some large strainers that fit into the top of a bucket that are supposed to work well. A false bottom or a bazooka filter in the kettle would probably be better solutions. I just need to get over my aversion to drilling a hole in a perfectly good kettle.
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:12 pm

I too use a standard SS kitchen strainer. Works great in my opinion.
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I use a strainer

Postby billvelek » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:02 pm

After attempting several methods over several dozens of batches brewed over many years, including 'whirlpooling' before siphoning with an 'auto-siphon', I finally settled on a large "sieve" which does a "sufficient enough" job to satisfy me. It is perfect for removing whole hops, but will also remove a significant amount of pellet hops. If I had a different equipment setup, such as brewing 10 gallons batches (which are harder to lift) in a kettle with a valve, then I'd persist with whirlpooling and using a 'scrubbie', etc. But as it is, I've found it much easier and faster to just dump my kettle (turkey fryer pot) into a sanitized bucket, with a large sieve set on top. It takes a couple of pours to separate the hops from the wort, dumping the hops into a trash bucket each time (which goes into the compost pile). The process also helps aerate the wort before it is finally dumped into a fermenter. On brew day, I always have a 5-gallon pot of water boiling on the stove for a number of purposes: pre-sanitizing the immersion chiller which is also sanitized within the kettle for the last 5-10 minutes; having some sanitized and de-chlorinated water (de-chlorinated from boiling) to top off the batch if I've boiled off too much; having sterile de-chlorinated water to use to help rinse sanitizer out of the buckets I use for aeration and/or as fermenters; and as a handy way to sanitize my "sieve". It has worked very well for me.

Cheers.

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Re: whirlpooling

Postby jawbox » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:59 am

slothrob wrote:A false bottom or a bazooka filter in the kettle


from experience i wouldn't recommend a bazooka if you are using pellet hops. The thing gets clogged very easily. I'm thinking about trying out one of those paint strainer bags in the boil kettle to hold the hops on my next brew. See if that doesn't reduce the amount of trub I transfer into my primary.


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Re: whirlpooling

Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:15 am

jawbox wrote:
slothrob wrote:A false bottom or a bazooka filter in the kettle
from experience i wouldn't recommend a bazooka if you are using pellet hops. The thing gets clogged very easily. I'm thinking about trying out one of those paint strainer bags in the boil kettle to hold the hops on my next brew. See if that doesn't reduce the amount of trub I transfer into my primary.
Thanks for the heads-up about the bazooka.
I've used the paint strainer bag in my boil many times. It works perfectly to contain whole hops and contains much, or even most but not all, of the pellet hops.
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Window Screen - for better or for worse

Postby shaggyt » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:15 am

Just my two cents...If your able to pour out of the kettle, this has worked for me.

I had some plastic window screen material lying around and zero money to spend on a strainer, sieve, etc. I cut a section large enough to fit down into a bucket about 4" and down the sides of the exterior roughly the same 4".

I figured a thorough initial cleaning, followed by standard sanitizing would work. At first I worried about off flavors or other chemical byproducts passing through to the beer, but none have occurred...probably because the wort is at room temp when poured.

Using a sturdy rope, I secure the screen across the opening of my fermenter (plastic bucket) and pour. I do get a pool that forms on top, but I use my stirring spoon to agitate and pull the trub around to allow for the wort to fall through. The end result is 1-2 fists full of trub, though mostly hops. My secondary rids of excess yeast and what not.

So far so good with this method (knock on wood). The secondary makes the difference for me - I tie a hop bag to the end of the racking cane when transferring for bottling or kegging.

Good luck with whatever method you choose.

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