The mechanical principles of the whirlpool

Brewhouse Operations Session
Udo Funk, GEA Brewery Systems

ABSTRACT: To optimize the fermentation process it is necessary that the yeast cells have a well-functioning substance exchange through the cell wall. Due to this, approx. 95% of the hot trub accumulated during boiling must be removed. After discussing the formation and properties of hot trub, the available methods of separation, filtration and sedimentation, are described. The sedimentation speed of the hot trub particles determines the process performance of the settling tank, centrifugation, or whirlpool separation. The most commonly practiced means of trub separation in wort handling is the whirlpool. Very large amounts of pellet hops or whole hops require one to individually customize the whirlpool design in order to achieve good hot trub separation at minimum extract losses. Other aspects of trub handling such as reuse and disposal are also discussed.

Udo Funk graduated from the Technical University of Munich (Weihenstephan) as a brewing engineer in 1994. Since 1995 he has worked in the brewery supply industry, with a focus on the process side, from malt handling to beer filtration. He has worked as a commissioning engineer, process engineer, and project manager in Europe, Latin America, and North America. Since 2007 he has lived with his family in St. Paul, MN, and represents GEA Brewery Systems as the senior sales engineer for North America.