What is the real difference between a whirlpool hop addition and a flameout hop addition?

The practice of whirlpooling is more of a pro-equipment setup type of technique, but I have seen and heard pro-brewers mentioning both additions in the same breath.

The difference must be within the way they use their equipment.

The main point for confusion to me is that a whirlpool hop addition happens during the whirlpool but before the chill. Isn't that the same as a flameout addition????

Unless, the whirlpool is happening post chill; then you could see it more as a dryhop (pre-ferment) addition. But when you think about how the equipment works, a whirlpool tank post chill doesn't seem realistic because post chill you want that wort in the fermentor and with the yeast ASAP.

Anyone have an answer to that conundrum???

3 Answers 3


The difference between flame out additions and whirlpool hop additions is a matter of time. The flame out hops spend a longer time in the unchilled wort thus breaking down the hop oils and reducing the amount of aroma they impart in the beer. When they are adding the hops to the whirlpool they spend less time in the hot wort thus maintaining more aroma.

  • When you say they differ by matter of time, what is that difference. If Flameout is 40 - 60 minutes, what would be an appropriate time for a Whirlpool?
    – mike0416
    Oct 26, 2016 at 0:04

Whirlpool hops and flameout hops actually have different meanings although the names do not explain them very well.

In professional brewhouses, the "whirlpool" is a large vat where the hot wort is separated from the trub by means of whirlpooling. It is still hot at this stage and will last approx. 1 hour.

Typical homebrew procedures call for the wort to be chilled immediately after flame out.

As you can imagine, hops added in the professional brew house after flame out would impart a very different flavour to those added by the homebrewer, as the professional brew house has them soaking in hot wort for an hour.

So when you see a recipe call for whirlpool additions, they typically mean to add the hops at flame-out and leave them there for 40-60 minutes BEFORE chilling your wort.

This method can add huge flavour and aroma. It also adds bitterness, so you need to anticipate this.


They're probably the same type of addition in practice. The point of a whirlpool is to pile up trub in the boil kettle and isn't generally used post-chill. Perhaps whirlpool hops are added once the whirlpool is ramped up and flameout additions go in when the heat is cut. Doubt there is much difference.

  • I'd have to agree that its likely there isn't much difference.
    – brewchez
    Jan 6, 2010 at 13:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.