Author Topic: Filtration for homebrew kit ?  (Read 378 times)

Offline DaphiL

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Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« on: September 02, 2022, 08:59:53 am »
Hello!   :)

(I'm new here, and french, so please excuse me if my English is not perfect or if I have broken any forum-specific rules.)

I have a recurring problem with my brews, and the friends I brew with sometimes have the same problem on their side.

We all use 10-12L brew kits of different brands, some waiting to move on to bigger ones, others (like me) to experiment before switching to bigger volumes.

Generally it goes well, until after mashing, when it's time to filter the beer and recirculate the wort. Then it's a mess ::)

Personally, I transfer the wort from my kettle to the fermenter bucket through a sieve, then run hot water over the spent grain cake.
But I often get bits and pieces falling through the strainer, and I feel that these beers lack body (probably because of the residual sugars stuck to the spent grains?)

As far as filtration is concerned, sometimes I manage to make up for it with a good cold crash before bottling, but sometimes it's not enough.

Any suggestion to improve the quality of the filtration? And/or give the beer more body?

I was considering switching to a brew bag, and/or adding a custom filter bottom to my fermentation bucket. Is this a good idea?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2022, 09:02:12 am by DaphiL »
I am a french lover of craft beers, beer boxes and I love brewing my own beer. I'm here to chat and share with other beer lovers. I also write on a beer website (french) where I talk about beer.
Don't hesitate to come and debate with me if you want to share our common passion!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2022, 09:31:29 am »
I have some confusion in your process, because you mention some steps in a sequence that does not seem typical - for example, you mention going from kettle to fermenter (end of the process post-boil) then pouring hot water through the spent grain (to presumably collect unboiled wort?)

I would not get hung up on filtration.  Beers will clear well using a clarifying agent, such as Whirlfloc in the boil, gelatin after fermentation, or just giving it time in the package.

As to adding body, you can seek to mash a bit higher in temperature and/or shorten the mash time with a mash out to prohibit further enzyme activity at the end of the mash.  Also, you could consider adding some DME to the boil, or dextrin malt (such as Cara Pils - though there is debate on that) or maltodextrin.  Generally, however, getting the right mash pH and time may be all that you need to address.

Good luck and keep up the brewing!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline DaphiL

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2022, 10:25:35 am »
Thank you very much for your very detailed answer, and I apologise for the delay! :)

I understand the confusion. I'm not bad at English, but it's difficult to "convert" technical terms from one language to another, the problem is on my side.

The steps I usually follow when brewing with a 10L beer kit:
1. Mashing: I heat 6L of water to between 65°C and 71°C and try to keep it at that temperature for 1H with my grains in the water.
2. Filtration: I take the pot off the heat, and drop the water and grains into my fermentation bucket, with a strainer in between.
3. Rinsing: I rinse the spent grains left in the strainer with 4L of hot water (which makes 10L) to recover the residual sugars.
4. Boil, cool, etc.

I think my problem is with the filtration process. My strainer is a coarse kitchen strainer, made for filtering pasta or rice. The fineness of the holes has nothing to do with the filtering bottom of my 30L tank.

I note your advice on clarifying agents! It's an excellent idea, I hadn't thought of it.

I also note your advice to give more body to the beer, I will add a small dose of roasted malts :)
I am a french lover of craft beers, beer boxes and I love brewing my own beer. I'm here to chat and share with other beer lovers. I also write on a beer website (french) where I talk about beer.
Don't hesitate to come and debate with me if you want to share our common passion!

Offline Drewch

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2022, 07:27:32 pm »
 Bienvenue! Votre anglais est vraiment meilleur que mon français 😉

I've had good luck with no-sparge brew-in-a-bag. Grain bags can be found pretty cheap online, and you could probably try a batch without changing anything else about your setup.
The Other Drew

Home fermentations since 2019.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2022, 07:49:12 pm »
I would also recommend using a bag vs pouring thru a sieve. You can mash and raise the bag and let it drain.

Here’s a step-by-step: https://brulosophy.com/methods/processes/brew-in-a-bag-biab/

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2022, 03:22:44 pm »

I was considering switching to a brew bag, and/or adding a custom filter bottom to my fermentation bucket. Is this a good idea?

hey, i read your second post too, and i think i understand how you're doing it.

yes, definitely try for a "brew-in-a-bag" BIAB setup or use an "igloo" style cooler with a spigot and mash filter installed. its definitely worth the investment.

my igloo cooler conversion setup here in canada cost maybe $120 including cooler and parts. its much cheaper in the USA. but ive used it for maybe 25 batches now, so thats about $5 per ~20 litres brewed. an extra 12 cents per 500ml bottle.

Offline DaphiL

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Re: Filtration for homebrew kit ?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2022, 02:59:05 am »
Thank you so much for your answers, I'll try and give you a feedback :)
I am a french lover of craft beers, beer boxes and I love brewing my own beer. I'm here to chat and share with other beer lovers. I also write on a beer website (french) where I talk about beer.
Don't hesitate to come and debate with me if you want to share our common passion!