Filtering Beer

Forum for all brewing related questions and information

Moderators: triple-oh_six, yeastmeister

Filtering Beer

Postby zeeboz » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:31 pm

I'm interested in learning how everyone filters their beer. I understand that many people put finnings during the boil and just allow time to let the fines settle out to the bottom during various stages of fermentation. This is how I've always cleared my beers.

I'd like to learn how others that mechanically filter their beer go about it. What equipment do you use? (pictures are always welcome). What type of filters are best? What pressures are needed to pass the beer from keg to keg through the filter? Do you filter before carbonating? Can you filter after beer has already been carbonated?

Has anyone noticed a significant change in taste from the filtration process?

Your feedback is appreciated.
zeeboz
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Abbeville, LA

Postby yeastmeister » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:34 am

Gravity. Thats all I do these days. I've filtered some things before, I have a plate filter, takes about 5psi to push it through. I find that I lose almost 1/2 gallon to the filter pads, and I have found that it definitely changes the taste of the beer. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

My soapbox issue is that most people drink beer too young. Let it sit in the cold for at least a couple of months without moving it as much as you can, and you will almost always get good clarity. I'm not particularly worried about filtering, most things I make are either intentionally cloudy, or so dark that light doesn't pass through it.
User avatar
yeastmeister
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:41 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Postby Mob_Barley » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:49 am

I have filtered a few beers, one being a Kolsch with a good bit of wheat in it, which made it a little cloudy. When using Kolsch yeast, it is recommended that you filter to get the clarity you need. Anyway, I purge the two kegs with CO2, put 5 psi on the keg with beer, and push through a 5 micron filter first. Then, I'll clean the first keg, sanitize it and push it back through a .5 or 1 micron filter to polish it. The results are mixed. Generally when you have a cloudy beer, it's caused by starches or proteins that are smaller than the 1 micron filter. Yeastmeister is right about lagering your beers to get clarity. Getting a really good cold break prior to fermentation helps get rid of a lot of the proteins that can cloud your beer later on. But, lagering near freezing will drop out almost all of the chill haze over time. I think filtering is a last resort due to the chances of contamination. Protein rests, good hot and cold breaks, settling the wort and siphoning off the break material, and long cold lagering usually result in crystal clear beer. Here is an article I wrote about beer clarity:

http://www.winning-homebrew.com/clarity.html


Image

Filter System from Northern Brewer...
"Reality is an illusion caused by a lack of good beer."
User avatar
Mob_Barley
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Baldwin, Louisiana

Postby zeeboz » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:41 am

Very good article Mob_Barley. I didn't realize that bacteria could be identified in the form of hazy beer.

I do have a wine fillter and pump with course filters but have only filtered one brew. I found that it changed the flavor of the beer quite a lot - to the point that the beer tasted sweet. I thought maybe I hadn't let it ferment out completely. From that point forward I haven't filtered again.

Also, your article mentions using RO water. Until now I've only used a 2 stage carbon filter. I was considering investing in a good RO system. Sounds like there's another good reason to do so.

Thanks for the feedback Yeastmeister - As they say, "You can't break Gravity".
zeeboz
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Abbeville, LA

Postby Imakewort » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:11 pm

I filter some beers mainly pale ales and some other beers of that style seems my lagers do not need it ( I lager for 3 to 4 weeks). I find that it lowers the IBU's a little and does not effect the other flavors, if your just after quantity do not do it, I lose about 1/2 gallon but to me it's worth it. A lot of very well known brewers who win a lot of medals and have there own podcast shows do filter and do recommend it. My procedure is after fermentation cold crash to 35F, wait a couple of days, transfer to a keg, keep at 35F for around a week. DO NOT CARBONATE, hook up to filter system, put filter assy in a ice water bath ( breweries use a chilled plate filter) beer or chill haze proteins will not be filterable at warm temperatures, filter beer to new keg, carbonate then drink. This will filter any chill haze or other clarity problems, if you have a infection nothing will fix it, and it will not cure any brewing problems. even the big boys filter and most breweries do it and not just to remove yeast flash pasteurization will take care of that problem. my procedure is the most used by micro and big breweries.
Mad dog Brewery
I am not afraid to go fast, it's the crashing and burning that sucks
Corporal BN army
Imakewort
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:44 am
Location: Afganastan

Postby redtail28 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:34 pm

Can you filter a beer if its carbed all ready
" Jeder muÃ? an etwas glauben, und ich glaube, ich trinke noch einen."
User avatar
redtail28
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: Lafayette La

Postby aleguy » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:28 am

Don't! Redtail, I have seen your beers and you have nothing much to gain by filtering them. You do have a lot of flavor to lose, however. While a lager may not lose much flavor, an Ale generally will lose a significant amount of flavor, especially hop flavor. You are better off using kettle finings.
Never trust a skinny chef, a sober brewer, or a cat with thumbs!
User avatar
aleguy
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:36 pm

Postby Imakewort » Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:24 pm

my ales have not lost any flavor at all! All I have ever lost is a little IBU's, it will take care of any chill haze if done right, and shorten the ageing time by filtering the yeast out. I use a course filter but if you use something finer it might. If you lost flavor then 99% of breweries would not do it, some day try one of my beers before and after and you will see.
Mad dog Brewery
I am not afraid to go fast, it's the crashing and burning that sucks
Corporal BN army
Imakewort
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:44 am
Location: Afganastan

Postby zeeboz » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:14 pm

Good Feedback Imakewort. Can you post a few photos of your filtration setup?

