Whirlpooling, do you do it? How do you do it? Does it work?

Post #1 made 10 years ago
Hey everyone

just a quick question on whirlpooling.

My interpretion of whirlpooling is to basicly create a whirpool after the boil in the keggle/urn before transferring the wort. I just use my mash paddle. I have done it twice now (i stir for about 2-3 minutes, let it stop swirling then open the valve on the keggle and transfer to cube for NC)
I must say i havent seen any real difference between the whirpooled and non-whirlpooled wort's

Am i doing something wrong? Is my interpretation correct?

How do others whirlpool?



P.S. I i used whirfloc in the two brews i 'whirlpooled'
"I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.”Dave Berry

Post #2 made 10 years ago
Hey Redlegger,

my understanding of whirlpooling is to stir as you do for several minutes to get all the solid material into suspension, and then I leave my urn covered with the lid for about 30 minutes to let the solids fall into a cone in the middle of the urn before draining.

I then use a piece of tubing to siphon from the edge of the urn, about half way down into the wort, being careful not to get too much hot break coming through in the process.

I think the main thing for you is to leave the wort after whirlpooling for about 20-30 minutes (covered with lid!) before draining, then you should see far less hot break getting into your cube.

Cold break is another story though.... I tend not to worry too much about the cold break from the cube getting into the fermenter, as I just up end the cube into the fermenter to get lots of splashing, but you could siphon from a cube into the fermenter so as to not take up too much cold break, but I have tried this before and not noticed any difference between batches. I guess it might be a purist thing, but if it made a noticeable difference to the final product, then I would not be doing it.

hope this helps,


Post #3 made 10 years ago
Howdy redlegger :),

Your question is a great one. Whirlpooling is talked about all the time but brewers never say what their equipment set-up or process is. Let's take one simple example...

If you use an immersion chiller, can you whirlpool?

When using an immersion chiller, you dump it in the boil about 15 minutes before the end of the boil to sterilise it. If you want to whirlpool, you will have to pull your chiller out at the end of the boil, whirlpool and then throw your chiller back in. That's not right eh?

So, like you redlegger, I have more questions than answers.

There are heaps of obvious questions like the above that I haven't been able to find answers to and stupidly (in hindsight) that I haven't asked vigorously enough. Surely whether to whirlpool or not depends on what type of chiller, if any, that you are using and whether you syphon or use a tap.

I have whirlpooled only twice and I only bothered trying it when using a kettle with a tap. Once it worked well and once it didn't make any difference (I brew side by side on two identical rigs.) I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable whirlpooling when the wort was hot (HSA delusions probably) but I suspect that it was the hot whirlpool that worked!!!

You have given me the confidence to ask this question on AHB. Hold on...

I have asked the question in this thread.

Will report back here later with the results.

Great question RL,
Last edited by PistolPatch on 03 Jun 2010, 21:39, edited 10 times in total.
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Post #4 made 10 years ago
How do others whirlpool?

I use a pump to whirlpool, but have tried various methods before having the pump. TO use the pump you attached a hose to the out valve and run it back to the boil kettle (BK). I use a about 1 meter of copper tubing that has a bend in the end to match the outside of my Immersion Chiller (IC).

Some of my old methods:
attach an 18" inch stainless paint stirrer to a drill on low speed. This also aids in cooling the wort as it is constantly moving around against the IC.

use a spoon/paddle with IC in BK and do the best you can. I can tell you the more you move the wort during cool down the faster it goes if using an IC. Also 2-3 minutes is probably fine, but I would give it at least 10 mintes if not 20 minutes after you stop stirring to let the particulate settle.

One other method that I still use up to and including my last brew, but will probably do away is put a 5 gallon (19 liter) paint strainer bag in my bucket. I've read of people using them in carboys also. I just stretch it over the opening of the bucket and pump my wort into the bucket. The last 3 or 4 brews I've done haven't needed the extra filtration. Hardly a speck in the bag. I suspect this is due to the fact I recirculate during the mash. It acts like a filter just as a cooler mash would. So one less thing to sanitize. Actually I think it was the only thing I sanitized on brew day as I usually put my bucket into the dishwasher on a heated water cycle with a heat sanitize at the end. I leave the door close until I'm ready to pump wort at the end of the boil.

