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Whirlpool Install to Boil Kettle

I have been wanting to have the ability to more easily return wort to the boil kettle from the counter flow chiller and also try to get some whirlpool action at the same time. Over the course of a couple months, I scoured posts at Home Brew Talk, looked into Jamil Zainasheff’s whirlpool set up and a few other renditions of DIY whirlpool builds. For the most part, what I found is that most of the builds out there are set up for immersion chillers. Since I already use a counter flow chiller, I definitely didn’t want to be shopping for a new chiller set up just to incorporate a whirlpool into my brew day.

I decided to turn to the guys at More Beer in Riverside. I reached out to Rob in their shop and asked if he uses a set up on their sculpture for when they do weekend demonstrations. After a few emails, he set me up with all the right fittings. Below are some photos of how it all ended up working when installing to the boil kettle.

Boil kettle before any welding.

Here is the list of fittings and quantities I purchased from More Beer and Lowe’s:

  • Male quick disconnect with barb (2)
  • 1/2″ full coupler (1)
  • 1/2″ street elbow (2)
  • 1/2″ x 1.5″ threaded nipple (1)
  • 1/2″ mpt x 1/2″ compression fitting (1)
  • 3/8″ x 2′ copper pipe (1) was purchased at Lowe’s.

All the fittings, minus the 1/2″ stainless coupler that was welded into the boil kettle.

1/2″ stainless coupler and 1/2″ inch male quick disconnect. The barb on the quick disconnect will be removed and filled to create a cap on the front of the kettle.

Coupler installed 1 inch from the lip of the kettle.

1/2″ female quick disconnect installed into the coupler.

1/2″ male quick disconnect with the barb removed and filled (left).

Cap inserted on the front of the kettle.

Inside the boil kettle.

3/8″ x 2′ copper pipe attached with 1/2″ stainless compression fitting.

The first run-through seemed to work well with only a few small leaks from the fittings that are inside the kettle. I will add thread tape the connections and am confident that will remedy that with no problems. The whirlpool is not nearly as vigorous as I expected, but nonetheless, it definitely gets some good action and I can now just “click in” when returning wort to the kettle from the counter flow chiller.


2 responses

  1. My set up is close to that without the fitting into the boil pot. I always recirc the mash for a flameout/aroma hop addition for at least 15 mins. From my counter flow chiller I have a quick connect into a poly hose back into the kettle with a clamp. I chill to 190 and stop (water off) add any hop aroma needed and then start the chilling water again. Always leaving the pump on. Seems to work great. I would add it into the kettle like you did, but my pot is only 10 gallons so it is a tight fit.

    July 5, 2012 at 16:47

    • Right on! I’ve tried it before the way you described but couldn’t get a clamp to hold the 1/2″ tubing coming from the chiller or any sort of whirlpool for that matter. This set up needs some tweaking for a 6 gallon batch but it’s manageable.

      July 5, 2012 at 20:30

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