Does Anyone Filter Their Beer?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by OldBrewer, Nov 12, 2022.

  1. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    I don't hear a lot about filtering beer. This seems to be much more important when making lagers or kolsches, than when making IPA's. The older way was using filter pads with wine-making filtering systems, but the beers I've tasted using that method always has a residual "chemical" taste from the pads that is quite noticeable, even when the pads were pre-washed for some time with a huge quantity of water.

    The more recent way of filtering beer is using filter cartridges such as those used when filtering water. I've tried one such "advanced" filtering system, but it used very sub-standard parts such as cheap valves with levers that bend very easily, and inferior gaskets that result in some leakage. In my experience, I lost about a half gallon. The advantage was that the filter was re-usable, although there were no instructions on how to clean the filter.

    Has anyone come across a relatively inexpensive system ($50-$100) that uses better quality components?
    #1 OldBrewer, Nov 12, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2022
  2. Naugled

    Naugled Pooh-Bah (1,820) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    Interesting question.

    I've never filtered. I've looked into it years ago but never tried it.
  3. YourBeerRunner

    YourBeerRunner Aspirant (212) May 3, 2022

    this might not be the filtering you're talking about. I recently began to take filtering my cooled wort more seriously. Basically I want to experiment with removing more truck from wort. I do brew in a bag, and that bag to begin with is 250 micron. I've upgraded to a 75 micron bag, which does significantly better but leaves a lot of trub. Not to mention, that bag drains significantly more slowly. I then tried a 12-volt powered food safe pump to filter through an inline 40 micron filter and 200 micron filter. However, both of these, due to their much lower surface area than the bags, got quickly clogged, and the silicon line was cavitating. So basically I've given up on filtering using that method for now. It just seems like the trub is actually really really small, and to filter a properly you need the right equipment. And that runs a cost. I just haven't gotten there yet. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

    Interested to hear other experiences.
    MrOH likes this.
  4. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    A friend also makes lagers, and he regularly filters (he uses the paper wine pads). He basically makes the same lagers as I do with minor differences. But he almost always filters, and his lagers always seem to taste so much better.
  5. grahamp33

    grahamp33 Initiate (198) Feb 27, 2019 Indiana

    I use the BouncerMD (check Amazon). It’s a Stainless steel filter with 1/2npt connections and then order the more fine filters (blue and white) to filter better. It says the temperature use of only up to 150F though.

    I use it on all beers going into the fermenter and into the keg. Especially useful for really clean beers (lagers).
    OldBrewer likes this.
  6. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    Interesting. Will it work to filter and entire keg? Or is it just used for individual glasses of beer?
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Pooh-Bah (2,993) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    The yeast cells and free polyphenols/proteins in beer are all too small to be filtered by even the finest (white, 178 micron) filter available for the BouncerMD, which is really for removing trub/hop particles.
    OldBrewer likes this.
  8. grahamp33

    grahamp33 Initiate (198) Feb 27, 2019 Indiana

    I put the filter in between the fermenter and keg usually with biofine in the filter reservoir and purge CO2 from the empty keg then tighten the cup once the beer line seems purged. Push CO2 to move the beer into the keg with some filtration.

    As VikeMan says it filters out medium/larger material but not everything. I think you would have to stop the process a couple of times if you filtered that finely, but maybe your beer is cleaner out of the fermenter than mine. Kudos to those people. Once the keg is chilled a few days, the first pull or two should remove the yeast. Idk, but I’ve had compliments for how clean my ipas turn out.
    MrOH, Jasonja1474 and OldBrewer like this.
  9. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    The one I am using (see link in first message) filters to 1 micron, so I assume it removes yeast particles. I haven't used it yet, but plan on using it soon.
  10. riptorn

    riptorn Maven (1,410) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I'm guessing you don't get that chemical taste in your friends beers. Sounds like your friend might be using a different style, or brand, or a "new and improved" pad. Are you averse to trying his method?
    Inquiring minds want to know.......
  11. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    His beers always used to have that distinct "chemical" flavour. But he has since revised his approach and pre-rinses the filters for a longer time and with higher heat than previously. Now his beers don't have that chemical taste and are extremly clear. It's basically the same method used to filter wine. The basic issue is the amount of water that is required to rinse the filter pads. I do have the same filter system as he does, but I had problems with leakage, until I purchased a solid stanless steel clamp designed for the purpose.

    My issue is the amount of water that is required to rinse the pads to get rid of that chemical taste. I wish the manufacturers of the filter pads would sell pre-rinsed pads. Might be a little more expensive, but would save on water consumption and time. We already use a lot of water to cool the wort (especially lagers), so no sense in doubling the amount of water.

    I have recently purchased a couple of the food grade plastic containers that the Australians use to save water. They add the boiled wort directly to these containers (they can withstand high temperatures and are flexible), squeeze out the air, close them off, and leave them to cool naturally, usually overnight. The wort will stay quite good in these containers for months if necessary, and another afvantage is that most of the hop and protein trub will settle to the bottom.
    riptorn likes this.
  12. memory

    memory Zealot (616) Oct 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    No. I like it all and only filter via liver and kidneys.
    MrOH, YourBeerRunner and riptorn like this.
  13. Merlyn

    Merlyn Aspirant (249) Jan 17, 2021 Michigan

    I tried the BouncerMD for a couple batches and didn't like using them. If someone wants them I'd be happy to get them out of the brew closet and send them if they just pay shipping.
    OldBrewer and riptorn like this.
  14. MrOH

    MrOH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,281) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I'm a really big fan of keller/zweickel lagers, so this thread is just good stuff to know, but I probably wouldn't put into practice.
  15. allegros

    allegros Initiate (25) Mar 21, 2023 England

    Hi all! Does anyone use carbonation?
  16. VikeMan

    VikeMan Pooh-Bah (2,993) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    JoeSpartaNJ and skleice like this.
  17. MrOH

    MrOH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,281) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I carbonate all my beers.
  18. MrOH

    MrOH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,281) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Have you thought about using the pre-cleaning water for the filters as water for cleaning the rest of your equipment? I know that between cleaning and rinsing brew day equipment and fermenters its at least 20 gallons for me. Those orange buckets from home depot are pretty cheap.
  19. beershrine

    beershrine Zealot (643) May 29, 2004 Idaho

    I have been thinking of filtering a batch. When I did it last time I pushed the beer with C02 through a 10" water filter cartridge, it was a pleated filter the beer was much better filtered. I also used that water housing as a hop back.
    MrOH likes this.
  20. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Savant (1,209) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    I use the clean water from chilling to clean the equipment. The water from filtering would only be excess water. I'm not sure if I would even use that water for cleaning or throwing in a washing machine, as it contains chemicals.
    MrOH likes this.