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Thread: Dear Lord, SOMEBODY help me!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
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    1,060

    Dear Lord, SOMEBODY help me!!!!

    It is now ten 'till midnight and I'm STILL filtering the same batch I started over six hours ago! This is not a high-gluten beer, I've filtered this recipe several times but every now and then I get incredibly long filter times. I'm using a 40x40 plate and frame with 700 Seitz pads. I pressurize the output tank and pressurize (lower than the output) the receiving tank. I start very slow after prewetting the pads with sani. WHAT THE F*%K am I doing wrong! The batch is 10 bbls. The brewhouse temp is usually 90F. I sweet talk the filter. I massage both tanks. Please help....... I want to go home.
    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stavanger Norway
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    318
    Ive been there. sometimes you just have to stop and back flush the sheets, then repurge with CO2, if you have alot of beer left to filter consider new sheets.. and starting over.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    601
    There are so many things to consider here. But you said sometimes its ok. You need to find what you are doing different. Consistant process = consistant results.
    -use kettle finings
    -whirlpool for a good trub pile
    -cool and send in less than 45 mins for good cold break
    -The one thing that worries me is "the brewhouse temp is 90 degrees", are you filtering warm beer?? Crash the batch and let it sit min 7 days, 14 is better, @ 33f while dumping uneeded yeast that accumulates in cone.
    -Think about a auxilery finnings- Zerogel
    -backflush if pressure differential is more than 15psi or flow rate drops below .15bbl/min You should be able to filter 10bbl in a hour or less (not including setup/cleanup)
    609-347-7800 Tuesday-Thurs 11-4 if you want to chat.
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Cambridge, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    199
    Dave, Ted is pointing to where the problem probably lies. The K700 sheet is a 5-7 micron sheet that barely does any filtration at all. Barring something silly like a valve thats not fully open or a damaged rubber seal blocking flow, those sheets are rated for .67 bbl/hour/sheet. You didn't mention how many sheets you're dealing with.

    If you're getting good to poor flow on the same product, then after you eliminate any equipment variables, you should work your way back through the things you can do something about. Filtration is a function of load versus filter media. A lot of yeast and protein is going to make for long days on filters even if your sheet is designed to stop very little.

    Temperature is critical. I am assuming you are uni-tanking. Do you get down to freezing or below? You want to. Even 3 days at 32 is better than 7 days at 35. You may have proteins blinding the sheet preventing anything from getting through. Eliminating cold break and yeast from the cone is also critical. Ted's finings idea may work well for you if you can't reach optimum temperatures.

    His brewhouse options are also important. I know this doesn't help you're problems last night but hopefully in the future.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    121
    I agree there are many things to consider here. The most likely sources of rapidly clogged filter sheets are protein and or yeast.

    Before you filter a batch do a cell count on the beer. Keep a log to see how your cell count varies from batch to batch. Higher cell counts will clog your filter sheets rapidly.

    If the cell counts are consistently low (<.5 million cells/ml) then investigate your cellaring procedures, and then your brewhouse procedures.

    You should always filter beer as close as possible to 32 degrees. This will help you remove as many cold insoluble proteins as possible and help prevent one form of beer haze. If you crash cool your tanks and yeast is present you risk shocking the yeast which will cause them to spill their guts resulting in your beer having high amounts of acetaldehyde in the flavor and aroma. That may or may not be a good thing for you. It depends on your yeast strain too.

    Do you have a racking port on your tank? try starting the filtration on the higher port, and then finally switch to the lower port.

    As for the brewhouse, calibrate your thermometers that you use to check the mash temperature. Ensure that what you think you are converting at each time is the "true" temperature. Inconsistent conversion temps/profiles could be causing you difficulty at filtration. Ted's comment about kettle finings is right on also.

    Happy filtering,
    B

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    ridgecrest, ca
    Posts
    11

    Thumbs up Some nice suggestions, I would add glassings.

    I would suggest dropping glassings before filtration. Should solve slow runs.

    Cheers
    Faustino

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Polson, Montana, USA
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    Thank you all for the intelligent suggestions! You've given me a lot to chew on!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Hermosa Beach, California, USA
    Posts
    15

    try this

    One thing Ive been doing that really helps.......last few points of gravity turn off cooling, this is good for a diacetyl rest...and if you have ever left a sample out of the fermenter at room temp you'll notice the yeast drops out quickly as it warms, same thing happens in the fermenter. Let it warm for a day and then crash. works for me, beer screams thru the sheets. I really like the Heyes U-3 sheets, I cant seem to clog em.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    407
    Mike,
    Would you mind elaborating on your "warm-up" method? Is this for a lagering ferment or for an ale?

    So I'm assuming you pitch at about 70F then after a few days ramp it down to 32ish. Are you letting it warm THEN before re-chilling?

    Always up for learning a new settling technique.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Hermosa Beach, California, USA
    Posts
    15

    warming up

    Scott
    This is good for both Lagers and Ales. For a diacetyl rest I turn off the cooling 3-4 gravity points before fermentation ends. I let the temperature come up a few degrees and let it sit for a couple of days. This allows for the reduction of diacetyl precursors and the warming seems to help the yeast to start dropping. I started using this diacetyl rest by recommendation of Ron Ryan from Cargill Malt (formerly of Pyramid) and noticed the quick drop of the yeast after trying it out. Now Im a firm believer, no butter easy filtration.
    Mike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Shanghai, P.R. China
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    158
    For VDK rest

    You may not want to turn the glycol off, just allow fermentation temp to rise 2-4 degrees F. I typically see a rapid rise in temperature the last 2-3 Plato points when employing this procedure so I keep the ferm setpoint a touch higher. This is a typical diacetyl rest for lagers. For ales the temperature rise isn't always necessary, just allow the beer to sit at terminal gravity for 2-3 days. This works well and is validated by the use of a GC to monitor VDK's.

    Not to be a smart ass but....Ron Ryan....he worked for that larger Hefeweizen brewery in Portland.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Hermosa Beach, California, USA
    Posts
    15

    my apology

    No offense taken Mike, my apology to Ron and both breweries

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