Quantcast

How do you filter your beer?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

dmcman73

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
936
Reaction score
183
I just drink it and let my liver take care of the filtering......

I've seen people use a standard water filter that's been sanitized. Push the fermented beer in from the fermenter and connect a hose out the filters outlet to a keg / bottle bucket.

If you're bottling though (I only keg), I'm not sure you want to filter the beer, you may (I'm not sure) remove too much yeast from the beer that it won't carbonate in the bottles.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Generally if you need to filter your beer, one of two things is happening:

  • You are not waiting long enough for it to clear on its own
  • You have some process, ingredient, or infection issue preventing it from clearing on its own

Commercial breweries filter because they want/need a sterile product to enter commerce, and/or they don't want to wait and tie up equipment with natural clearing.

SO, why is it you want to filter your beer? What's going on in your brewery that you think it's necessary? We'd need to know a lot more to really help you. @dmcman73 answered the question in a basic sense, and you can go from there to spend THOUSANDS of dollars. Are they necessary? We need to know more.
 

dmcman73

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
936
Reaction score
183
If your answer is to not have sediment at the bottom of your bottles, you won't be able to get around that if you go from fermenter to bottle only because the yeast will die off and settle at the bottom of the bottle as it carbonates.

What you can do is keg the beer and force carbonate it with CO2. Once it's done carbonating, you can use a bottle gun (check this thread to build a really basic and inexpensive one: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=24678) to fill the bottles.

Doing it this way would be like having a bright tank like the big breweries use. All the sediment will settle to the bottom of the keg since you'll cold crash the keg as it's carbonating . You then draw off your initial pour from the keg which will suck the sediment up. If done right and your beer is already clear, you should see just a little sediment come out. Once you do that and it's coming out clear, don't move the keg. From there, bottle.

This is what I do when I want to bottle a few brews for friends and family. I don't keg to remove sediment from my beer (it's already pretty clear), I'm just lazy and don't feel like bottling 48 bottles.
 

Dcpcooks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,535
Reaction score
537
Location
Libertyville
A simple water filter with a 1 micron poly filter will work fine. Fill a keg attach a beer out line run it to the filter and have another beer out ball or pin lock coupler on the other side. Push your beer to the new keg and your done. You shouldn't reuse the filter again. You don't want to filter for bottle conditioned beer unless you plan on adding more yeast however.
 

The_Bishop

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 8, 2013
Messages
2,098
Reaction score
667
Or: Cold crash your beer down to 32F/0C and add 1/2tsp of knox unflavored gelatin dissolved in water and heated to 150F. Keep at 32F/0C for another 2+ days. Beer will be commercially clear without filtering.
 

augiedoggy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
10,261
Reaction score
2,260
Location
North Tonawanda NY
just my 2 cents but as others have said.. Filtering is unnecessary if things are done right. The beer will become crystal clear once its conditioned as well as taste better. If it doesnt its either a wheat beer or something wasnt done right. To me the filters are just another expensive gimmick trying to solve the problem of lack of patience.

When I dont want sediment in my bottles I now keg and use a bottling gun to bottle. otherwise I just pour my beers carefully when theres a yeast cake on the bottom.
 

CamG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
24
Like others here time seems to do the trick for me. Cold crashing does speed it up.
I have seen beer in my keg go from hazey to clear from the first pour to the last pour.

Most of the beers (I used to pay a premium for) were never clear.
 

Paps

Banned
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
1,418
Reaction score
406
Location
Gravette
I'll do the whirflock tabs,cold crashing ect,ect.
But i think the OP in a ways was asking for a good filter supply shop link.
So here's some info on that.
Buckeye Hydro - beer filter
They are a HBT sponsor
Give "Russ" a call
513-312-2343

I've bought from them and the product is good.
Give them a try.
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
This is just one of the many issues that is extremely polarized and you can clearly see above that there are many that are opposed to the practice to the extent that they make misleading statements.

Filtering is done for reasons well beyond infections, patience or a specific need to do so. You may filter as you see fit with no worries about spending a great deal of time or money to do so. You may also reuse filters with no danger of infection as long as you back flush and sanitize when you are finished filtering.