Also, I've learned from several other forums that the filter itself needs to be sanitized before use. How do you sanitize your filtration equipment before use? StarSan?

Thanks for the feedback.
PS: Why the name change IGOR?
zeeboz
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Abbeville, LA

Postby Imakewort » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:08 pm

the filter type I use is this http://morewinemaking.com/view_product/5759/103288/Plate_Filter_Kit_-_Deluxe and I cleaned up where the pieces come together so I can push around 15 PSI thru with no leakage, but I start out low and as the filter loads up I increase the pressure. To sanitise I pre soak the pads in starsan then the 1/2 gallon I sanitised the receiving keg i push thru the filter assy. then i put the assy. into a ice chest with water and ice and let it cool, then start pushing the chilled beer from keg #1 out to keg #2 out so it fills from the bottom, also make sure you push some CO2 thru to get rid of O2.I wont be able to post pictures as I am working on a rebuild in fort Lauderdale and getting ready to head overseas for a good while.
Mad dog Brewery
I am not afraid to go fast, it's the crashing and burning that sucks
Corporal BN army
Imakewort
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:44 am
Location: Afganastan

Postby Imakewort » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:55 pm

Here is a discussion thread from the BN about filtering, with advise from tasty McDole I guess one of the better homebrewers around, well he is on a few podcasts and won a few medals and is very highly thought of in the home brewer community. And he says he filters all his beer and a quote from Tasty "And if anyone ever tells you that filtering strips flavor and color, tell them "Mike McDole said those are recipe issues".

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6878
Mad dog Brewery
I am not afraid to go fast, it's the crashing and burning that sucks
Corporal BN army
Imakewort
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:44 am
Location: Afganastan

Postby aleguy » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:16 am

Recipe my ass! Filtering beer strips yeast and proteins out of beer. That lowers the food and nutrient value of your homebrew. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. Yeast also provides for long-term flavor stability in big beers. Why do you think all the best beers are bottle conditioned? All the Belgians, North Coast and Sierra Nevada bottle condition. If you want a sparkling clear beer, brew it that way and give it enough time to settle.
Never trust a skinny chef, a sober brewer, or a cat with thumbs!
User avatar
aleguy
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:36 pm

filtering

Postby david79thomas » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:36 am

I'm really new to this and reading this forum has been really helpful! There's a plethora of data to acquire about brewing and all the scientific processes that happens. So first of all thanks to all of you for sharing all you know!
I was curious about filtering and found some really helpful information that makes a lot of sense. So filtering really takes a great part about beer away? Nutrients and flavor? My only concern about filtering was to take unnecessary particles and hazyness out that had nothing to do with flavor or aroma or anything desirable. So if you just let the beer hang out chilling and transfer it to another container leaving settlement, then that's the best way it seems. Although award winning people have done it using filtration... to each his own I guess. Just a little confusing.
So here's 2 questions. What is an IBU? And what is RO water?
I'd like to filter my water as best as I can. What's the best way?
User avatar
david79thomas
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Lafayette, LA

Postby Imakewort » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:22 am

I would recommend listing to these pod casts about brewing. http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong They pretty much cover everything about brewing and listen to the other show http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show about brewing specific styles prost
Mad dog Brewery
I am not afraid to go fast, it's the crashing and burning that sucks
Corporal BN army
Imakewort
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:44 am
Location: Afganastan

Postby Mob_Barley » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:20 pm

Well Dave, glad you are getting some help from the forum. Let's see, an IBU. Well, it stands for International Bittering Unit. I think it is an arbitrary unit brewers use to measure bitterness. You really have to get a feel for the scale by 1.) tasting beers with a known IBU level, and 2.) brewing your own beers to a specific IBU level and drinking them. The perception of bitterness is pretty subjective, and has a lot to do with the drinker's palate. What is a hop monster to me may be like a pale ale to Aleguy... but you get the idea.

RO water stands for Reverse Osmosis. You can get the setups to make RO water at Walmart or Lowes. It comes out basically like distilled water. It is good to use when you need to dilute your brewing water to lower the mineral concentrations, or to start out with a blank slate and add all the mineral salts to build your own water to whatever specs you want. ie. You can take RO water and go to the water of Pilsen or to Burton, it just takes some calculation and extra time. If you are interested in doing this, Yeastmeister builds his water from ground zero into award winning brews. You can talk to him about how it's done.

Filtering your water "as best as you can" is a relative phrase because you can filter down to RO level if you want with an RO unit. The next level up, or less as it were, would be to use an activated carbon filter which will still leave your mineral profile in tact but remove all sediment and other unwanted portions, like chlorine and chloramines. Those are the two I'd look at if I wanted to filter "as best as you can".

Cheers!
"Reality is an illusion caused by a lack of good beer."
User avatar
Mob_Barley
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Baldwin, Louisiana

Next

Return to DeadYeast Main Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron