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Old 07-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
manocchs
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Default Gauze over siphon = cheap filter? Help please

Whats going on Brew Heads?
This is my first post, although I've been referring to this site for any question I've have had when it comes to brewing for years, so take it easy on me folks! Anyway, I was wondering I anyone sees or can think of any potential problems I will incur, besides decreased flow rate, if I sanitize a rubber band, a gauze pad, and my siphon, rubber band the gauze pad around the bottom of my siphon and use that to rack into secondary, or rack it anywhere for that matter. I've heard mesh type materials are hard to sanitize but considering its a sterile pad that is then being soaked in starsan for a few minutes I would imagine the beer would still be infection free after its use. Only potential problem I can think of is getting cotton fibers in my beer that come loose from the pad itself, but maybe I'm missing something since I can't find anything on the internet about anyone doing this before. From what I can tell from the label the gauze pad is free of any medicated ointments or creams. I know people use paint staining bags but I'm looking for a little more filtering effect since I really want this beer to shine crystal clear. I plan on finning with gelatin before kegging but I'm a little over obsessive, as a lot of us brewers are, and I want to keep as much as I can out of the beer after primary. Let me know any potential problems you guys can think of or if anyone has had success doing this.
Thanks!
Manocchs

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:37 AM   #2
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With the gauze right on the end of the racking tube, you'll only have .2 inches^2 of surface area (assuming 1/2 ID tubing), that isn't much filtering capacity before it gets clogged. If you keep the end off the bottom then you should be ok, you wouldn't pick up much anyway. But it seems more effort and risk than it's worth. Are you having problems getting excess material sucked into your kegs/bottles? If not then why fix it! And if you are having issues then post those so we can address them (you're posting a solution to a problem that we don't know about or even exists).

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:19 AM   #3
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The extremely minimal benefit will not come close to the risks you would be taking - not just infection.

I have tried similar and you will lose your syphon, as the head losses (fluid mechanics head- not beer head) through the filter will be far greater than the syphon can handle and maintain any flow.

If your goal is to get beer crystal clear here are a few of my tips- I have made beer lighter and clearer than Bud Light in the past.

I don't do secondaries- partly for quality part for clarity. Part of flocculation is having flocs to make bigger flocs. It seems counterintuitive but trust me it is true.
Let it sit in place (where you will rack) for a day or two to settle completely.
Cool the beer as much as you can. I had a fridge for fermentation control which I set to 32* for a few days, a week is better, before moving the my keg, I would use gelatin a day before I rack.
Don't be afraid to lose a few pint for a clear beer. Hold the bottom of your racking cane a few inches above the yeast cake. you lose a pint, for 40 better pints.
When it comes to clarity of beer the best advice I have (which applies to all parts of brewing) is be patient.

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:31 AM   #4
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The longer you let your beer sit the clearer it will get. This is true in all aspects both before racking and after. Personally I sanitize a hop bag taht i tie around my siphon. It doesn't get too much in the way and will minimize how much stuff gets in the beer. I also move my carboy several hours before I rack it so I give the beer a chance to settle out a bit. Also when I rack I move the siphon down into the beer as the level in the carboy drops and try to keep an inch or so off the bottom of the trub pile.

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Old 07-15-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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I ended up not trying this and just racked my brew as I normally do (keeping the bottom of the siphon an inch below the top of the beer to the bottom of the carboy avoiding the yeast cake) and man am I proud of this brew after taking the gravity readying and giving it a whiff/taste. Its an all-grain Imperial IPA at 9.1% that I would be glad to post the recipe for if anyone is interested and it has a two stage 5 day each dry hopping schedule of citra cascade centennial and columbus but and I wanted this thing to be fresh on serving (short conditioning time in fermenters aka less of a chance to clear up) so those aromas get their chance to shine before they dissipate. I know filtering hoppy beers can possibly take away from the hop presence in the beer but I am a firm believer that if someone has a choice between a hazy product and a sparkling clear product, no matter what style of beer (well except maybe wheats since blue moon educated the mass market), the consumer will always choose the clear product. Ive achieved very clear beers in the past but theres always room for improvement. Couldn't find the benefits in doing this (at least this time around) but will possibly experiment with it on a less expensive brew that wouldn't make me feel completely defeated after having to pitch the batch should worst came to worst. Ill be sure to document my findings on here should I be dumb/curious enough to try this one day.

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