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Wort transfer etc.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Jesse14, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Savant (290) Massachusetts Jul 21, 2011

    I've seen a lot of good advice regarding doing a whirlpool to reduce trub in the fermenter. I use an immersion chiller to get down to pitching temps and have dumped through a screened funnel to transfer to the primary. I want to try doing the whirlpool but all I have is a siphon for the transfer. Should I invest in a pump? I don't have a boil pot with a spigot either.

    I'm slowly trying to build up and upgrade my gear to do all grain and I guess I'm looking for advice on the priority of which items to tackle first. Pump? Boil Pot with spigot? Plate chiller?
     
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    It sounds like you want to whirlpool in order to reduce trub as compared to your screened funnel. Assuming your screen/strainer is effective (i.e. has the right hole sizes), I think it's unlikely you would see noticeable improvement.

    If you want to whirlpool so that you can do whirlpool hop additions, that would be a better reason IMO.

    You can do all grain without any of these things. My only pump is used to recirculate ice water through my Immersion Chiller. Before you draw up a shopping list, you might want to ask yourself what process/result you are unhappy with now, and why, and what type of improvement you are looking for.
     
  3. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Savant (290) Massachusetts Jul 21, 2011

    My favorite beers are IPAs so I would like to try any other hop addition method that might improve my results. Is there a huge aroma and flavor benefit from whirlpool hopping versus late boil additions and dry hopping? If not, then sounds like I can stick with what I have for now. I like the idea of recirculating ice water through the immersion chiller though. On my last batch I was able to chill down from the boil to 76 degrees in 17 minutes. About how much improvement could I expect with a recirculating system? Does dropping 5-10 minutes off the cooling time make a significant difference?
     
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    For me, it's not so much a matter of speeding up the cooling. It's the ability to get down to lower temperatures. I cool a lot of ale worts down to the low 60's and lager worts down to below 50. Depending on the time of year, my tap water just isn't cold enough to get there in a reasonable time (or at all). You mentioned getting down to 76 degrees. For most styles/strains, you really want to get lower than that.
     
  5. Whirlpooling can be done without a pump, ball valves, etc. Use your immersion chiller to move the wort. It will help cool the wort down faster and help incorporate the KO hops. Good way is to turn on water to wort chiller, stir and when temp is down to ~170*F throw in your KO/whirlpool hops...stir/let steep for ~10 min and then resume cooling.

    I whirlpooled this way for >4 years until I went to a 10 gal. setup that made recircing a lot more sense. A fine mesh strainer will help remove trub and improve oxygenation when it's time to dump to your fermenter..
     
  6. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Savant (290) Massachusetts Jul 21, 2011

    I just recently discovered that I should be getting below 76...more like mid-sixties as you mentioned. Still figuring this all out as I go. I can get down to that without a problem with my well water. I'm pulling from over 300' down and its plenty cold for that purpose, even in the summer. As far as the speed of cooling down, I thought I read somewhere that you want to cool as quickly as you can. Is there some rule of thumb as far as it being less than a designated amount of time? Sounds like from what GreenKrusty101 suggests, 10 min steep in the middle of cool down, that maybe I can relax a little with that issue.
     
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    I would not worry about cooldown time unless it was consistently taking longer than, say, 30 minutes. But that's pretty arbitrary. The main conecrn is increased risk of contamination. If your well water is at least 10 degrees colder than the temperature you want to get to, I would think you can get there pretty fast, assuming a decent IC.
     
  8. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Savant (290) Massachusetts Jul 21, 2011

    Thanks for the help.
     

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