Post #5 made 10 years ago
I've never had any luck with whirlpooling as my urn has an exposed element that causes too much 'interference' and I can't get a clean result. I find that Whirlfloc and a 20 minute rest before transferring to my slow-chill cube works fine. Here's a couple of photos I posted on another forum showing the first glass out of the urn, then the second glass. As you can see the first one has a fair amount of break, the second is essentially quite clear, then the wort stream was crystal clear following that.
Last edited by Beachbum on 04 Jun 2010, 08:02, edited 10 times in total.

Post #7 made 10 years ago
Cheers for the feedback guys!

Cheers PP for posting on AHB also, cleared a lot of things up for me.

Will def be giving whirlpooling a serious go on the next brew :)

"I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.”Dave Berry

Post #8 made 10 years ago
No worries RL. A few beers and I'll post anywhere :roll:.

I think LloydieP will be over again in a few weeks to brew some more double-batches so we can have a second trial using the drill and paint stirrer method again that Joe mentioned above. If we stagger the three double batches a bit, we can try three methods all with an immersion chiller in the kettle. For me, having to pull the immersion chiller out to whirlpool is not a practical or sensible option. Three methods could be...

1. Hot whirlpool - Whirlpool 20 minutes after boil ends. Drain when chilled.
2. Cold whirlpool - Whirlpool after chill and wait half an hour before draining.
3. No whirlpool - Agitate wort occasionally during chill and, when chilled, wait half an hour before draining.

I am open to suggestions and promise to stay sober (this time) to time and record results. Lloyd will have to get here early though to ensure this ;).

My only disappointment is that I currently don't have my trusty original auto-syphon to use as you can't buy them here anymore :(.

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Post #9 made 10 years ago
If i leave my wort sitting for 20-30-40 minutes after flameount for whirlpooling, will this affect my IBU's flavour and aroma?? I.E. essentially having the 60 minute hops in for up to 100 minutes? Flavour hops in for up to 55 minutes and aroma hops in for up to 45 minutes?

I use my hops in my voile bag (after emptying out the grains of course) so the hops are removed from the wort after flameout anyway, so by removing them after flameout , do i prevent any unwanted affects ?

Hope i have explained my question properly :shock:
"I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.”Dave Berry

Post #10 made 10 years ago
My guess RL is that you do prevent any unwanted affects.

I say that because I use my hops in the same way as you described and believe I get what I'm after ie. Bitterness, flavour and aroma.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #11 made 10 years ago
I have just had my best whirlpool yet.I use whirlfloc but have had problems keeping the trub together.

I suspected it was the sheer volume of the trub causing problems so I got myself a hopsock.
then while on a roll I made two other changes to my normal routine. (I know, I should make one change at a time)
Reading thru the link at post 3, Thirstyboy suggests that when using Whirlfloc, less is more, So I just used half a tab for 45L post boil volume. And rather than just whirling the whole lot, I started slowly at the outer edge but then concentrated on spinning up just a small circle, really fast, in the middle

The result was unusual, part of the trub cone broke free and floated to the top, but it was so tightly bound together that it just floated there in a ball and allowed me to siphon beside it, at the bottom was the rest of the cone, looking like a volcano where the lump broke off, but well bound together and mostly stayed out of the way.

Now to determine which change made the difference

Post #12 made 10 years ago
I don't use a whirlpool. I find that my hops settle out nicely and form a filter bed, but then I don't use a syphon to get the wort out of the boiler either, cos it has a fitted tap, so maybe that's the difference.
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Post #13 made 10 years ago
I don't whirlpool. At flameout I siphon into my cube which has any late hop additions waiting to be immersed with boiling wort. The next day the Irish moss has done it's thing and I siphon off into my bucket. I just didn't like waiting around for some break material to settle. It never did to my satisfaction and I want the hot wort to help sterilize my (already) sanitized cube. To me (a nobody) it's a step that never was needed for my style of BIAB. That's "Bob In A Bag"
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post #14 made 9 years ago
I use a cfc first to cool it down and recirculate back into my kettle because I remember readin jamil z say that the problem with cfc's is thAt your cooling down the wort as a whole alot slower. I decided to cool the wort down as a whole by recirculating back intothe wort....then whirlpool. Whirlpooling before chilling can cause DMS to form while it's sitting there hot.
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