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Whirlfloc or Whirlpool? Pick one?

So, I’m trying to perfect the “whirlpool” method of keeping the trub out of the fermenter. I’ve tried a couple methods now, and I have been so far unsuccessful. I used whirlfloc both times, though, and from what I’ve read, whirlfloc is suspect in making a whirlpool an impossibility.

Anyone have any comments on this? Is whirlfloc worth it? Does it really provide a clearer beer, all else held constant? Conversely, is the whirlpool worth it? I could just as easily strain the wort through a sanitized nylon paint strainer bag.

EDIT: Added a picture of my lack of a nice cone. :frowning:

[attachment=0]IMG_20111001_154010.jpg[/attachment]

Looks like cold break to me. As long as you are chilling IN the brew pot, you will never get a decent cone of trub. Cold break does not lend itself to forming a nice cone and tends to lay flat across the whole bottom. The only way to get a good cone is to do your chilling on the way to the fermenter.

[quote=“Silentknyght”]So, I’m trying to perfect the “whirlpool” method of keeping the trub out of the fermenter. I’ve tried a couple methods now, and I have been so far unsuccessful. I used whirlfloc both times, though, and from what I’ve read, whirlfloc is suspect in making a whirlpool an impossibility.

Anyone have any comments on this? Is whirlfloc worth it? Does it really provide a clearer beer, all else held constant? Conversely, is the whirlpool worth it? I could just as easily strain the wort through a sanitized nylon paint strainer bag.[/quote]

I am about to find out as I have been using it with good results lately but brewed two batches Friday night and forgot it in both.

There was an article a couple months ago in BYO magazine about finings and if they produce clarity. They tested a variety of things. But the results showed that using a product like Whirlfloc does help clear beer. And, why choose one when you can do both?

That flies in the face of Kai’s whirlpooling wiki, though…

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Whirlpooling

One thing I noticed on whirlpooling is that your pot really matters. When I first started brewing I used a turkeyfryer pot that had a narrow base and was very tall. Whirpooling just didn’t work well. But after I got a big 15 gallon pot with a huge base, whirpooling works very easily to get a nice cone.

I’m not sure about your setup, but it is as good an excuse as any to upgrade your pot.

[quote=“LarryTate”]
I’m not sure about your setup, but it is as good an excuse as any to upgrade your pot.[/quote]

Bummer… and I just got the 10 gallon Boilermaker from Blichmann. :?

Whirlfloc works in the fermenter as well as the boil pot, I do both since they both do different things.

Alright, Mullerbrau, I’m looking into taking you up on your advice: I’m considering purchasing a chillzilla CFC. In your experience, will the mechanics of the whirlpool be the same? That is to say, stick a paddle in there, stir like a madman, and let sit for 15 minutes? Is whirlpooling practical (i.e., a distinction between possible and practical) for a relatively tall-and-skinny kettle, like a Blichmann Boilermaker?

I’m whirlpooling while chilling to make the IC more efficient. I use supermoss and like you I don’t see a cone, I think at least partly beause the finings take longer to settle and dont’ settle while the whirpool is going.

Alright, Mullerbrau, I’m looking into taking you up on your advice: I’m considering purchasing a chillzilla CFC. In your experience, will the mechanics of the whirlpool be the same? That is to say, stick a paddle in there, stir like a madman, and let sit for 15 minutes? Is whirlpooling practical (i.e., a distinction between possible and practical) for a relatively tall-and-skinny kettle, like a Blichmann Boilermaker?[/quote]No need to stir like a mad man. Just get it going gently and then turn on the pump when it is close to stopping. It only takes a minute. Tall narrow pots work well too. My buddy has a 30 gallon pot which is only about 15" in diameter. He gets a nice cone too.

I’ve been trying a fine mesh bag (like what you’d use for grains or hops) inside of the funnel as a way to catch the hot/cold break and keep it out of the fermenter. It will slow down with hop material and hot break goo (I think irish moss gelled it up too), but the wort that makes it into the carboy is very strained. The last batch (Innkeeper) did catch a ton of pelleted hops and I had to shake out the bag once or twice. Can also wring it out and make sure you get all of the worty goodness.

hmm… I will need a pump, too? Will gravity feed work well-enough?

hmm… I will need a pump, too? Will gravity feed work well-enough?[/quote]Yes gravity feed is fine.

Interesting. I have the 15 gal Megapot (15"tall x 19"dia) and have a tough time whirlpooling a good cone. My SOP is Irish Moss and IC in the kettle, as MullerBrau wrote, possibly cold break is the reason for the flatish layer. I have resigned to whirlpooling the best I can and using a paint strainer (or hop bag) as I drain from kettle to primary. That works fairly well as far for me.

From a recent thread “irish moss or whirlflock” I may be trying using both but in smaller quantities.

I’ve never heard about whirfloc in the fermenter. What does that do? And how would I do it?

Alright, Mullerbrau, I’m looking into taking you up on your advice: I’m considering purchasing a chillzilla CFC. In your experience, will the mechanics of the whirlpool be the same? That is to say, stick a paddle in there, stir like a madman, and let sit for 15 minutes? Is whirlpooling practical (i.e., a distinction between possible and practical) for a relatively tall-and-skinny kettle, like a Blichmann Boilermaker?[/quote]

I have a Blichmann 20 gallon boiler maker and chillzilla. I whirlpool and let sit for 15-20 minutes. I get a nice cone and for me the chillzilla works great. Ive had one of those plate chillers and the zilla blows it away.

I’ve worked out a system that works for me. Since I brew using a hop bag it’s mainly the cold break that I’m dealing with. I add whirlflock to the kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil, chill with an IC coil, and then let the wort rest for 30 minutes to settle the cold break. The difference starts with the pickup tube in the kettle. Rather than having it positioned at the bottom of the kettle against the side wall for a whirlpool I have it turned upward so it starts draining about 2” above the bottom of the kettle which is the top of the cold break line, this will vary with your kettle geometry. I drain the first quart or so of the wort into a clean, sanitized, 1 gallon plastic water jug ( You will need 2 of these) until I’m sure the wort is running clean. Then I direct the clear wort into the fermenter. The remaining wort with the break material left at the bottom of the kettle is emptied into the jugs. At this point you can return to your standard pitching procedure and you should be pitching into crystal clear wort. The jugs go into the fridge overnight to settle and in the morning I decant the clear wort into the fermenter ( let the jugs sit out until they reach fermentation temp if your making an ale) and then discard the cold break which should amount to about a gallon. It’s a little bit of extra work but well worth it especially if you harvest your yeast.

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