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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Homebrew Beer filter. No more secondary Ferm?
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:40 AM   #1
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Default Homebrew Beer filter. No more secondary Ferm?

Wow. I got a tour of Pyramid Ale House and saw they used a filter for their beer. I looked online and found this little beauty:
http://www.filterstore.com/beer.htm

Anyone have any thoughts on the impications of what this could mean? Does anyone use one? Does anyone not use one but know about them? It sounds really interesting.

I imagine secondary fermentation phase could be reduced or avoided this way.

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Old 04-11-2007, 03:04 AM   #2
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I use a filter. actually 2 inline filters. You still need to let age in the secondary (though I tend to just age 3-4 weeks in the primary now) because there are small chemical reactions and yeast activities besides fermentation that go on in that time period that makes beer taste better.

A lot of breweries ferment for 7 to 10 days then filter and store in the bright (cold) tanks until they're ready to bottle. Doesn't mean it's the right way to do it.

I personally think that one of the reasons micros have jumped on the huge hoppy beer trend is that with a hoppy beer they can skip the aging and hope the hops mask out the inadequacies.

I use a rainfresh house filter cartridge style. I have 2 inline. Usually a 1 micron (nominal) wound (cheap) cartridge and a .5m (actual) polypropylene (expensive) filter.

If you are going for a single housing then get the 1 micron (actual) polypropylene filter. Make sure it's not a nominal or it will let pass a lot larger than 1 micron. You really need a snd filter if you are going to use a .5 since it will clog fast.

Don't use less than a .3m actual or you will strip a lot flavor from your beer!

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:09 AM   #3
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Crazy. It seems that filtering is a rare process among homebrewers based on my inconclusive searches of the forum and the low response to this thread.

I'd wonder what kind of difference it makes and if it's worth investing into....

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:15 AM   #4
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IMO, filtering your beer is a cosmetic step only. It may improve the aesthetics of your beer, but at the potential cost of flavour. I think to most homebrewers, it is just not worth the bother.

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:16 AM   #5
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Filtering is mostly unnecessary. It will not only strip sediment, yeast, and bacteria from your beer, but it will also strip a bit of flavor. In addition, if you filter at 1 micron or less, you will remove all of the yeast from your beer, making bottle conditioning very difficult. Most beer will clear given enough time. Most beer is also better with a bit of age, filtered or not.

My advice: spend the $100 on a few batches of homebrew, and be patient.

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One more thing - "secondary fermentation" is a misnomer. When you rack your beer off of the yeast/trub cake, you are not affecting a secondary fermentation. You are simply transferring it to another container where it will clear and condition without the fear of yeast autolysis. Better terms are "clearing" or "conditioning." The "secondary fermenter" is better referred to as a "clearing tank" or a "bright tank." True secondary fermentation must be initiated by pitching another yeast strain or by adding more fermentable material to your beer.

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:44 AM   #6
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Yeah. Filtering is for kegging or bottling carbed beer (pain in the ass on a large scale)

.5m (actual) and above will NOT strip out flavor. Below that will.
A 1m (actual) will strip out most, if not all, the yeast.
To strip out all bacteria you have to go .3 or lower. (about what a lot of breweries use and yes even most micros for beer stabilization purposes..aka..shelf life at room temps)

IMO beer should be left 2 weeks in the primary. 3 week being optimum before racking to a secondary and cold conditioning it. This lets the yeast eat up some of the nastier substances created during initial fermentation.
Cold conditioning will clear your beer faster.

Note: Lagers need diacytel rest (warm the beer to room temp) for a couple of days before or after lagering.

I've been letting my beer age 3 to 4 weeks in primary then filtering to a keg where it sits pressurized in the fridge for about 10 days (when I have not ran out of beer).

If you do decide to do the cartridge filter route.. buy some quick disconnects (garden hose kind cheapish and makes life much easier) and back flush your filter with water after filtering. Take the cartridge and soak in a strong solution of oxyclean and water till next filtering session. On or before next filtering session, back flush for 5 min or more then soak cartridge in sulfite/water. then back flush (Iodaphor will stain and chlorine will leave, well.. chlorine...) I guess you could just take it from the oxyclean bath and soak in sulfite then back-flush. I've done that a few times.

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Old 04-11-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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$100 is pretty high to me. I picked up a shorter filter housing ( less waste volume) for $20 at a local hardware store. Forget about the mega marts.

Haven't gotten around to using it yet. I'll only be filtering beer that will be going into kegs, unless it's a hefe or dark beer of course.

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Old 04-11-2007, 03:22 PM   #8
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Yeah, 100.00 is a rip off. I built mine for under 30 including the Bev hose and fittings. Just pick up a whole house filter at 1 micron. I crash cool all my beers (cept the obvious ones) then run them through the filter at about 20 psi. Amazingly clean clear beers that you can throw in the car, take camping, take to a friends house... and never have to let it sit for a few hours before drinking! That is the true beauty of filtering.

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Old 04-11-2007, 04:11 PM   #9
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You can get one of these at Morebeer.com for $62.



Plate filters are disposable and much cheaper. Cleaning is easier too.

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Old 04-11-2007, 05:20 PM   #10
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Once I have everything else I need to make great-tasting beer, then I'll worry about spending a chunk of coin on making my beer look pretty.

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