I filter ciders and beers that I give away to those that see any kind of sediment as a flaw. I also filter to stop fermentation at a given gravity without the use of chemicals. There is no proof of any kind that a 1u filter will take taste or color from beer/cider, it is just alarmists talking.

A filter set up can be had for about $50.00 if you are willing to do some shopping. Less if you just want a single filter, more if you want an absolute 1u filter set up. Its up to you, dont let others dissuade you.

Feel free to message me and Ill send you the links I found for the hardware.
 

dmcman73

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
936
Reaction score
183
This is just one of the many issues that is extremely polarized and you can clearly see above that there are many that are opposed to the practice to the extent that they make misleading statements.

Filtering is done for reasons well beyond infections, patience or a specific need to do so. You may filter as you see fit with no worries about spending a great deal of time or money to do so. You may also reuse filters with no danger of infection as long as you back flush and sanitize when you are finished filtering.

I filter ciders and beers that I give away to those that see any kind of sediment as a flaw. I also filter to stop fermentation at a given gravity without the use of chemicals. There is no proof of any kind that a 1u filter will take taste or color from beer/cider, it is just alarmists talking.

A filter set up can be had for about $50.00 if you are willing to do some shopping. Less if you just want a single filter, more if you want an absolute 1u filter set up. Its up to you, dont let others dissuade you.

Feel free to message me and Ill send you the links I found for the hardware.

Who's dissuading the OP? I think this thread gave him a number of options for filtering from $0 (if he already owns kegs) to using a standard water filter I mentioned in my very first post.
 
OP
M

Mr_FearNoBeer

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Thank you everyone for all the replies. First my reason for filtering would be to rid of the haze. I bottle ferment, do not have legs or access to another fridge, ice chest or what not in order to cold crash.
More so I was interested after watching multiple videos on doing this and wanted to try it myself.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Thank you everyone for all the replies. First my reason for filtering would be to rid of the haze. I bottle ferment, do not have legs or access to another fridge, ice chest or what not in order to cold crash.
More so I was interested after watching multiple videos on doing this and wanted to try it myself.
Well you certainly have options presented here. @Firewalker11 I think it would be incredibly appropriate for you to post your ideas here so that people finding the thread would have a complete picture.

To the OP: Chill haze is most often protein and if you want to avoid it you can work to remove as much as possible up front. Someone mentioned Whirfloc in the boil - that's a good way. Irish moss is the same effective ingredients and sometimes easier to find. Both go in the boil and help coagulate proteins. Mostly make sure you get a good rolling boil for about an hour - that will help.

Gelatin in the fermenter followed by chilling will get a lot as well. You need not have access to a dedicated fridge or ice chest. You can put the carboy in a bucket/tray of ice water and cover with rags overnight to much the same effect.

Now you said you don't have legs ... I think you mean "kegs" and if that's the case you may find filtering is difficult. Not necessarily that you must serve out of a keg but the kegs and pressurization are almost vital to filtering. Filtering makes a pretty beverage, no doubt, but if you have haze because of a deficiency somewhere else (and respectfully, but to be honest, it seems like you might) it's not really the fix.
 

CamG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
24
We run all our drinking water through a filter
It definitely changes the taste.
So in my opinion filtering beer will change the taste as well.
That being said it could change it for the better. I don't know as I have never done it.

I do know that I would never run one of my IPA's through a filter.
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
Drinking water goes through a carbon filter normally, a whole house filter for large particulates but beer isnt ran through a carbon filter but we are looking to remove the large particulates when filtering beer.

Back to the OP though as that is not the question that was asked.
 
OP
M

Mr_FearNoBeer

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Well you certainly have options presented here. @Firewalker11 I think it would be incredibly appropriate for you to post your ideas here so that people finding the thread would have a complete picture.

To the OP: Chill haze is most often protein and if you want to avoid it you can work to remove as much as possible up front. Someone mentioned Whirfloc in the boil - that's a good way. Irish moss is the same effective ingredients and sometimes easier to find. Both go in the boil and help coagulate proteins. Mostly make sure you get a good rolling boil for about an hour - that will help.

