Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse.
What is a “hot wort tank”? This brewing term is exactly what it sounds like, a tank that holds hot wort. After the strike and hop separation, the hot wort is pumped into a holding tank in preparation for the cooling process.
Sometimes called a whirlpool tank, the hot wort tank has an additional function beyond that of a holding vessel. The centrifugal action of the swirling wort causes protein solids known as “trub” (pronounced “troob”) to concentrate in the center of the tank bottom.
Trub is a naturally-occurring product of brewing and needs to be removed in order to clarify the beer. There are processes to do this downstream, but whirlpooling helps enormously.
Brewing lore has it that the benefits of whirpooling were discovered accidently when a pipefitter working in a confined space had to install the inlet pipe to the hot wort tank at an extreme angle. This caused the wort to swirl around the insides of the tank, creating a whirlpool and the subsequent trub concentration.
Read more craft brewing insights on the Anchor Brewing Blog.