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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: abraxas on December 28, 2010, 11:16:13 PM

Title: Filter Advice
Post by: abraxas on December 28, 2010, 11:16:13 PM
I am thinking about buying a filter and looking for some advice. 

Much of the reason I would like to buy one is because I have a Pliny clone that I would like to serve for New Years. I don't think I can get the beer from the primary where is cold conditioning into a carbed keg in a drinkable condition by then.  A coarse filter (say 10 micron) should allow me to transfer it to a keg, then shake carbonate it without requiring a good few days to resettle.

I have also found too much yeast/precipitate gets kicked up when I bring kegs to parties and events.  I have been incorporating some gelatin fining but this takes time and planning...

There's also the obvious other uses, meads/crystal pilsners...but primarily I would like to turn around beer quicker if required and make beers more transportable.

Do you guys that have filters find you get enough use out of them?  Should I go with a plate filter (disposable pads seems much cheaper/easier) or a canister filter (I have seen some reusable filters: http://www.kleenwater.com/beer-and-wine-filtration-c-139.html plus it will work as a Randall).

Thanks.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: beerrat on December 28, 2010, 11:30:53 PM
I've never filtered, nor used fining agents in beer, other the irish moss during he boil. 

I have had same issues of disturbed yeast in keg transported.  What do now is a day before the event, pour off a couple glasses to get the loose yeast out of the current keg.  Once pretty good, transferred the current keg to new one via each keg's beer-in connections, and venting off pressure on the new keg to enable transfer (old keg had about 5psi in the gas-in connection).

So now you have bright (clean) beer in the new keg with enough time to allow for replacing any carbonation lost.  Since little yeast in bottom to disturb, no worries about shake up in transport.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: majorvices on December 29, 2010, 12:24:19 AM
I don't have anything against filtering, in fact I have thought along the same lines as you many times. just never got around to purchasing one. I will say about you "kicked up yeast when moving keg" thought. you shoulod consider using one keg as a bright tank. Cut the dip tube about 1/2 inch, fine with gelatin and then lager for 1-2 weeks. Then rack into new keg via jumper. Works well for sediment free beer.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 29, 2010, 02:21:27 AM
I have a purchased plate filter about 2 years ago and ... never used it so far.
So there you go.

Quote
you shoulod consider using one keg as a bright tank. Cut the dip tube about 1/2 inch, fine with gelatin and then lager for 1-2 weeks. Then rack into new keg via jumper. Works well for sediment free beer.

I do what majorvices suggested.

Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: abraxas on December 29, 2010, 02:51:03 AM
I have a purchased plate filter about 2 years ago and ... never used it so far.
So there you go.

Quote
you shoulod consider using one keg as a bright tank. Cut the dip tube about 1/2 inch, fine with gelatin and then lager for 1-2 weeks. Then rack into new keg via jumper. Works well for sediment free beer.

I do what majorvices suggested.



I have no problem cold crashing and waiting most of the time, it's just the occasions that I would like to rush something like this weekend that make filtration seem so attractive.  I think I could probably do my mild wheat pale in 5 or 6  days on last minute request if I filter. 
But there's other equipment I'd probably rather have if I am going to just use it once and store it.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: majorvices on December 29, 2010, 03:34:31 AM
Most beers really need at least one to two weeks conditioning anyway, though. Not saying you will always have crystal clear beer after 2 weeks in a BT but you can get the beer to clear up pretty well and move around sediment free beer by racking off the sediment in the BT.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: lonnie mac on December 29, 2010, 03:48:42 AM
Most beers really need at least one to two weeks conditioning anyway, though. Not saying you will always have crystal clear beer after 2 weeks in a BT but you can get the beer to clear up pretty well and move around sediment free beer by racking off the sediment in the BT.

This is what I have always done... I transfer to a keg to fine and condition with gelatin (from the primary). If I need to move a keg to a party, I'll transfer off of that into a new keg a week or two after conditioning, otherwise I drink crystal clear beer from the keg.

I had (have) a plate filter. There is nothing wrong with filtering but it was just not my thing. I am actually working on a filtering project right now for a friend, but honestly, I will continue to do my tried and true method for myself.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: phillamb168 on December 29, 2010, 08:40:22 AM
When you guys say gelatin, do you mean this stuff?
(http://my.buzzcritic.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/1fbc8_2009-10-21-Gelatin.jpg)

Or is it something else?
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: jeffy on December 29, 2010, 12:13:21 PM
When you guys say gelatin, do you mean this stuff?
(http://my.buzzcritic.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/1fbc8_2009-10-21-Gelatin.jpg)

Or is it something else?

That's what I use.  I generally add it to a cup or so of warmed beer instead of water because I don't want to dilute my beer any more than necessary.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: phillamb168 on December 29, 2010, 12:48:09 PM

That's what I use.  I generally add it to a cup or so of warmed beer instead of water because I don't want to dilute my beer any more than necessary.

