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DE Filter Upgrade

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  • DE Filter Upgrade

    I'm looking for some real-world experience with upgrading a DE filter. We are currently filtering batches from 50 to 200 Barrels through a 5 square meter Velo filter with verticle screens. We average anywhere between 35 and 100 barrels per filter run, depending on the brand. Our filter vendor claims that 7.5 meter and 10 meter filters will increase filter runs 50% and 100% with proportional decreases in run time. Can anyone verify these improvements with actual experience?
    Any recomendations for other filter vendors would also be helpful.
    Steve Trese
    Boulder Beer

  • #2

    I'm currently using a Della Toffola 8 sqm. DE filter that is in a housing for a 10Sqm. We can just about get through 150bbl batch before we bridge the gaps. If I installed ($) extra plates to take it to a 10 Sqm I would easily get through 200-250bbl in a run. Hope my scenario helps in some way.
    Last edited by Iso-Alpha; 08-22-2009, 08:44 AM.


    • #3

      we upgraded our filter last year to a 8m2 candle filter (filtrox). it is a 6bar unit. we are filtering either 100HL or 200HL batches. for 200HL we have ~5hrs online time and get rates of anywhere from 30HL/hr up to 80HL/hr (if beer well yeasted-off).



      • #4

        Hopefully this information will be of some value to you. Typical flow rates of 8 to 10 hectoliters per hour per square meter of filter are common and advised for proper D.E. filtration. I recall running between 50 and 80 hl per hour with our 8 sq meter pressure leaf filter. Sludge capacity is also an issue (a big issue). The distance between screens or thickness of sludge plates is typically around 40mm per plate or screen. If you have a lot of sludge, the only way to get through a complete filter run is to add more plates or screens (if possible). The more you add, however, the more sq meters you add which helps with you run faster while maintaining your flow rate per square meter.

        If you want to D.E filter your 100 barrel tanks and letís say you want to filter that beer in 2 hours of running time. To convert barrels to hectoliters multiply barrels by 1.1737 (hl to barrels, multiply hl by .8522). 100 barrels is 117.37hl. Divide that by 10hl per hour = 11.73 square meters of filter required. That would do it in one hour, but if you wanted 2 hour runs, divide 11.73 by 2 to get 5.865 or about a 6 sq meter filter. More or less what you have. If the beer was really turbid, you might want to look at a larger filter for sludge capacity with the added benefit of potentially faster flow rates. Another figure to observe is that even though we are flowing at 10 hl per hour per sq meter, we are actually flowing in and out of the filter at 60hl per hour. A larger filter could increase this flow rate while maintaining the 10hl per hour per sq meter.

        If you extended the time you spend filtering, theoretically you can filter the same amount of beer with an even smaller filter. The problem most craft brewers run up against is very turbid beer coming into the filter which requires a lot of D.E. in order to get throughput. This, in turn has you typically maxing out your sludge capacity prematurely. Then you have to buy a larger, more expensive filter to handle the problem. If there is any way possible to get your beer to the filter brighter (thorough yeast removal from the storage tank, additional cold storage time to help flocculate out yeast, racking arms in the storage tank, etc.) you may avoid having to upgrade your filter. Dosing large amounts of D.E. is not a benign thing. It can strip character from your beer and be a source of beer soluble iron which will destroy your shelf life.

        Finally, for those of you that sterile filter, you should observe flow rates of .8 to 2hl per hour per square meter.

        Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me at if you would like to discuss this some more or, of course, through this forum.


        Bob August
        Majestic Packaging Solutions


        • #5
          Not an answer, but more questions

          We are about to switch to a DE filter from our old P&F and are trying to size it properly. It sounds like after speaking with some other brewers that a practical limit of 25bbl/sqm is reached when sizing filters. This of course would be independent of sludge capacity, which is affected by xerogel dosing.

          We plan on filtering 150hl(121bbl) tanks with xerogel at 30g/l, followed by a trap filter (our old P&F with DIN 32 (1 1/4") fittings) with 1 micron sheets. At first we were looking at a vertical Velo 5.5sqm filter but now I am almost sure we would want the (sludge capacity) flexibility of a 7.5sqm or 8, depending if we go for vertical or horizontal. One concern is if we go for the 7.5 or 8sqm, we might exceed the flow capability of our P&F at 1 1/4".

          We hear that the horizontal is easier to operate regarding flow stoppages but can be difficult to add or remove screens. Also we hear that the flow characteristics are better with the vertical arrangement. Any thoughts on this topic?

          Also, we are cold conditioning our beer at -1C for a week minimum, more like 2 weeks. I feel that our beers are not so turbid.

          Do you have any thoughts on this? By the way, we also plan on sterile filtration afterwards, and are looking to differentiate the Handtmann from the cartridge approach.