Whirlpooling Not Really Working Very Well

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squirt in the turns

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Im finding that my whirlpooling technique isnt working too well. I chill in the kettle and my wort ends up kind of visibly clear, but below the surface there are lots of clouds break material suspended throughout, instead of forming a nice cone/pile. My kettle is a 70L stainless pot from Craftbrewer, with a dedicated whirlpool return, which is a 90 barbed elbow screwed through the kettle wall and into a ball valve on the outside. Its positioned so that its submerged by an inch or so by the end of a single batch boil. Ive only done single batches so far in this kettle, so the space occupied by the wort is kind of wide and low not sure if that has anything to do with my problem.

15 mins from the end of the boil I start recirculating, drawing from the kettle outlet (which is just a 90 elbow for a pickup tube, no screen or anything), through a march pump, then plate chiller, then the wort return elbow. At flameout I just kill the power and start the water flow through the chiller, continuing to recirculate. It definitely looks like the whole mass of wort is whirlpooling. I use a hop sock to avoid bits of hops getting stuck in the chiller and remove it when the wort gets to about 40, and the 2 elements are the D-shaped type that loop back toward the pot wall, so there is nothing in the middle of the kettle to interfere with trub cone formation. Once its at my desired pitching temperature I stop the pump and let it settle for up to 20 mins. The small amount of hop material that makes it through the sock is in a nice pile in the middle, but the break wont drop out. Whirlpooling time after the sock is removed is still at least 15 minutes. I would have though that would be sufficient.

The only ideas I currently have are:
Koppafloc: I have read that the dosage is pretty crucial and that too much is detrimental. Ive just been going with what the label says half a tsp at 10 mins. Is it worth upping this? Also, does it have a good shelf life? The pack I've got must be 3 years old.
My run-off might be too clear? Since going HERMS, Ive been recirculating the already clear wort until its literally crystal clear (to my eye anyway). This is not translating into clear wort at the end of the boil, though. Someone told me that a bit of mash gunk in the kettle is desirable as it gives the koppafloc and break something to coagulate around.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

sponge

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Brewbrite.
 

bcp

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Interesting. I use an urn, and used to get very effective separation with irish moss and a whirlpool. Last six months or more - it hardly seems to leave anything behind. I was trying to work out if the batch of irish moss has a problem (i don't know, can it lose its polarity?), or whether my technique has altered or some other variable.

Edit: just realised i've only been doing 10 minutes with irish moss - maybe need another 5.
 

squirt in the turns

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Brewbrite.
I had considered using this stuff. Should have picked some up last time I was at CB <_<

This question's probably been asked a heap of times, but here goes: can I just mix regular Polyclar and Koppafloc and use that? Will it have the same effect, or is the PVPP and Carrageenan in Brewbrite different? What ratio should they be mixed in?
 

Sammus

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It could be it's your cold break still in suspension. I've noticed that cold break takes forever to settle out compared to hot break. I whirlpool in the same kettle while it's hot and get an amazing cone of trub with crystal clear wort. I chill it through a plate chiller on the way to the fermenter and it's all cloudy with the cold break that, as usual, takes quite a while to drop out.

I wouldn't worry too much though, apparently the cold break is actually beneficial to yeast health and stuff.
 

squirt in the turns

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It could be it's your cold break still in suspension. I've noticed that cold break takes forever to settle out compared to hot break. I whirlpool in the same kettle while it's hot and get an amazing cone of trub with crystal clear wort. I chill it through a plate chiller on the way to the fermenter and it's all cloudy with the cold break that, as usual, takes quite a while to drop out.

I wouldn't worry too much though, apparently the cold break is actually beneficial to yeast health and stuff.
Is it possible that cold break in suspension could interfere with hot break precipitation? It seems like there's almost no break material in the trub "cone" (what little of it there is). Sammus, your point about the benefits of cold break is well taken, but I like chilling in the kettle because:

- I can (theoretically) leave all break material, both hot and cold, in the kettle. Obviously this isn't working for me at the moment.
- I can chill to the exact temperature at which I want to pitch the yeast, then stop.
- I can more easily get to pitching temperature this way by running tap water straight through the chiller (watering the plants with the waste water), then switching to recirculating water from an ice-slurry once the wort gets to about 30C.

