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Hopstand and Whirlpool

In my quest to infuse glorious hop aroma and flavor into my beer, I’ve been reading about the hopstand technique. From what I understand, the most effective way to perform a hopstand involves performing a whirlpool during the 60-80 minute rest.

Short of standing over the kettle and stirring for an hour like witch on crack, how do you guys keep a whirlpool going during the hopstand?

I’ve used a hop spider on my last couple batches and have really enjoyed the benefits–so I prefer to keep that as part of the equation. How would you get a whirlpool going with a hop spider in place?

Rather than doing a full whirlpool, I wonder if it would it be about as effective to just recirculate wort back through the hop spider during the rest. The point being more about keeping the wort moving through the hops than about achieving an actual whirlpool.

Many people whirlpool with a pump. Don’t see why a spider would stop that.

Maybe I need to change my concept of what a whirlpool is. When I whirlpool with a spoon (or with a drill and paint stirrer as I’ve been doing lately), a lot of energy gets discharged into the wort and an actual cone is formed. I have a hard time picturing a pump discharging enough energy into 5+ gallons of wort to achieve a cone. Perhaps the cone is unnecessary–just uniform movement in a circular pattern.

I’ve not sweated the whirlpool part too much and just got a good stir going then let it sit for an hour. The whirlpool may add a touch of extraction via the agitation but I’m assuming it is a negligible from just letting it stand. Pretty sure the whirlpool concept mostly comes from commercial brewing where during whirlpool is the last reasonable spot they can add late hops. A hop stand really doesn’t make sense at a commercial level but likely accomplishes the same thing (and is easier for me to do since I don’t have a whirlpool tank and pump)

It’d be great if someone wanted to study the difference between just standing and whirlpooling but it seems like a lot of work and a stand is a lot easier. (plus I’m happy with the results) :smiley:


The hopstand is what you do if you don’t have a pump to create a whirlpool - add the hops at flameout, drop the temp to 190-200F with an IC, stop chilling, and wrap the kettle in insulation to keep the temp above 185F for 60-90 minutes. Using a spider with a hopstand is a great way to go.

And a March pump will create a very good whirlpool, even in a 20-gallon kettle.

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