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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Filtering for Dummies (well, maybe just for me...)
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
CrossBones
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Default Filtering for Dummies (well, maybe just for me...)

Okay, first a little story. My bride and I traveled to St Augustine, FL, for a little get-away and had lunch at the A1A Ale Works. I enjoyed a Bridge of Lions Brown Ale, and my wife had the Red Brick Ale - both were excellent. Their website listed a general description of the malts and hops used, and I got to thinking maybe I could get the recipe and give them a try at home - of course, their set-up was so much farther advanced than my little 5g fermenting bucket, it's embarrassing to think I could duplicate their brew. The biggest difference I noticed between their ale and my home brew is that theirs was completely devoid of any weird, yeasty taste, and, well, mine isn't. So that got me to thinking about the whole idea of filtering.

Hence my post. What is the best way for a small-time extract brewer like me to filter out the yeast from the beer before bottling? I did some reading on this website and learned a little about 0.5 micron pads and pressurized filtering, but that's the PhD level - I'm still in elementary school. I saw some mention of cold-crashing, but I already do that before adding the yeast to the wort - so I assume this is cooling the beer down before bottling. If someone would point me to a how-to on getting really clear beer from the primary-only, extract brewing process, I'd be really grateful.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:33 PM   #2
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if you're bottle conditioning, you're gonna have yeast in the bottom of the bottle after they consume the bottling sugar.

I'd guess if you filter out all the yeast, there would be nothing to consume the bottling sugar and carbonate your bottled beer.

FWIW, the first homebrew I gave my dad, he drank it straight out the bottle. I asked him how it was, and he said it tasted very yeasty.

Hopefully I'm Not making any assumptions here, but I had to tell him that pouring homebrew into a glass, and leaving the last 1/4" in the bottle was a necessity. (and it removed the yeasty taste)

I've drank Sierra Nevada pale ale straight outta the bottle, and didn't notice any yeasty flavors, but I'd be scared to do the same with my homebrew.

EDIT: Also, sorry for not actually answering your question, but I've never noticed a yeasty taste in my first couple brews, so I was just thinking filtering is unnecessary.

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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Cold crashing is different than lowering your wort to yeast pitching temp.
It's chilling to get extra yeast and stuffs to fall out of suspension.

Also, as mentioned, if you filter all the yeast out prior to bottling, you will have nothing to carbonate your brew.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
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Cold crashing is droping the temps to 35-40 in order to get the yeast to drop out of suspension if left for a week or so you will have cleared beer, siphon from above the yeast cake in your primary if you want to avoid even more yeast but in my experience when i got real anal about "clearing my beer" my bottles took forever to carb because of the small amount of yeast in each bottle

I would do as above suggested. dont go crazy avoiding siphoning the yeast but when drinking your homebrew....pour it in a pint and avoid the last 1/4 inch of "lees" or yeast at the bottom.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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The easiest step towards clear beer is bottling from a keg. Cold crash the keg (to 35 degrees or so) and most of the yeast will flocculate out, along with a lot of the proteins. Meanwhile pressurize the keg so the beer is carbed without adding priming sugar and more yeast.
Now, if you want bottled beer, use a counter-pressure filler, or a blichman beer gun to put the cold, clear, carbed beer in bottles and cap them. No sediment, no need to filter, little or no chillhaze.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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OP, are you making starters? A highly yeasty flavor could indicate that you're underpitching.

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Old 08-28-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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I get very clear beer, little to no yeasties in the bottom of the bottles. I use a secondary first, then cold crash prior to bottling. End product is a nice clear beer. Carbs just fine, maybe a day or two longer, but not a problem carbing up.

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:26 AM   #8
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Another way, and this is the most difficult, is to leave it alone for six months or so. And if you have fridge space store it cold (after bottle conditioning). I have never filtered, but I do keep a rather large pipeline, with some beers stored for many months before I break into them. My Kolsch and Blond Ales are as clear as any commercial product. Proper pouring procedures will eliminate the bottle dregs.

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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Try cold crashing your primary fermenter for 48 hours, then siphon into a secondary with some gelatin finnings for another 48 hours (heat them in water, but dont boil them!). Also, try using a teaspoon of irish moss or a whirlflock tablet 10 minutes left in your boil. That should eliminate several unwanted sidiment in your beer without getting into the complicated and unnecessary process of filtering. Cheers!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post

“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cromwell View Post
Now, if you want bottled beer, use a counter-pressure filler, or a blichman beer gun to put the cold, clear, carbed beer in bottles and cap them.
Cromwell, please remember... Elementary school. What is a "counter-pressure filler" and a "blichman beer gun"? I could Google, but since you were kind enough to suggest them...
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