So, I bought a box of Becopads. They are made of 100% cellulose, and the manufactuer claims they can be re-used several times. I never re-used my filter pads in the past, but I gave it a shot here, and this morining I discovered mold on the backflushed pads. I used 190 F water, at .5 bars resisitance for 22 minutes after a cold rinse. The pads sat for about a week. The mold only appears on the exposed top portion of the pads, probably because I can't pressurize the P&F filter enough to saturate the whole pad. Has anyone else had any problems re-using these (or any) pads, or with their filter not pressurizing enough? I was told there was less drip loss with these pads, but I did not notice a difference.
I think you are better off letting them dry out if you are going to let them sit that long between uses. From what I read that does not hurt them at all.
I've never used Becopads, but I'll share some insight from my use with sheet filters.
First I will say that in my experience, you never want to let the sheets dry out between uses. Drying and then re-wetting for later use will result in the sheets decomposing.
In my past experience with sheet filters, we used a 20 plate 40x40 cm for trap filtration after DE filtration. As such, our sediment load on the sheet filter was pretty minimal. After filtration, we would backflush cold for 20 minutes under pressure at 5-8 psi. We would use a hose to wash off all remaining beer on the outside of the filter and edges of the sheets. Then we would spray the outside of the frame and sheets (still compressed in the filter) with PAA at 100-150 ppm, and wrap the filter in shrink wrap. The filter would then go into our walk-in cooler (38F).
We would only reuse our sheets 4 or 5 times at the most, and we would never store them for more than two days. Before re-use, we would bring the sheets and filter up to room temperature by backflushing with filtered ground water until the outbound water temperature is above 60F. Then we would remove the shrink wrap, and backflush with 185F water under 5 psi backpressure for 20 minutes. Then we would cool down with a ground water backflush, before a PAA backflush and purge as a final sanitation step before filtration.
Yes, this procedure uses a lot of water. Some may find it more economical and less risky to just use new pads. While I think using new pads every time is more safe, we never ran into any flavor or contamination issues.
Personally, I would never use any filter product with mold on it. I think filtration is the easiest/most common place to introduce contaminants in beer. Why make it harder to keep your beer clean?
Mr. Jay, I think your procedure of 22 minutes at 190 under .5 bars sounds good. But I think one week of storage is way too long, especially if the pads and filter are not refrigerated. A wet sheet filter with even the slightest remainder of beer left on it is a bacterial/mold breeding ground. Refrigeration temperatures will inhibit all common beer spoiling microbes.
I only mentioned drying them out because it was mentioned as a viable option for Becopads. You could probably google the article. Apparently the design of the becopads allows this and it certainly wouldnt work for most other pads.