Author Topic: Recirculating without a pump  (Read 8531 times)

Offline Humble Brewer

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Recirculating without a pump
« on: October 17, 2012, 04:07:49 PM »
Do any of you whirlpool your wort before sending to primary without a pump? 

I currently run my wort through my counterflow chiller into a carboy, let it sit for an hour for trub to settle, then rerack it.  I don't worry over much about splashing as I aerate the heck out of the beer once its in the second carboy before I pitch.  I just dislike the step of letting the cooled wort sit and settle.  Most everyone I know who whirlpools the trub into a cone and leaves the cold break behind has a pump.  Could I get the same effect stirring with a spoon?  Is it worth it?
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 05:43:22 PM »
Yep.

I made a wort stirrer similar to this: http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/Wort-Cooling-201

I use an immersion chiller.  I put the stirrer into the kettle at the same time I add the irish moss.   After the wort is chilled, I let it settle for 30 minutes in the kettle before transferring to the fermenter.  The wort is very clear. 

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Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 10:39:39 AM »
Interesting article.  Thanks for the link.  I am still finding the time to build a stir plate, not sure I want to add building a wort stirrer :)  But I suppose that does answer the question that simply stirring the wort for a bit can whirlpool the trub for me. 
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Offline beerbeer95648

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 01:46:15 PM »
I include a miscellaneous item in my recipe at 15 minutes till end of boil called paddle. I put my stainless paddle in the boil for 15 minutes to sterilize. Then at flameout I stir really well to create a whirlpool, then put the lid on. I rest for 20 minutes then drain through a plate chiller while leaving behind a nice mound of trub in the kettle.  Much easier than doing a second transfer to avoid trub.

Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 02:16:44 PM »
I had a vision of doing the stir after I chilled the wort hoping that it would also force out some of the cold break as well.  I use a counterflow chiller and one of the ways I keep it sanitized is doing essentially a second verlauf where I pass the boiling wort through it for a few minutes before I begin chilling.  I am not sure I want to let the wort rest 20 minutes before I run it through the chiller.

Things to think about.  Always trying to perfect my technique.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 03:54:20 PM »
I am not sure I want to let the wort rest 20 minutes before I run it through the chiller.


That is one of the big reasons that I stuck with the big immersion chiller and the stirrer.  My entire wort is below isomerization temperature (170F) in less than 60 seconds, DMS formation temperature (140), and volatilizing temperature (90F) in less than 6 minutes. 

the beer flavor is very much LOCKED in as soon as I turn on the chiller...compared to the long steeping times associated with counter-flow or plate chillers.

The stirrer has an integrated lid with a hinged section.  Once the flame is turned off the lid is closed and is never opened until the wort has been transferred into the fermenter. 

I'm not paranoid about trub getting into the fermenter.  I don't got to any heroic lengths to avoid it.  But, my process and equipment produces pretty clear wort without any excess effort.

I didn't make the stirrer for clarity.  I made it because I got tired of standing there stirring.  And I didn't like leaving the lid off with the wort exposed to outside air. 
R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Recirculating without a pump
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 09:17:25 AM »
I might be missing something here with chillers.  Are counterflow chillers typically slower?  I transfer the wort back up to the cooler that starts with my strike water and then drain from the cooler into the carboy via the counterflow chiller.  I can open the ball valve full on and drain a 5 gallon batch from the cooler in about 5 to 10 minutes and it drops from boiling to ~75F.  When I am lautering from the mash tun I drain it slowly, but when chilling I let it rip.  I love my counterflow chiller for that. 

I always had bad luck with immersion chillers taking forever.  I believe in retrospect I was using one that was too small and didn't have enough copper in the water.  Who knows.

All I do know is I typically have a ton of trub and really want to reduce that.  :)  And thanks for all the comments.
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