What's the deal with whirlpooling?

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What's the deal with whirlpooling?

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:18 pm

I'm constantly reading on this forum about brewing procedures when it comes to transferring from the boil to the fermentor. It's got me thinking maybe I should be doing things differently.

I'm refering to the practice of whirlpooling and siphoning out of the brewpot.

I've always just gotten it cold after the boil (around 65), then poured the cooled wort through a strainer into the fermentor. To me, this has provided a great method of aeration, and it gets out 90-95% of the cold break.

I have yet to make a beer that I'm not satisfied with, so what's the benefit of each method?
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If it works for you

Postby brewmeisterintng » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:25 pm

Why change? There are a bunch of folks that just throw their hops into the pot without bags and then there are those who think that trub is bad in the primary. If your method eliminates 90% of the trub why are you concerned? Brewing is just as much an art as science. Don't get overly excited that your practices are different that others if YOUR beer pleases you.
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filtering wort

Postby bfabre » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:40 pm

What kind of strainer do you use. I have access to some 25 micron filter bags. Would they work?
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filtering wort

Postby bfabre » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:40 pm

What kind of strainer do you use. I have access to some 25 micron filter bags. Would they work?
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:10 pm

Well, I guess I'm not actually very concerned about my process. I guess I'm just wondering what the differences are between what I'm doing and what others are doing...other than taking more time to siphon.

As far as strainers, I use a typical SS mesh kitchen strainer. I'm not sure the micron count, but you can buy them at just about any brew shop. It does let some things through, but most of the cold break gets left behind and goes right into the trash.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
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Postby bfabre » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:22 pm

great the I will try a 25 micron filter bag. We will see what happens. They only thing that I am concerned about is sanitation. Thoughts from anyone else?
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Re: What's the deal with whirlpooling?

Postby mikfir » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:30 pm

Suthrncomfrt1884 wrote:I'm constantly reading on this forum about brewing procedures when it comes to transferring from the boil to the fermentor. It's got me thinking maybe I should be doing things differently.

I'm refering to the practice of whirlpooling and siphoning out of the brewpot.

I've always just gotten it cold after the boil (around 65), then poured the cooled wort through a strainer into the fermentor. To me, this has provided a great method of aeration, and it gets out 90-95% of the cold break.

I have yet to make a beer that I'm not satisfied with, so what's the benefit of each method?


Whirlpooling is primarily done by large craft brewers like Stone Brewing in San Diego, CA. To do it correctly, you need a large batch of wort and some heavy duty equipment. Stone even introduces their hops in the whirlpool.
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:40 pm

I'm referring to the method of whirlpooling done by homebrewers. It's nothing hightech like you're thinking of. It's basically just stirring your wort until you get a nice tornado going, then siphoning off the sides of the pot to avoid sucking up the hops in your pot.

I just wanted to know if there was some extra benifit from doing this instead of what I'm currently doing. I've decided it works for me well enough, I don't intend on changing.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
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I strain instead of whirlpool

Postby billvelek » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:04 am

I used to whirlpool and then use a siphon starter to drain the wort, but I was never very happy with the results; I tried straining instead, and I'm sold on it.

I don't have any idea what the gauge of mesh is for the strainer, but it's a whole lot more than 25 microns. It's more like 1/32nd of an inch :mrgreen: or something like that -- it's just a simple kitchen strainer. It's primarily for removing whole hops, but still does a pretty good job of removing a lot of the dissolved hop pellets when they are used. I don't pay attention to break material; to begin with, I'm a 'skimmer', so nearly all of the hot break is skimmed off before the boil.

I'm very happy with my beer, so when I look for improvements in procedures, it's usually only for the purpose of making things easier. My vote is to stick with straining unless you think you can improve your beer by whirlpooling.

Cheers.

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strainers

Postby bfabre » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:28 pm

Thanks Bill,
I found a 50 micron filter bag at work. I am going to try that just for kicks and giggles. We shall see.
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RE:Strainer Bags

Postby Legman » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:02 pm

I used to use a 5 gallon paint strainer bag that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. They're really cheap. I used it on about 10 batches and it worked really well.
I have no longer been using it. The problem I had with it, was that it would clog up so bad, that I would be standing over the fermenter holding a heavy bad of trub waiting for the rest of the wort to drain out of it. It was more of a pain than what it was worth.
I've since gone to whirlpooling and siphoning off what I can. It works well enough if your careful.
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Postby jawbox » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:08 pm

legman

I've been using one of those paint strainer bags during the boil to add my hops. Now I'm left with hot break only in the keg as all the hop sludge is in the hop bag. Works good so far.

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filter bag

Postby bfabre » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:03 pm

This filter bag is around 5" in diameter and 18" long. I do not think I will have a problem with clogging.
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new to the whirlpool method

Postby shaggyt » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:28 pm

I used to just pour from the kettle to the primary using a piece of sanitized plastic window screen secured to the primary with rope. This worked well with no detected problems for the beer. Only problem I had was as the trub collected in the screen, the wort had increasing difficulty finding any surface area to pour through. I would use my spoon to "work" the wort through by pulling the trub to the edges. A little time consuming, but it worked. Also, at the time, I was using a 3.5 gal kettle so anything larger might have different results.

I moved to the whirlpool when going all grain in my 7.5 gal kettle. The first time I used a hop sack over the racking cane...clogged constantly. For the second try, I placed a santized copper scrubbie inside the hop sack on the submerged end of the racking cane...much better!!!

I didn't think whirlpooling would have much of an impact at first, just thought I'd give it a whirl (very bad pun). Once I saw all the excess trub left in the kettle, I changed my mind.

The other factor for me was yeast harvesting from the primary...the more trub I can keep out of the primary, the better.

Sorry for the long post...sharing is caring.

Cheers!
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strainer

Postby bfabre » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:52 pm

I used the 50 micron filter bag I told you about last Wednesday. I worked great!!! No trub here. Sanitizing was easy, I just boiled it.
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