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Thread: Huge Losses on DE Filtration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Huge Losses on DE Filtration

    Hello all, I am the Head Brewer for a new facility. We just finally ran every piece of our equipment which produced pretty good results. I have a candle DE filter that produces really clear beer and runs at a great speed. I do have one issue with losses on this device. Sadly enough this filter was purchased through China so the manual is in Chinese and they are of no help on this situation. The housing for the candle filters holds 600 liters during the process. When done they have me blending in water from the bottom of the filter and using that to push into the BT until the color and taste is too thin. Even though my water is RO and ran through a UV filter this still makes me uncomfortable. I dont want to blend water with my beer but dont want to dump 600 liters down the drain. With the way it is constructed the candles come down but stop a few inches shy of the bottom. Beer comes from the bottom, pushes into the candles, then is forced out the top and into the BT. The one way I have to solve this is to buy a very small plate and frame to filter that remaining 600 liters and installing a CO2 inlet port on the top of the DE filter house to push the beer through the plate and frame and into the BT. I can easily justify the cost for 600 liters worth of beer per filtration but would like any suggestions to help me skip this step. Plate and frames work but add more manual labor to the process. Has anybody worked with this style of DE filter and if so how did you get around losing so much beer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Duluth, MN
    Ideally you would want de-gassed water but Id be fine using Uv treated RO water to push beer. I've done it with success. Im betting if you plated out that water you would get 0 growth 99.9% of the time. Be stringent in evacuating O2 in all the other areas and you should be ok. Ask a friendly brewer to bring over his DO meter to confirm.

    Remember that turbulent flow starts after 4 gpm in 1.5" hose/pipe so run it slow. Your could install an inline sensor to check for a drop in gravity at the tank inlet, but Im not sure how expensive they would be. You going to get some mixing in the filter bell anyway.

    Plate and sheet filters loose allot of beer themselves, but if your also concerned with savaging DE that might be a way to go. Not sure if your yields will improve though.
    Brewmaster, Fitger's Brewhouse
    "Your results may vary"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    Set the last of the filtration to recirculate and continue until all your product is clear. Then pump it out to BBT. You may need a small cartridge filter to polish the last bit of DE/Perlite/yeast bleed, but the loading on it should be very low.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Chesterfield, UK
    You don't say what size your filtration run length is, to put the losses in perspective. The tank size sounds very large for a micro - but of course we don't know what your brew / filter volumes are

    The normal process with these filters is to flush through with deaerated liquor - as you have been told by the Chinese. The flow rate is critical to minimise the interface / wastage. Typically for a candle filter the flow rate is 6.5 hl/m2 of candle surface (before any powder additions) - so if you know the number of candles, diameter and length, then you can work out what flow rate is required / preferred. Any higher than this will tend to scour some of the candle area clear - with powder and yeast / protein passing through, and much slower will build up excessively in parts and insufficiently in other areas.

    Alternatively, you could drain the filter tank back to another tank and use it as part of the next filter run - perhaps as pre-coat.

    I don't dispute the idea of draining down and cartridge filtering the drainings, but suspect there will be too much powder dropping off which will block the cartridge filter. I have only ever used flush out with deaerated water - which is fine with high gravity brewing.

    You could always brew at slightly higher gravity - say 1 deg SG high, allowing for more pre and post liquor flushes to run into the BBT and still achive the desired gravity / ABV

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