Experiments in Filtration

1 micron wound
1 micron wound

My two wound 1 micron filters from Midwest Brewing gave out.  I used them for one year.  They were slow but you could get 10-15 gallons done on one of them.  If you hurried your beer and the yeast didn’t get a chance to fully settle, it was slow going and sometimes you had to use two of them – switching out mid filtration.

These filters made clear beer.

This month I purchased a set of pleated filters from Flow-Max.  5 micron and 1 micron – thinking I would get the same results.  Not so.

1st Cider filter after 5 micron and 1 micron absolute.
1st Cider filter after 5 micron and 1 micron absolute.  It’s ok, they say 1 micron only gets 80-90% of yeast…but obviously my former $2.99  micron spun filters did a lot better job.

I then got the 0.35 micron nominal for $8 from Flow-Max – thinking that would HAVE to do the job at a good price.

0.35 micron Flow-max nominal.
0.35 micron Flow-max nominal.
Using the 1 micron absolute and 0.35 micron nominal to filter last years cider
Using the 1 micron absolute and 0.35 micron nominal to filter last years cider after it failed with the 5 micron and 1 micron absolute.
Left: Unfiltered, Right: Filtered cider to 0.35 micron nominal.
Left: Unfiltered, Right: Filtered cider to 0.35 micron nominal.

Don’t use Flo-max filters for beer filtration…the 0.35 micron nominal must have a VERY WIDE distribution.

White filter 1 micron absolute, Purple filter 0.35 micron nominal after filtering 15 gallons of cider.
White filter 1 micron absolute, Purple filter 0.35 micron nominal after filtering 15 gallons of cider.

I don’t understand…the 0.35 micron has nothing on it.  I tried this with a beer too, making sure they weren’t short by putting some extra silicone gaskets on…still cloudy.

I then got a $75 GE Flotrex 0.65 absolute micron filter – though hated doing it.

GE Flotrex 0.65 micron absolute
GE Flotrex 0.65 micron absolute

I refiltered the campfire pale ale:

Campfire pale ale filtered with Flowtrex 0.65 micron absolute
Campfire pale ale filtered with Flowtrex 0.65 micron absolute – the right is the winner!

The 0.65 micron GE Flowtrex did slow down considerably after 7 gallons.  It took about an hour to filter 15 gallons but it yielded great results.  I do have to say that the beer was 3 weeks old with only 2 days chilled to 45 degrees.  So it probably had some yeast floating around which gummed it up.

So I guess the initial 1 micron spun filter $2.99 from midwestsupplies.com does the trick at a fraction of the cost.  It consistently produced clear beer just like the above, right beer.

I was hoping pleated filters offered a faster way to filter for scale-up ability at a cheap price….not so much.  There are many filter manufacturers, so I will keep trying and maybe start looking at commercial filters that GWKent has.

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