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Recirculating mash and whirlpooling

So I am getting 2 kegs gonna convert to a mash tun and boil kettle, and I’m gonna do all the welded fittings myself, but I’m curious about recirculating wort, putting more fittings on the keggles and also doing an inlet for recirculation on my boil kettle.

I was reading somewhere on the interweb where it said recirculating the mash will clear it and if thats the case I assume its not that difficult of a setup, but what about heat loss… Are there upsides and down sides of it.

Also question 2, I have a 25’ CFC I made and is there a problem with running it through the chiller back into the kettle to cool it that way or does it take too long?

I’m still really new to all this fancy homebrewing shenanigans, so any help would be great.
Thanks guys!

The step to clear the mash by recirculation is known as vorlauf. You’re probably already doing this in one way. I can’t think of any other reason to recirculate the mash unless you’re doing step mashing or temperature maintenance with a RIMS system or something similar.

I hook up my pump and recirculate the wort slowly from the drain to the top of the grain bed. I do this step in the last 10-15 minutes of the mash. There is some minimal heat loss, but I make up for it in the hot sparge water that’s added subsequently. To recirculate the mash, you won’t need any extra fittings - just pump from the outlet valve and through your sparge arm, or whatever you might have.

If your CFC is getting the wort down to pitching temperatures with one pass, there shouldn’t be a need to pump it back into the kettle.
I wonder if what you’re asking about it a whirlpool inlet. whirlpool is done at the end of the boil, before chilling (when using a cfc). Wort is pumped from the outlet and back into the kettle along the side of the vessel to created a whirlpool. It concentrates hop matter, protein and other crap in the center of the kettle. Also, you can install a side pick up tube, so you’re sure not to transfer the material concentrated in the center to the fermentor.

Jamil’s whirlpool method is used with an immersion chiller and chills the wort faster by keeping the wort moving (no stirring needed) and concentrates the hops and protein break in the center of the kettle.

I hope this helps.

The thing I probably explained poorly was an attempt at a RIMS system apparently. I am for sure going to not do that…yet.

The one that would make sense to me would be using the CFC through a pump like a whirlpool while cooling the wort. Wouldn’t it have the same effect-ish as running the IC with a traditional whirlpool? The idea is still cooling but all the break material would stay in the pot with the trub and hop bits, then just pump it to the carboys/buckets once at pitching temps. It makes sense it would work to me, but I could be totally wrong.

I don’t have a cfc, but I’m not sure that the rate the wort is pumped through the chiller will be high enough to get a good whirlpool going.

I use a chugger ss pump for whirlpools on 10gal batches and it works great. I got a whirlpool attachment from bargainfittings.com.

Old school recirculation was simply draining wort into a pitcher or something and slowly pouring it over the mash. This set the mash bed and helped clear the wort. Sure you did lose some temperature but at this point any conversion is done so no worries. If you mashed out, that is raised the temp to 168°, then any drop at that point should make no difference.

My system now days is a RIMS or more accurately a HERMS (heat exchange). When I recirculate the wort goes through a coil in the HLT that has 172° water in it. Unless I recirculate for a long time it still drops the temp a few degrees due to the lines outside the MT and HLT plus the small contact with air on top of the mash I guess.There is no problem in my mind since it will soon be heated to boiling.

CF chiller wise if yours works as well as most, mine included you should only need one pass. Most go from the boil kettle directly to the fermentation vessel. The ground water temp or whatever you use for cooling makes the difference.

I’m surprised you have not heard from the batch sparge crowd here yet who will tell you all this is not necessary. Drain it, fill it, stir, wait ten minutes and drain it again. :lol:

Oh, I moved this to the AG section BTW

[quote=“drdyancey”]So I am getting 2 kegs gonna convert to a mash tun and boil kettle, and I’m gonna do all the welded fittings myself, but I’m curious about recirculating wort, putting more fittings on the keggles and also doing an inlet for recirculation on my boil kettle.

I was reading somewhere on the interweb where it said recirculating the mash will clear it and if thats the case I assume its not that difficult of a setup, but what about heat loss… Are there upsides and down sides of it.

Also question 2, I have a 25’ CFC I made and is there a problem with running it through the chiller back into the kettle to cool it that way or does it take too long?

I’m still really new to all this fancy homebrewing shenanigans, so any help would be great.
Thanks guys![/quote]

Heat loss while Recirculating your mash shouldn’t be a problem if you direct fire your mashtun and recirculating the wort actually helps to maintain even temp through your tun. I use a CFC and then recirculate back to the BK I prefer this method 1 because yes a fair amount of hot break cones in the bottom of the kettle staying out of my fermenters, 2 this way also allows me to be more consistent in my pitching temp and also consistent between both carboy’s, as I usually do 12 gallon batches. So yes your on the right track. I also use a hop spider to keep the hops out of my CFC the hot break alone causes enough gunk build up. Hope this helps.

I too run my pumps and recirculate my wort back through from the cfc back into the boil keggle. I have found that they first couple times through the cfc sometimes bring a fair amount of trub until things settle in the middle of my keggle. I’m also going by the theory that by chilling and circulating, at some point there is a cold break that gets forced to the center of the boil keggle as opposed to ending up in the carboy.

Good luck with your system, i have building and brewing on mine. My suggestion btw way is to brew your first batch with minimal hops. The reason for this is that if you miss your gravity, you won’t end up with the most insanely, mouth drying IPA man has never seen…except for this guy!

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