Gelatin in the fermenter followed by chilling will get a lot as well. You need not have access to a dedicated fridge or ice chest. You can put the carboy in a bucket/tray of ice water and cover with rags overnight to much the same effect.

Now you said you don't have legs ... I think you mean "kegs" and if that's the case you may find filtering is difficult. Not necessarily that you must serve out of a keg but the kegs and pressurization are almost vital to filtering. Filtering makes a pretty beverage, no doubt, but if you have haze because of a deficiency somewhere else (and respectfully, but to be honest, it seems like you might) it's not really the fix.


Lol yes I meant "kegs" and not "legs"....I'll try both the options on my next batch. If I do have some sort of deficiency somewhere I'll have to work that out. I'd have to post my complete process and all my equipment so you all can let me know if I'm doing anything wrong.
 
Last edited:
OP
M

Mr_FearNoBeer

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
We run all our drinking water through a filter
It definitely changes the taste.
So in my opinion filtering beer will change the taste as well.
That being said it could change it for the better. I don't know as I have never done it.

I do know that I would never run one of my IPA's through a filter.
Can anyone confirm if running beer through a filter will change the it, for better or for worse? I'm curious to know
 

ClaudiusB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,547
Reaction score
531
Location
El Paso
Generally if you need to filter your beer, one of two things is happening:

  • You are not waiting long enough for it to clear on its own
  • You have some process, ingredient, or infection issue preventing it from clearing on its own

Commercial breweries filter because they want/need a sterile product to enter commerce, and/or they don't want to wait and tie up equipment with natural clearing.

SO, why is it you want to filter your beer? What's going on in your brewery that you think it's necessary? We'd need to know a lot more to really help you. @dmcman73 answered the question in a basic sense, and you can go from there to spend THOUSANDS of dollars. Are they necessary? We need to know more.
You are full of it.
I filter all my beers and have no process problem.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Drinking water goes through a carbon filter normally, a whole house filter for large particulates but beer isnt ran through a carbon filter but we are looking to remove the large particulates when filtering beer.

Back to the OP though as that is not the question that was asked.
Seriously, you offered to share your setup via OM - why not share in the thread here? It will give the OP some idea what goes into filtering at the very least. I used to filter very large batches, but I found I lose too much beer filtering to make it viable for me for a 5 gallon batch. I'm interested to see if you got around that somehow.
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
Can anyone confirm if running beer through a filter will change the it, for better or for worse? I'm curious to know
I have a Black IPA in the fermenter that I will be filtering mid April, why don't I offer up a two bottle comparison for someone to judge?

I have done this in the past with the homebrew club I belong to with great results (suggestions for improvement mostly).

Bottom line, if the filter is purged after its sanitized, there is no cardboard flavor from O2. Lee is right though, with large filter systems, there is a lot of waste. My system wastes about a pint. No too bad.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Can anyone confirm if running beer through a filter will change the it, for better or for worse? I'm curious to know
Running it through a filter will change it, that's the point of running it through a filter. :) The idea though is to change it the least amount possible while getting the desired result. You can absolutely over-filter a beer (Zima is one example of that end of the spectrum). You can absolutely brighten a beer without negatively impacting the mouthfeel too. There are all sorts of ways to filter a beer. You can take it right down to alcohol and water if you want.

You are full of it.
I filter all my beers and have no process problem.
I think you completely missed the point ... and possibly your morning diaper change. I said if he NEEDS to filter . You are welcome to do whatever you want but nobody NEEDS to filter beer to make it clear. A person can choose to do so for a number of reasons. His issue is he cannot get clear beer otherwise. Do you dispute the fact that you can get clear beer without filtering?

I have a Black IPA in the fermenter that I will be filtering mid April, why don't I offer up a two bottle comparison for someone to judge?

I have done this in the past with the homebrew club I belong to with great results (suggestions for improvement mostly).

Bottom line, if the filter is purged after its sanitized, there is no cardboard flavor from O2. Lee is right though, with large filter systems, there is a lot of waste. My system wastes about a pint. No too bad.
A pint is something I can live with - and I absolutely appreciate the ability to add filtering to one's process. It's pretty darned handy. If you have it down to where you can purge all the O2 and minimize loss I'd say you have a pretty good system for you.

