HELP> Do you mechanically filter your homebrew? If so, I need your advice.

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bwible

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Looks good for 7 days in the keg. Compare to that High Life in another month and post up here again, eh?

Dan
If there’s any left by then. 😆

I have another one fermenting right behind this one because I have a feeling it’s not going to be around long.
 

bwible

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Looks pretty good to me. I'm going the filter route mostly because....I want to try it as a new process to me to gauge on my own the results. To me it is part of the fun of homebrewing.....always chasing after something new to acquire more skill with the hope it makes the beer better.

So here is my process. I'm going to try it first on a Leichtbier I just pulled out of the primary last night.

1. Transfer from primary to keg, force carbonate slightly to maintain pressure ~ 1 volume or 5psi
2. Lager/condition keg 5-7 weeks at cellar temps (may be longer/shorter depending on drinkable inventory at the time)
3. Release carbonation in keg, filter @ 5 micron while transfering to serving keg, carbonate keg and serve.

Anything I'm missing?
I wonder if you added gelatin prior to filtering if that would take some of the load off the filter and make it an easier process as well as increase clarity maybe a little? I use 1g per gallon heated in a little water to about 150 degrees as many of the things out there say. That’s all I did with this beer.
 
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CJnCincy

CJnCincy

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I wonder if you added gelatin prior to filtering if that would take some of the load off the filter and make it an easier process as well as increase clarity maybe a little? I use 1g per gallon heated in a little water to about 150 degrees as many of the things out there say. That’s all I did with this beer.
Have never tried gelatin. Is this the same as vegetable glycerin?
 

renstyle

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Have never tried gelatin. Is this the same as vegetable glycerin?
no, the gelatin we're discussing is the stuff that JELL-O (TM) is made of...

it's sold in packets, usually in the baking section of the grocery store, Knox unflavored is what I use...

EDIT: @bwible beat me to the punch, and gave better info! 😎 😆
 

ntempleton

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My filtering process is pretty similar to many that have already posted:

Whirlfloc in the boil, gelatin when transferred to the lagering tank. Filtering post lager into a bright tank for finish carbonation. I use a canister filter with a 1 micron filter. The beer needs to be most of the way bright to not clog a 1 micron filter. Consider it a polishing run, and less of a "filter" run.

@CJnCincy - your pipeline is awesome. As a fellow German beer brewer, you are doing the Lord's work.
 

bwible

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Kegs will always have gunk in the bottom of the keg from settling over time.

What is hoped to achieve by filtering? Fining?

Keep beer in a cold environment to extend the life. Warm temps = bad for storage.
I have taken to putting these in my kegs now too, to avoid any gunk that settles on the bottom. This is a floating dip tube that always draws the clear beer off the top. I have them in 4 of my kegs now - no issues. They seem to work as advertised.

 
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CJnCincy

CJnCincy

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@CJnCincy - your pipeline is awesome. As a fellow German beer brewer, you are doing the Lord's work.
Thank you! I do color outside the lines from time to time. Witbier, Grodziskie, Baltic Porter, and my homegrown Wet Hops Pale Ale are all seasonal beers here on the farm, but for the most part, I'm addicted to the German styles. Tomorrow I'm brewing a Vienna lager as well.
 
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CJnCincy

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So I'm filtering my Maibock right now. I burped the keg until there was no more carbonation. I'd previously keg conditioned this beer since March 7th. It was a bit under attenuated when I kegged it. When I tapped it several days ago it was a foam bomb, and very cloudy. So I thought....why not try filtering it.

Right now, the over carbonation in the keg must be slowing down the filtering. Like I said, I burped the keg prior to filtering until it no longer threw gas, yet I'm sure there is still a lot of carbonation saturated in the beer.

I guess I'll let it be for awhile and see how it filters out. How long should this take?
 

Beermeister32

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If you have carbonated beer or beer with excess C02 coming out of solution during transfer causing foam, filtering is more difficult. Usually you have to equalize the pressure in the receiving keg to minimize foaming. First purge the kegs, lines and filter with C02. You will also have to set up a line so they are operating at nearly the same pressure. You can use a spunding valve or periodically vent some pressure manually in the receiving keg so that the flow of beer continues through the filter with minimum foaming. So basically the two kegs are operating at about a 1lb difference in pressure, the higher being the primary keg, the slightly lower pressure on the receiving keg. You may have to fiddle with the balance, but not much. Also, larger lines cause foam, you might have to get a transfer line with a smaller diameter.

Filtering beer with excess C02 is a real pain in the glass.... Better to just use some gelatin on that one...!
 
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CJnCincy

CJnCincy

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If you have carbonated beer or beer with excess C02 coming out of solution during transfer causing foam, filtering is more difficult. Usually you have to equalize the pressure in the receiving keg to minimize foaming. First purge the kegs, lines and filter with C02. You will also have to set up a line so they are operating at nearly the same pressure. You can use a spunding valve or periodically vent some pressure manually in the receiving keg so that the flow of beer continues through the filter with minimum foaming. So basically the two kegs are operating at about a 1lb difference in pressure, the higher being the primary keg, the slightly lower pressure on the receiving keg. You may have to fiddle with the balance, but not much. Also, larger lines cause foam, you might have to get a transfer line with a smaller diameter.

Filtering beer with excess C02 is a real pain in the glass.... Better to just use some gelatin on that one...!
Yeah....this one is a very slow go. I already changed the filters once. I think I had quite a bit post primary fermentation going on. My hope is the first filters soaked up most of the gunk. A couple hours into it now, and I barely have a gallon through. This is interesting.
 