How much do you put in for a five-gallon batch? one sheet?
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: tygo on December 29, 2010, 12:53:58 PM
I use half a teaspoon in half a cup of hot (160-170F) water for a five gallon batch. 
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: jeffy on December 29, 2010, 01:15:40 PM

That's what I use.  I generally add it to a cup or so of warmed beer instead of water because I don't want to dilute my beer any more than necessary.

How much do you put in for a five-gallon batch? one sheet?

Yes, one packet.  That may be overkill though, if tygo uses only a half teaspoon.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: majorvices on December 29, 2010, 01:27:53 PM
One packet is definitely overkill. 1/2-1 tsp per 5 gallons is all you need. I'd be afraid of getting a bit of off aroma by adding too much (ever smell the stuff?). FWIW a lot of professional breweries use gelatin in their bright tanks, even those that filter. Which is another issue for the original poster: filtering won't necessarily speed up your beer that much. You will still need to cold condition and, preferably, fine the cold beer prior to filtering or you will have nightmares with clogging. The larger breweries centrifuge before filtering to remove the yeast. Smaller breweries condition first. You could run a rough filter first, but even then it is recommended to fine the beer first to prevent clogging.

And, while we are at it, filtering will not remve protein haze. So if you are getting a poor hot break due to improper pH and, therefore, murky beer, you may need to look elsewhere for a cure. I can turn around some crystal clear beer in about 4 weeks from pitching. (2 weeks primary, 2 weeks bright tanks.)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2245/2403803744_9e862a1f22.jpg)
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: abraxas on December 29, 2010, 01:51:10 PM
Gelatin and temperature has worked just fine for me.  I was just looking for somebody to say that they have a filter setup and use it frequently.  Still might pull the trigger, got a gift certificate for Christmas for a local brew shop, gonna see what they have.  Since I have 2 five gallon batches of this Pliny clone I should be able to do a side by side filtered vs unfiltered to compare.  A fear of mine is the absorption of hop oils by the paper filters, this will be a beer that will really show if this is the case.

A question I have regarding gelatin, what is the minimum time before transferring off of it?  From wine books I have always read 2 weeks but I read 2-3 days on homebrew forums.  Typically I have the time but I am stepping up brewing for a competition coming up and have limited lagering space.


Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: Kaiser on December 29, 2010, 02:28:54 PM
I have done some filtering and found that a 10 or even 5 micron spun filter is not fine enough to give you clear beer. The problem is that the most stubborn haze is smaller than 5 microns. A 5 micron filter is good for taking out yeast, though.

This measn that you can't use the cheap water filters for filtration. Morebeer sell cartiges that allow for sharper filtration but they are $15 a piece which is way to much for me.

Another option is the use of a plate filter that wine makers use. Those filter pads are cheaper and come in different filtration sizes.

But that leaves you with the added work of filtration and you may end up giving up filtration altogether.

Kai
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: jeffy on December 29, 2010, 02:39:15 PM
Gelatin and temperature has worked just fine for me.  I was just looking for somebody to say that they have a filter setup and use it frequently.  Still might pull the trigger, got a gift certificate for Christmas for a local brew shop, gonna see what they have.  Since I have 2 five gallon batches of this Pliny clone I should be able to do a side by side filtered vs unfiltered to compare.  A fear of mine is the absorption of hop oils by the paper filters, this will be a beer that will really show if this is the case.

A question I have regarding gelatin, what is the minimum time before transferring off of it?  From wine books I have always read 2 weeks but I read 2-3 days on homebrew forums.  Typically I have the time but I am stepping up brewing for a competition coming up and have limited lagering space.




It's much faster than that.  If you add it to beer in a carboy you can actually watch it clear within an hour or so.  The hot gelatin at the top slowly drops to the bottom as it matches the colder temperature of the beer and takes the haze with it.
If it's in a keg, wait a few hours and draw off a pint or two.  It'll contain most of the precipitate.  After that you should start to get bright beer.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 29, 2010, 02:58:50 PM

That's what I use.  I generally add it to a cup or so of warmed beer instead of water because I don't want to dilute my beer any more than necessary.

How much do you put in for a five-gallon batch? one sheet?

1/2 of the pack.
If you have a gram scale (like everybody should have) use 3 grams for 5 gal.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: mabrungard on December 29, 2010, 03:53:28 PM
I'm in agreement with Kai regarding the utility of 5 micron filters.  That isn't fine enough to filter out yeast.  2 micron filters will capture most yeast cells.  I don't use that size filter, but I understand that it can also tend to filter out flavor components too.  I'm fine with just letting time and temperature do the job.
Title: Re: Filter Advice
Post by: phillamb168 on December 29, 2010, 04:06:23 PM

That's what I use.  I generally add it to a cup or so of warmed beer instead of water because I don't want to dilute my beer any more than necessary.

How much do you put in for a five-gallon batch? one sheet?

1/2 of the pack.
If you have a gram scale (like everybody should have) use 3 grams for 5 gal.

Ah, grazie mille. I bought a gram/oz digital scale a few months ago and at the time I got THE LOOK from my wife, but she absolutely LOVES the thing now and I find it in-dis-pensable.