I'm going to do the first double batch on this system on Saturday, so I'll see if the fluid dynamics of a less "squat" volume of liquid lend themselves to better cone formation. I'll also see what I can find on mixing my own Brewbrite substitute, and whether it makes any difference.
 

bum

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Failing any of the above, is it possible your chiller design/placement is impeding good whirlpool formation?

[EDIT: ignore me, I somehow missed the plate chiller and assumed immersion. Sorry.]
 

donburke

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Is it possible that cold break in suspension could interfere with hot break precipitation? It seems like there's almost no break material in the trub "cone" (what little of it there is). Sammus, your point about the benefits of cold break is well taken, but I like chilling in the kettle because:

- I can (theoretically) leave all break material, both hot and cold, in the kettle. Obviously this isn't working for me at the moment.
- I can chill to the exact temperature at which I want to pitch the yeast, then stop.
- I can more easily get to pitching temperature this way by running tap water straight through the chiller (watering the plants with the waste water), then switching to recirculating water from an ice-slurry once the wort gets to about 30C.

I'm going to do the first double batch on this system on Saturday, so I'll see if the fluid dynamics of a less "squat" volume of liquid lend themselves to better cone formation. I'll also see what I can find on mixing my own Brewbrite substitute, and whether it makes any difference.
a few things ...

1) the resistance of pumping your wort through the chiller prior to returning it to the kettle would definitely slow it down, possibly not enough oomph to get a good whirlpool going. can you bypass the chiller after you have cooled it and continue recirculating for a minute using pump alone ? i rest for another five or ten minutes after i have cooled and switched the pump off before filling fermenter

2) your return seems a little high, and perhaps is only skimming the top of the wort and not causing enough movement of the whole depth of wort, there is an ideal position and angle for the return. things will probably be better with your double batch i'd say, at least you'll know if that is the problem

3) not relevant to your question, and you have stated why you do things the way you do, but you can cool your wort down much quicker with as single pass rather than recirculating
 

QldKev

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Just make it look like this


whirlpooling.jpg

2 easy

QldKev
 

squirt in the turns

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a few things ...

1) the resistance of pumping your wort through the chiller prior to returning it to the kettle would definitely slow it down, possibly not enough oomph to get a good whirlpool going. can you bypass the chiller after you have cooled it and continue recirculating for a minute using pump alone ? i rest for another five or ten minutes after i have cooled and switched the pump off before filling fermenter

2) your return seems a little high, and perhaps is only skimming the top of the wort and not causing enough movement of the whole depth of wort, there is an ideal position and angle for the return. things will probably be better with your double batch i'd say, at least you'll know if that is the problem

3) not relevant to your question, and you have stated why you do things the way you do, but you can cool your wort down much quicker with as single pass rather than recirculating
Thanks for you input, DB.
1) You're right, but it looks like the movement of the wort would still be sufficient. As you mention in your next point, it could just be the surface that's moving, and bypassing the chiller after cooling is something I certainly can do, so I'll try that. That said, the traces of hop debris are collecting quite happily in the centre.

2) Do you have any information or sources on what this placement should be? Angle is something I can change easily. Position... not so much.

3) I'm pretty happy with the rate the temperature drops. It gets below 80C in just a few minutes. I'll have to time it on Saturday.

After some more reading, I am starting to think that my finings and/or the way I handle them could be the problem. For a start, the KoppaFloc I've got is old, which almost certainly reduces its effectiveness. Does anyone know if upping the dose can compensate for this? I'd like to try Brewbrite but won't be able to get any before the next brewday. There are a few threads on AHB where it's suggested that it should be dissolved in a slurry first, and/or added to the whirlpool after flameout. Not sure if any of that applies to straight carrageen.

