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Thread: DE filter with carbonated beer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Moorpark Ca, USA
    Posts
    155

    DE filter with carbonated beer

    We just got a 4 m^2 Velo DE filter (planning to use perlite) and are still trying to figure out everything before we do our first filter run. One question I have at the moment is whether I should use beer in the mixing tank or de-airated water. We brew mostly lager and everything is carbonated naturally in the fermenter. I'm worried that beer in the mixing tank will cause a foaming mess and water would dilute the beer and cause D.O problems if not properly de-airated.

    If I'm to use de-airated water, I was thinking about boiling water and transferring it to some kegs to cool in the fridge before filtering.

    Any advice would be great.


    Cheers,
    Chris Enegren
    www.enegrenbrewing.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,552
    I think you have summed up the predicament pretty well re choice of water vs beer. The biggest problem with using beer though is that unless you use already filtered beer to precoat and for makeup, you are adding a certain amount of yeast and protein which can pass through the filter sheets (assuming filter sheets, not precoat straight onto sintered / mesh or wedge wire), and allow this yeast and protein to bleed through into the final beer, or help blind the sheets or powder layer slightly quicker. I appreciate that in a small brewery you are probably going to change your filter sheets more frequently than a jumbo brewery, so sheet blinding is less of an issue, but bleed through can be a problem.

    For that reason, I prefer to use DAW rather than beer. If yours is a horizontal leaf filter (you don't say what type you have) then you can precoat and blow out the bulk of the precoat water, so reducing interface losses / dilution.

    You could also try brewing at a degree of two higher gravity to allow for dilution. Whether you have water or beer for the bodyfeed, you should always bubble CO2 or N2 through the mix to create an inert layer on top of the mix and to prevent air pickup due to the swirling of the agitator.

    Dearation by boiling is fine, but you could simply bubble CO2 through the water as well. How long for? No idea, as this depends on gas bubble size, agitation, gas flow rate, volume being deaerated. Even if you boil, I recommend bubbling CO2 or N2 through. Don't forget that DE powder itself entrains such vast amounts of air in the diatoms and between the particles (whether DE or Perlite) that deaerated water becomes highly oxygen saturated after addition anyway!
    dick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Moorpark Ca, USA
    Posts
    155
    It's a Velo horizontal plate filter. There are no sheets, just the screen disks. If using unfiltered beer for the precoat is an issue, I suppose I could use a keg from the previous batch or something that wouldn't make a difference if blended but I'd have to degas that first.
    Chris Enegren
    www.enegrenbrewing.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,552
    Because you have the screens only, there is less risk of partial retention. Using a coarse first coat, e.g. celite allow the beer to clarify for about ten minutes then apply the second finer precoat and allow to clarify before starting the bodyfeed and filtration proper. You should have minimal bleed through of protein, and yeast. Ideally you would have a 10 micron trap after the main filter, and this will pick out more (but not all) yeast and a little more protein, and all the powder that has bled through.
    dick

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