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View Full Version : Sterile filtration or Pasteurization



Laughing Dog
04-21-2006, 12:16 PM
So what are everyone’s thoughts of this issue? We need to change our bottling process to include some form of microbiological stabilization. I understand that cartridge filtration will remove some color and flavor and that Pasteurization will change the flavor as well. let me know you thoughts

Fred Colby
Brewer
Laughing Dog Brewing

Graydon
04-21-2006, 07:05 PM
Hi the belief that sterile filtration or flash pas, have considerable flavor impact on your product is way over stated. I have used both of these methods, and had exceptional results. The important difference is opperational cost vs. capital cost. This will probable raise alot of controversy, but I will be glad to explain my statements.

Graydon Brown

Michael Murphy
04-22-2006, 07:11 AM
they really dont taste much different from the other, (if you use flash pasturization), Id go with flash P. or both, you will be able to insure your beer for a year from packaging unfrigerated. Our wheat beers are Flash pasturized as well and dont taste much different from before pasturization.

there is a real bias against pasturization, but it will put your mind at ease and your customers will always have a good tasting beer.

dick murton
04-22-2006, 01:47 PM
Hmm I beg to differ about the taste between pasteurised and sterile filtered beer, especially after a few months. Personally I think pasteurisation tends to have stronger oxididised flavours, even with good oxygen control, but agree that this is most noticeble after a couple of months. I would have thought unless you are going for "in bottle" pasteurisation with a tunnel pasteuriser, you would do better with a sterile filter - 0.45 micron is typically used. This is much easier to sterilise, simply needs pure, particularly odour and iron free steam or 85 degree C water sterilisation before each run. I also think that accurate pasteurisation control, i.e. flow and temperature, is much harder to achieve in a small set up than filters.

Either way, flash pasteuriation or sterile filtered, everything downstream of the pasteuriser / filter has to be completely sterile. This includes the bottles and caps as well as the mains and filler if you really want it sterile in bottle.

Good luck with it whichever way you go

Cheers

BAugust
04-24-2006, 02:15 PM
I completely agree with Dick. I have a hard time understanding breweries that feel the need to sterilize the product prior to packaging. If the product is infected at this point you have some issues upstream that should be addressed. Unless you go to great lengths to maintain an absolutely sterile packaging operation a la Coors and then are prepared to ensure that your beer is kept refrigerated afterwards (good luck) you are subjecting your sterile product to the most likely place to pick up bacteria in the plant outside of the brewhouse.

If you want to pasteurize at all it really only makes sense to pasteurize the sealed bottles. Best of luck!

Cheers!

Bob August
Majestic Packaging Solutions
www.majesticpackaging.com

Laughing Dog
04-24-2006, 03:07 PM
My reason for asking this question is due to the fact that, after leaving the brewery we cannot control how our beer is handled, although we request it be kept cold it is not always the case, we leave small amounts of residual sugars in a couple of our beers and if it is allowed to warm up it will re-ferment in the bottle and cause a hot carbonation or gusher when opened. I am Very strict about sanitation in our process to the point that allot of it is redundant but I feel better safe than sorry. All this said what I am trying to accomplish is to get the best product to the end consumer in the best shape possible under possible adverse conditions.


Fred Colby
Brewer
Laughing Dog Brewing

BAugust
04-25-2006, 10:43 AM
After reading your post mentioning residual sugar, I would really steer you towards tunnel pasteurization. You would probably rather not hear this because of the expense, but to do what you are doing is really playing with fire. Sterile filtering prior to bottling may temporarily disarm the "bomb" but the odds of picking up something during packaging is pretty high.

You are being very realistic about your beer not being refrigerated as well as it should be out in the real world. This is just a plain fact albeit discouraging. I have had clients that had some success with high residual beers or even adding honey after filtration in pub environments where the product is kept very cold and very controlled, but sending something like that out as a bottled beer without pasteurizing the package is very risky. It could even lead to an injury to a consumer or, at best, a very dissatisfied one.

Bob August
Majestic Packaging Solutions
www.majesticpackaging.com