You don't know me from Adam, but I'd be happy to judge a couple bottles. I'm not current, but I joined the BJCP back in 1995 and have been doing my best to help out since then.

ETA: @Firewalker11 I just noticed we are within 5 posts of each other. Weird!
 

brewsao14

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
20
Reaction score
2
Location
Phoenix
When I was taking a homebrew class back in the early 90s, I asked why we weren't making the beer clear like the store bought stuff. The teacher said because we are home brewers.... If I wanted clear beer like that, then go buy a bottle. Lol, he was very opinionated kind of guy...
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
Running it through a filter will change it, that's the point of running it through a filter. :) The idea though is to change it the least amount possible while getting the desired result. You can absolutely over-filter a beer (Zima is one example of that end of the spectrum). You can absolutely brighten a beer without negatively impacting the mouthfeel too. There are all sorts of ways to filter a beer. You can take it right down to alcohol and water if you want.


I think you completely missed the point ... and possibly your morning diaper change. I said if he NEEDS to filter . You are welcome to do whatever you want but nobody NEEDS to filter beer to make it clear. A person can choose to do so for a number of reasons. His issue is he cannot get clear beer otherwise. Do you dispute the fact that you can get clear beer without filtering?


A pint is something I can live with - and I absolutely appreciate the ability to add filtering to one's process. It's pretty darned handy. If you have it down to where you can purge all the O2 and minimize loss I'd say you have a pretty good system for you.

You don't know me from Adam, but I'd be happy to judge a couple bottles. I'm not current, but I joined the BJCP back in 1995 and have been doing my best to help out since then.

ETA: @Firewalker11 I just noticed we are within 5 posts of each other. Weird!
Um, yes, yes I do. The last time we met was in Appleton Wisconsin after the storm.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Um, yes, yes I do. The last time we met was in Appleton Wisconsin after the storm.
Okay ... trying to remember now because I *think* I already knew this, didn't I? Dave? Am I close? :)

I killed brain cells that trip. Adler's Appetite was playing at the bar near the hotel and I slept through that whole storm.
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
The Housing: HYDRONIX 10"

The Filter: HYDRONIX 2.5"

Quick Disconnect: Ball Lock Gas MFL

You will need a 8.5" section of 1/2" copper tubing, or stainless/aluminum, whatever you want to use. Mix up a few grams of water clear epoxy, and glue the tube into the cap so that the tube ends about 1/2" away from the end of the housing base. This allows you to recover almost all of your beer/cider from the bottom of the housing.

20160320_131656.jpg


20160320_131755.jpg
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
Okay ... trying to remember now because I *think* I already knew this, didn't I? Dave? Am I close? :)

I killed brain cells that trip. Adler's Appetite was playing at the bar near the hotel and I slept through that whole storm.
Yeah, sorry, that's why I was a little bit of a jerk in my first post, I thought you knew! Good to see you alive and kicking!
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
The filters are by HYDRONIX, I use a pleated one with beers that are still pretty dirty with hops and flaoties. The pleated filter has the ability to hold about X10 more sediment than the spin one but you have to go slower and use less pressure.

The spun filter is great for beer/cider that has settled already, just some haze and such. I use this for stopping the fermentation where I want it, at the sweetness I want without the use of chemicals or heat.

20160320_131717.jpg
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
A note about filtering.

"Almost all commercial brewers filter their beer to rapidly improve flavor and clarity. Yet few home brewers filter their beer, either because they lack the equipment or prefer the raw flavor of unfiltered beer. However filtering is a good option for intermediate to advanced brewers who want crystal clear, smooth flavored beer.

Why Filter?

Filtering removes yeast, tannins and some large proteins from the beer that contribute both to off flavors and haze. While many of these impurities will eventually precipitate out of the beer through lagering and aging, filtering accelerates the process by removing them in minutes instead of weeks or months. This is a big reason why commercial brewers use filters – time is money and it is much cheaper for them to filter the beer than store it for weeks or months.

Filtering also has the advantage that it can remove very small impurities from the beer – even those that would not fall out of suspension in the natural aging process. Filters can remove particles as small as 1 micron or even smaller. This can result in a cleaner flavor and much better clarity than is possible with natural aging.