Beermeister32

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I'm not sure but I think the plate filters really work best on wines where you don't have as much cloudy murk you are trying to filter. The spun poly filters come in different styles. The one I liked sort of was a dual purpose - the outer spun layers were more like a coarse filter, then as you went to the center of the core it became more constricted. There are others that are hard and constricted all through the construction of the filter. I have my favorite filters written down in my files, maybe later I'll pull the info and post the ones that worked best for me.
 

BrewZer

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no, the gelatin we're discussing is the stuff that JELL-O (TM) is made of...

it's sold in packets, usually in the baking section of the grocery store, Knox unflavored is what I use...

EDIT: @bwible beat me to the punch, and gave better info! 😎 😆
Anyone tried fining with flavored gelatin...? I'm thinking cherry might add interesting highlights to a stout.
 
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CJnCincy

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Update: 8:00 AM on the farm. Checked on the filtering this morning. Id estimate I'm halfway finished. The carbonation in the receiving keg must've built up and surpassed the 5psi I'm pushing with the CO2 tank. I burped the receiving tank to release all the CO2. It is flowing again......very slowly.
 
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Update: 8:00 AM on the farm. Checked on the filtering this morning. Id estimate I'm halfway finished. The carbonation in the receiving keg must've built up and surpassed the 5psi I'm pushing with the CO2 tank. I burped the receiving tank to release all the CO2. It is flowing again......very slowly.
Not really following along here, so not sure what you're doing, but I could filter 5g of beer through my plate filter in less than 10 minutes. I never timed it, but it was not long. If it slowed too much, I know a) the plate filters had clogged, and b) the beer wasn't clear enough to filter (or I picked up trub from bottom of fermentor).
 
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CJnCincy

CJnCincy

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Not really following along here, so not sure what you're doing, but I could filter 5g of beer through my plate filter in less than 10 minutes. I never timed it, but it was not long. If it slowed too much, I know a) the plate filters had clogged, and b) the beer wasn't clear enough to filter (or I picked up trub from bottom of fermentor).
basically I'm attempting to filter already carbonated beer through a two-filter plate....5 micron. I've switched out filters once.....my first attempt at this, and it is going rather slow lol
 

duncan.brown

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I filter my lagers at 1 micron and my west-coast IPAs at 5 microns as I like them bright, clear, and fresh. My process is similar to @Beermeister32 and @ntempleton. I use a canister filter rather than a plate chiller with John Guest 1/4" NPT to quick disconnect fittings and use BevSeal Ultra 235 beer lines as my beer hoses. I fill the canister and lines with StarSan and purge the everything with carbon dioxide prior to filtering. I flip the canister upside-down so that the gas completely purges the StarSan from canister (otherwise the gas just bubbles through the StarSan). For my IPAs, I use a mesh screen inside the dry-hop keg to pre-filter so that the 5 micron canister doesn't get plugged with hop material.

Before filtering, I cool to 34F so that the haze-forming proteins come out of solution and form larger complexes prior to filtering. If you filter warm beer, then you can still get haze in the filtered beer, as the haze forming molecules can escape the filtering.

I also regularly filter carbonated beer as I spund and condition my lagers in my unitank prior to filtering and force carbonate my IPAs while they are dry hopping. The trick is to make sure that the receiving vessel is at the same pressure as equilibrium pressure for the carbonated beer. To make the process easier, I have a 1.75 gal mini keg that I fill 1/3 with StarSan and connect a sounding valve to the gas out. A regular keg would also be fine for this, but I picked up the mini-keg cheaply a while ago and it's easier to handle.

My setup is then:

CO2 regulator -> gas in - keg/unitank with unfiltered beer - liquid out -> canister filter -> liquid in - receiving keg - gas out -> liquid in - StarSan in mini keg - gas out -> spunding valve set at equilibrium pressure

Before filtering, the whole system is purged with carbon dioxide and pressurized to the equilibrium pressure of the carbonated beer. I then set the regular to 2 or 3 psi higher than the equilibrium to push the beer into the purged, pressurized receiving keg.

You could get away without the StarSan mini keg, but I've had one too many instances of beer squirting out of a spunding valve and this keg collects any spillage.

Kunze says that filtering should be done after maturation and lagering, but I often filter after cooling the beer and a short maturation in the unitank, with a longer maturation in the lagering keg.
 
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CJnCincy

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Update 1200AM:
Finally finished up. Here are just a few things I learned with my first plate filtering attempt.

Filtering carbonated beer - bad
Filtering beer with a lot of "gunk" - bad
Not opening the relief valve on the receiving keg - bad

What I'll change. I'll get a spunding valve for the recieving keg to keep the pressure slightly lower than just opening up the relief valve all the way.
I'm going to try gelatin prior to filtering. Not sure at what stage of the process I'll do it, but many of you have suggested it.
Buy more filters. I ended up using two 5-7micron filters, and one 1-2 micron filters.
Buy another regulator, or move my CO2 tank outside the fridge.

The Maibock turned out pretty clear though.
 

Bobby_M

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It's completely possible to filter carbonated beer but the receiving keg needs to be held at the carbonation pressure with a spunding valve and the donor keg boosted to about 5 psi over that pressure. That's what's going to keep foaming to a minimum. Priming a keg prior to filtering just adds additional sediment that has to be filtered out making it more likely to clog the filter. Priming after filtering will take longer due to yeast removal and just put a bunch more sediment. What is the aversion to force carbing it?

If I were you, I'd get it into the first keg, push it through the filter to another keg and force carb it there. The time you'll need to lager will be greatly reduced given the filtering because most of what you're trying to achieve in lagering is the clarity. Filtering is express lagering.

THE most important thing is keeping oxygen out of everything. You should be filling your first keg with starsan to the top, then pushing that through your lines/filter and into the second keg, finally pushing all that out of the second keg with CO2. It's a lot of CO2 use for sure, but if you don't do this, you'll have nice clear dreadfully oxidized beer.
 
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