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> Adjusting recipes for counterflow chiller
macado
post Feb 16 2014, 04:44 PM
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After increasing batch sizes from 5 to 10 gallons, I elected to upgrade from an immersion chiller to a counterflow chiller. It is a very effective chiller for the price. I have made a number of good batches with the new equipment and for the most part I have been pleased. My only issues involve the hops. The beers, especially PAs and IPAs, have a lingering bitterness and fall short in the aroma department even with heavy hop additions at flameout. After reading a couple BeerSmith blogs on late hop additions, in particular http://beersmith.com/blog/2013/01/21/late-...n-beer-brewing/, it got me wondering. If it typically takes 25 minutes to run the worth through the counterflow chiller, am I loosing some of the essential oils? Additionally, if the wort remains above 200 degrees for 25 minutes, does that impact the the overall IBUs of the recipe? It seems to me that I may be squeezing more out of my mid and late addition hops than the design accounts for. Not sure if anyone else has encountered this problem or can offer any advice. My initial "fix" is to create a cooling whirlpool through the counterflow chiller for 15 minutes allowing the wort to drop to 150, then transferring through counterflow into the fermenter. Even then I am not sure if my recipes need to be adjusted. Thoughts? Advice?
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pilsenhammer
post Feb 19 2014, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE(macado @ Feb 16 2014, 03:44 PM) *
After increasing batch sizes from 5 to 10 gallons, I elected to upgrade from an immersion chiller to a counterflow chiller. It is a very effective chiller for the price. I have made a number of good batches with the new equipment and for the most part I have been pleased. My only issues involve the hops. The beers, especially PAs and IPAs, have a lingering bitterness and fall short in the aroma department even with heavy hop additions at flameout. After reading a couple BeerSmith blogs on late hop additions, in particular http://beersmith.com/blog/2013/01/21/late-...n-beer-brewing/, it got me wondering. If it typically takes 25 minutes to run the worth through the counterflow chiller, am I loosing some of the essential oils? Additionally, if the wort remains above 200 degrees for 25 minutes, does that impact the the overall IBUs of the recipe? It seems to me that I may be squeezing more out of my mid and late addition hops than the design accounts for. Not sure if anyone else has encountered this problem or can offer any advice. My initial "fix" is to create a cooling whirlpool through the counterflow chiller for 15 minutes allowing the wort to drop to 150, then transferring through counterflow into the fermenter. Even then I am not sure if my recipes need to be adjusted. Thoughts? Advice?

I noticed this phenomenon also when I first began using a counterflow chiller. Yes you will get some additional IBUs if you stir the wort with the aroma hops in it. It takes movement to get isomerization of alpha acids. If you add the hops and just stir once, immediately, you will minimize the additional bitterness. However, if you take too long to chill the batch some of the aroma will be gone and be replaced by flavor compounds (less delicate oils, etc.). I have moved from a CF chiller to a plate chiller, where it only takes 5 min to chill 5 gal. This helps with obtaining aroma, but the best thing was when I started using a hopback. As wort flows through the hopback, placed between the kettle and chiller, it picks up the aroma oils and then quickly gets chilled, locking in the aroma. Even still, I feel the aroma is not that great. I get the best aroma by dry hopping. If you feel that dry hopping gives a grassy flavor, make sure the beer is not chilled, IE keep the temp above 60 at the lowest for at least a few days when dry hopping.

Hope this helps....
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macado
post Feb 20 2014, 09:20 PM
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I had forgotten about isomerization needing movement- thanks for that. I have used a hopback(homemade) before, but it seems to lend more flavor than aroma. I assumed it was due to the temperature. I may try a cooling whirlpool to drop the the temp below 150 then use a hopback on the way to the fermentation chamber. Thanks for the feedback.
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pilsenhammer
post Feb 21 2014, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE(macado @ Feb 20 2014, 08:20 PM) *
I had forgotten about isomerization needing movement- thanks for that. I have used a hopback(homemade) before, but it seems to lend more flavor than aroma. I assumed it was due to the temperature. I may try a cooling whirlpool to drop the the temp below 150 then use a hopback on the way to the fermentation chamber. Thanks for the feedback.

I just read the article you posted. About the lower temp whirlpool hops, I tried that a couple years ago with a Steam beer with the Northern Brewer hops that can be so assertive flavor wise, and I thought it worked well to not get an over abundance of flavor but still get decent aroma. I must do some experimenting.
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