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Old 09-29-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
AdamCanFly
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Default Filtering Beer

So I'm on my third batch of beer and having a great time with my new hobby. An old hobby of mine was aquariums. So the aquarist in me wants to filter the beer. It seems like many of the commercial beers I drink have been filtered. The batch that I am working on now is a berry wheat. It's in secondary fermentation with the fruit and I think it's coming along nicely. I pulled a sample to take a hydrometer reading and it has a medium cloudiness to it. I'm thinking about running it through a filter when I bottle it. I just don't know how fine of a filter to use. I think I've read somewhere that its not ok to use carbon? What about a micron filter? You can get them anywhere from 1 micron up to about 300 microns. Then theres just regular old filter pads. Can anyone help me figure out what kind of filtration to use? Also, what are some of the pros and cons of filtering? Does anyone haver any personal experience with it?

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Old 09-29-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
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the cloudiness your seeing is most likely yeast. if you filter it out there will be none left for carbonation later. the big commercial beer makers do just that and force carbonate which is an option for the home brewer. there should be plenty of threads on that here.

filtering is a non specific process. you could end up filtering out the taste and aroma as well as the yeast.

you could use fining products to remove some of the cloudiness. again there are plenty of threads on this sight covering the subject. also ensuring you have a proper cold and hot breaks will help with clearing your brew.

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
again there are plenty of threads on this sight covering the subject.
I've searched and haven't found any threads that answer all of my questions specifically. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. I just figured it would be easier to ask.

So do you think I should hold off on filtering until I get the equipment to force carbonate?

Or what about this? Filter the beer between the fermenter, and the bottling bucket, then pitch fresh yeast in the bottling bucket. I'm guessing the answer to that is the yeast will just cloud it up again.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:20 PM   #4
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yes hold off on filtering.

also you could consider cold crashing. put the carboy (or bottled beer) in a fridge for about a week.

your homebrew supplier should have a selection of fining agents you could try. if your ordering off a website look under additives. gelatin, egg whites, isinglass, sparkolloid, bentonite, keislsol

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Old 09-30-2009, 12:11 AM   #5
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Don't think about filtering until you are kegging, it will be much easier then.

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Old 09-30-2009, 12:54 AM   #6
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And by then you'll have acquired a bit more patience to let the beer clear in the fermenter before bottling so you'll probably not see a need to filter. Very few of us filter our beer and those that have the rig probably use it less than half the time.

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:00 AM   #7
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check out KrotchRott's Blog page down to the bottom he has a article on filtering.

To get clear beer:

  • Use a high flocculating yeast
  • Ferment at cooler temps
  • Cold crash
  • Use kettle finings
  • use gelatin in the secondary or at bottling
  • Don't get "greedy" and siphon too much trub
  • TIME! Let your beer sit in the primary for a while
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:10 AM   #8
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Argh... filtering! I ordered a plate filter and just got frustrated. Lots of foam, leaks, slow transfer. Brings back bad memories. It is in the storage room gathering dust.

I still wanted to get a working filter solution, but re-evaluated my goals. I'm not trying to polish a beer, just get keep the chunks out of the keg and let it clear quicker. I purchase a 5" filter housing and 30 micron pleated filters. That works great, even on hefeweizen beers. As you can see from the photo below it works by gravity flow from the fermenter to the keg. I usually put the fermenter on a milk crate to get more head pressure and flow, but it works.

This did save my beer at least once. My brewbud and I worked on an AHS Miami Weiss that just doesn't clear the yeast trub to the bottom of the fermenter. When we tried to get the beer out either from the spigot or with a siphon in the middle of the pail we kept getting a grey muck that just kept going into the filter. The filter nearly clogged from all the muck, but the beer going into the keg was relatively clear, even with a 30 micron filter. After the keg was cold crashed it cleared right up. Usually though, the filter doesn't catch much.

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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Yeast is tasty, and has lots of micro nutrients.

Plus, it tends to keep you regular.

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Old 10-01-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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Where did you get your 30 micron filter and housing? That sounds like the way to go--too big to catch yeasts but will catch all the big things.

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