Just make it look like this


View attachment 57877

2 easy

QldKev
If I can't achieve that by whirlpooling, I'll just throw some spent hops from the hopsock into the bottom of the kettle, shape them like by hand that and say my whirlpool works perfectly like QldKev's! :D
 

Helles

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The last two beers i made where cloudy at the top of the kettle
Clear at the bottom of the kettle
I put it down to hop oils on top of the wort as there was also an oil slick on top
Both beers turned out great
Used a heap of Citra and Simcoe and I.Moss
Never had this before
Although whirlpool works well with good trub cone
Only whirlpool with a spoon Chill with Immersion chiller
 

spudfarmerboy

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Just make it look like this


View attachment 57877

2 easy

QldKev
Kev,
How do you cool, IC or plate chiller?
I have found when using a plate chiller, I can get a cone like that, but when using an immersion chiller I get a cone of hop material but there is still heaps of cold break material in suspension.
If using a plate chiller, do you use a hop filter or similiar?
 

QldKev

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Did Zorro mark your trub?
Yeah the bastard, keep asking him to write a QK in it...


B)


You just put in a bowl of stodgy old porridge and covered it in honey.
That nor how you make porridge


If I can't achieve that by whirlpooling, I'll just throw some spent hops from the hopsock into the bottom of the kettle, shape them like by hand that and say my whirlpool works perfectly like QldKev's! :D
Clag clue helps :lol:


Kev,
How do you cool, IC or plate chiller?
I have found when using a plate chiller, I can get a cone like that, but when using an immersion chiller I get a cone of hop material but there is still heaps of cold break material in suspension.
If using a plate chiller, do you use a hop filter or similiar?
I no-chill and don't have a return line in the kettle.

I find to get a good formation,
Flame out and leave it 10-15mins with lid on
Stir with mash paddle
Lid back on for another 10mins
Lid slightly ajar and fill the cubes. Do not lift the lid fully off otherwise you get the currents pulling shit back up.

QldKev
 

stevemc32

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Lid slightly ajar and fill the cubes. Do not lift the lid fully off otherwise you get the currents pulling shit back up.
I've only done about 10 biab brews so far but always struggling with these currents pulling shit back up when I'm transferring to the cube. Never thought to pay them no attention and they'd go away. Definitely leaving the lid on next time.

Cheers.
 

squirt in the turns

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Thanks. Some good info there, certainly a lot factors I failed to consider. When you mentioned return angle, I was thinking in terms of the vertical angle. Didn't event think about the tangential angle. :rolleyes: Can't change that at all with the current set up.

Obviously I can change the position, I'm just over drilling holes in stainless. The pot already has one erroneous hole with a brass plug in it from when I moved a temp probe. Hopefully the current placement is about right for a double batch anyway.

Makes sense that the hose barb elbow I'm using isn't doing a great job, as it's right at the edge and basically pointing the wort at the kettle wall. I'm tempted to just do a run up to CB tomorrow morning for a couple of compression fittings and re-do the return with a bit of copper pipe sticking out into the pot at the correct angle. I'll also add a fitting and pipe to the elbow I use as a pickup tube too, so the wort is properly drawn from the very edge and bottom (or just above?). I'll get some Brewbrite while I'm at it.

As impressive as QldKev's cone is, it does appear to be mainly composed of hops. Coming back to my earlier thought about a bit of mash material in the boil aiding flocculation, I wonder if loose hops also help to trap break material as they move about. I might try throwing the hops in loose, whirlpooling without the chiller for 10 mins at the beginning to avoid getting too much hop material in it, then add it to the loop.

Clag clue helps :lol:
Ah, Clag Glue is too often overlooked as a fining agent. :p But if you Google it, the first image is of a bottle of it next to a horse. As a vegan, that's just too suss for me.
 

insane_rosenberg

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I no-chill and don't have a return line in the kettle.

I find to get a good formation,
Flame out and leave it 10-15mins with lid on
Stir with mash paddle
Lid back on for another 10mins
Lid slightly ajar and fill the cubes. Do not lift the lid fully off otherwise you get the currents pulling shit back up.

QldKev
Holy shit Kev!

Why couldn't you have told me that 2 years ago?

Now I just need to sort out a good pick up tube for a crown urn B)

Edit: Spelling.
 

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