From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <darryl@ism780c.isc.com>
Subject: re: whirlpooling
Date: 1989-06-29 14:36:13 GMT

From: "1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES" <henchal@wrair-emh1.army.mil>
"To Darryl Richman:
" You recent mentioned that you use the whirlpool method to
"prevent excess trub from being transferred to your fermentors.
"While I have heard that commercial breweries use this same
"method, I am not sure how the homebrewer can use this method. I
"don't think that this method will work for those of us who decant
"our wort to the fermentor....you must drain your boiling kettle
"from the bottom with a spigot. Am I correct?

Yes, this is correct. This is my setup: I use a 15.5 gallon keg with
the top cut out as a boil kettle. I also cut a 2" hole as close to the
bottom as I could, and had a brass nipple welded on. I mash in this
kettle and remove a 2" cap to spill the mash into my lauter tun (I use
an 80 quart picnic cooler with a copper tubing manifold in the
bottom). I have another 2" cap with a .5" hole in it, tapped to accept
regular galvanized iron pipe (I actually use brass...). I have a short
length of pipe that then leads to a ball valve. I hope this crude
drawing explains:

| | ----Keg
| | ----2" Cap
| | / ----Ball Valve
| | -. /
| 2" __ - | +
|hole - |=O=== <---.5" pipe
+-------+ -'

I can boil 13 gallons or so. When done, I stir the wort madly for
about 2 minutes, trying to get as deep a vortex as I can without
splashing. Then I put my immersion cooler into the kettle and run it
for an hour. The very first run tends to have a bit of hops and trub,
and this I discard. It runs clear down to the last gallon or so, which
exposes the pipe and the flow stops. Then I *carefully* tip the keg
and run until I start to get hops and trub.

This generally leaves about 1-2 quarts of wort in with the junk. I
accept this loss as unavoidable. (I still get extracts of as much as
33 s.g. lb. grain/gallon of water, computed as volume in the fermenter,
with 30-31 being typical.)

Now, as to cooking on the stove, which I assume is where you're coming
from: when I was doing 5 gallons (in an 8 gallon pot), I still
whirlpooled the wort. After the boil, I whirled it, covered it, and
placed it in my sink, where I ran cold water around the outside of the
pot. In an hour I would put a racking tube in, against the wall of the
pot, and siphon into my fermenter. I could get nearly all the liquid
out of the pot.

I don't think you could successfully decant the wort without upsetting
the mound of junk that forms in the middle or else leaving behind a
substantial amount of extract. But you might be amazed at how much
stuff whirlpooling leaves behind! It really is fascinating to see a
pyramid exposed as the level of wort goes down.

--Darryl Richman

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