A question many new brewers ask is if they can filter their beer to eliminate the sediment in the bottom of the bottles? The answer is unfortunately no, unless you have some kind of kegging/carbonation system. Filtering the beer removes the yeast from it, so if you filter and then bottle with priming sugar you will just get flat beer.

The only way to filter and bottle beer is to filter your beer into a keg, then artificially carbonate it, and then bottle it from the keg using a counter-pressure bottle filler or beer gun. Also having a pressurized keg makes it much easier to use an inline filter, as gravity works very slowly with typical beer filters."

-Brad Smith-
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Yeah, sorry, that's why I was a little bit of a jerk in my first post, I thought you knew! Good to see you alive and kicking!
Likewise my friend. It's been a while. I have greatly limited my pyro but I'm still a member of the local club and you know - once a rocket man always a rocket man. :)

The filters are by HYDRONIX, I use a pleated one with beers that are still pretty dirty with hops and flaoties. The pleated filter has the ability to hold about X10 more sediment than the spin one but you have to go slower and use less pressure.

The spun filter is great for beer/cider that has settled already, just some haze and such. I use this for stopping the fermentation where I want it, at the sweetness I want without the use of chemicals or heat.
Have you ever back-sweetened after filtration? That's something I am coming up on (obviously not with a beer) and I might experiment with this. While intellectually I know that a 1 micron filter should work for that, I've never trusted it. :)

I like the dip-tube arrangement to limit loss. How do you purge air from this setup before you start?
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
Likewise my friend. It's been a while. I have greatly limited my pyro but I'm still a member of the local club and you know - once a rocket man always a rocket man. :)


Have you ever back-sweetened after filtration? That's something I am coming up on (obviously not with a beer) and I might experiment with this. While intellectually I know that a 1 micron filter should work for that, I've never trusted it. :)

I like the dip-tube arrangement to limit loss. How do you purge air from this setup before you start?
Yes! That is what got me into filtering in the first place. I had a cider that finished just under 1, around .998 or so. It was really too tart to drink so I wanted to back sweeten it but knew that the yeast remaining in the cider would kick on as soon as the bottles made it to room temperature. I didn't want that to happen so I got a filtration setup and proceeded to back sweeten with frozen concentrate. It worked perfectly.

I still have your address if it's the same as it was 5 years ago, I'll shoot you a bottle if you would like.

Purging is a two-step process. The first step is to run CO2 through the filter and the tubes into the housing. Then release the CO2 from the keg it's going into to purge any Oxygen out of that keg. Step D is to push the beer through the filter and the housing and into the keg. I like to pull the first couple ounces of beer that makes it through and drink that, perhaps a whole pint. Any air that was trapped inside the filter or housing would be in that first beer.

For CO2,I generally use the residual CO2 in the keg I'm pulling from, to reduce that pressure down to a maximum of 5 PSI for transfer. Not a lot of extra CO2 from a CO2 bottle wasted that way.
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
1,148
Location
Kansas City
Address is the same. I swore I would never move again after this last time. :)

Sounds do-able. I'd better make a 10-gallon batch just to make it worth my while though. ;)
 

Firewalker11

Brewer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
1,053
Reaction score
274
Location
Anoka
The Old Orchard frozen juice was $0.99 a container, 15 gallons ran $42 for the juice and another $10 for the yeast. Since there is no krausen, its also ideal for keg conditioning and carbing. I let it go all the way to my finish gravity then filter it -unless- I want it to finish first to the natural gravity of the yeast, then I close the spunding valve down to my desired carbonation and crash cool.

Since the filtering is done under pressure, cold, there is little loss in carbonation during the process.

20160320_131824.jpg


20160320_131832.jpg


20160320_131736.jpg
 

Natdavis777

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
2,871
Reaction score
565
Location
Brownsburg
I bought a filter but never used it. Sold my filters on here. Still have the container though, may use it as a randel one day. I found I can get brite beers with some gelatin easily. Couple that with good pH, whirlfloc, and cold breaks, and its easy peasy. I have nothing against those who do utilize filters. To each their own. As long as you are making good beer, keep on keeping on.
 
Top