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Old 08-14-2012, 12:42 AM   #1
NTOLERANCE
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Default Filtering......

So last fall, I am at a local micro brewer, talking to the owner/head brewmaster.

I didnt think much about this untill recently.

I asked him, what his guys were rinsing out (we were talking in the breweing room,)

He said they were his filters. My counterpart (yes I really was there for work) asked (he's a miller drinker) " Why do you filter and is it "cold filtered""?

The owner smirked a bit, (as did I) he said, "We filter to speed up the process. There is no way we could do the volume we do without it".

I asked how long it took him to go from mash to bottle.

He said " Well we have all of our Ale's ready in about a week, and our lager in just over two weeks."

No this place only makes one lager, but come on, 15-18 days? Really?

I didnt get to press him on it, maybe he was BS'ing me, but for a guy who brews, owns the business, markets and does it all, he gave us alot of time talking about beer, gave some samples, ( samples are on the market now) literally, gave us an hour plus. I swear if my counterpart hadnt strayed off topic, we would have been there all day. The owner loves to talk beer...with anyone. I have sen him three times in the last year, always happy to see me and always happy to talk.

Soooooooo.......what type of filtering can bring a lager ready in less than 20 days?

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:10 AM   #2
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Cold filtering, obviously.

Just kidding.

I've been using a plate filter, actually 2 filters in series, and I've been turning my beers around a lot faster than I used to. I'm also making the best beer I've ever made, for a variety of reasons, but turning them around quickly hasn't hurt them. I found out early that I don't like the flavor of yeast. I have made 10g batches and filtered 1 keg and not filtered the other. I really preferred the flavor of the filtered beer. My guess is that if I had aged the beer more and allowed more yeast to fall out of the unfiltered beer I would have liked them about the same. With filtering, however, I was able to get the beer where I wanted it in less than 2 weeks. This is a 1.055 O.G. ESB, btw, so nothing that needs a ton of time anyway. With some beers I still leave them for 4 weeks before I cold crash and filter.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
Cold filtering, obviously.

Just kidding.

I've been using a plate filter, actually 2 filters in series, and I've been turning my beers around a lot faster than I used to. I'm also making the best beer I've ever made, for a variety of reasons, but turning them around quickly hasn't hurt them. I found out early that I don't like the flavor of yeast. I have made 10g batches and filtered 1 keg and not filtered the other. I really preferred the flavor of the filtered beer. My guess is that if I had aged the beer more and allowed more yeast to fall out of the unfiltered beer I would have liked them about the same. With filtering, however, I was able to get the beer where I wanted it in less than 2 weeks. This is a 1.055 O.G. ESB, btw, so nothing that needs a ton of time anyway. With some beers I still leave them for 4 weeks before I cold crash and filter.

So what are you using for a filter?
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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So what are you using for a filter?
I use the plate filter sold by MoreBeer and Austin Homebrew Supply. I actually use two of them with a "rough" filter pad in the first and a "polish" filter pad in the second.

I cold crash the beer before filtering and I get 10g through one set of pads (they recommend 1 set of pads per 5g). I found that you need reasonably clear beer before filtering or the filter will clog and there is a considerable amount of beer in the filter unit that gets wasted changing filter pads in the middle of a batch.

Filtering isn't the hardest thing in the world, but it does add a good deal of work to making beer that I thought I had left behind with kegging. I'm going to look into other options for the majority of my beers and save the filter for things like kristalweizen. I do like the look of the beer, though. I host a monthly poker game and I've found that people unaccustomed to drinking homebrew are much more accepting of the beer when it looks clean and clear. Many are surprised that it's possible to make beer like that at home.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTOLERANCE View Post
. . .
He said " Well we have all of our Ale's ready in about a week, and our lager in just over two weeks."

No this place only makes one lager, but come on, 15-18 days? Really?
. . .
This is entirely reasonable if he's talking time to packaging. I'm assuming the lager gets kegged in 2 weeks and then lagered in the keg so that he can free up the fermenter for another batch.

Also, the filter isn't really doing anything other than getting the yeast out of suspension. I think this is where the month long primary thing started. What people think of as "aging" is really just waiting for beer to clear. But you can also kick 'em out early with no ill effects. Filtering is the easiest way for the big breweries, but you can get the same results with a cold crash and a fining agent. I looked into filtering, but it seems like a bit of a hassle and ends up costing a lot more per batch than 1/2 a packet of Knox gelatin.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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I love filtering. I have most Ales on tap in about 3 weeks. I use one filter (Medium) and can get through 5 1/2 gallons to get 5 in the keg. Agree with Gameface, I cold crash for at least 3 days before, they will clog up on you.

Bought this one: http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...a2b879e3c5925f

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Old 08-14-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Have a filter and don't use it. One of only a few batches I screwed up was my first and only try with the filter - a Stone Levitation clone. Oxidized the batch and destroyed the head retention due to foaming of the beer due to poor process the first go around. I was trying to rush a batch and just didn't have a good process going into it. Since then, I just allow more time and use Knox in the keg if I'm in a hurry to clear. Works great and one less thing to sanitize and one less transfer.

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Old 08-14-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Filtering sucks. No reason to do it with a good brewing process, cold crashing and gelatin (if needed). I like breweries that do not filter. Btw, with a dry hopped IPA I go grain to glass in 2 weeks and it's generally clear at week
3.

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Old 08-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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I looked at filtering, but never pulled the trigger on it. In general, with ~3 days cold crash & gelatin, I transfer very clear beer into the keg (straight from primary, whether dry-hopping or not). I end up with *very* little sediment in the bottom of the kegs, and very clear beer.

I've got nothing against the idea of filtering, but if you have a fridge, you can manage without it.

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bwarbiany View Post
I looked at filtering, but never pulled the trigger on it. In general, with ~3 days cold crash & gelatin, I transfer very clear beer into the keg (straight from primary, whether dry-hopping or not). I end up with *very* little sediment in the bottom of the kegs, and very clear beer.

I've got nothing against the idea of filtering, but if you have a fridge, you can manage without it.
I'd have to say that you need to cold crash to make filtering a realistic possibility. Clogging happens too often with beer that hasn't been cold crashed. It's very frustrating to have to pull the filter apart, lose around 20oz of beer, clean it back up, sanitize and plug another $3.50 worth of filters in while filtering the beer.

I'd imagine filtering isn't for everyone, but it does work. Your friends will absolutely be impressed with the clarity of your beer. That good first impression really opens their mind to the possibility that the beer might taste good, imho.
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