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Filtering Fruit Puree

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  • Filtering Fruit Puree

    We do kettle sours that have fruit purees in them. When we keg the beer to be served in the taproom several of the kegs will get fruit sludge at the bottom. It can be a couple of gallons in some kegs. This sludge is obviously not servable and ends up clogging our draft lines. We have very long lines and sometimes it takes and hour to clear them.

    Can anyone suggest how we should be filtering out the puree to avoid the fruit sludge problem?

    Thank you

  • #2
    OMHO filtering fruit puree is counter productive.

    May be better option is findings and cold conditioning.

    You did not describe your cellaring process is it is hard to give you any constructive suggestions.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. We ferment and cold crash to remove yeast and some puree sludge and transfer to unitank for carbonation. Remove some more settled fruit sludge and then transfer to kegs. Fruit sludge will settle while in kegs and cause clogs in draft system.

      Should we use clarityferm or something?

      Thank you


      • #4
        Clarity Ferm (Brewers Clarex) is an enzyme for chill haze proofing and is not going to remove any actual solid particulate from your kegs. Pectinase enzymes can help with filtration of high pectin fruits, and certain viscosity reducing enzymes can provide similar benefits, however these will not remedy what you are seeing.

        From the sounds of it you simply need to cold condition your product longer in order to better separate the solids. Trying to filter the fruit puree is going to be a nightmare, just a warning. You will really need to "strain" it as opposed to filtering it directly in a one-step process. If you are a larger facility, then centrifuge would be the optimal answer for this type of production, followed by a polishing filter if desired.

        Leave it longer in FV, or BBT, or both. If this is in-house service only, then you can pre-purge your sediment from the keg before tapping.


        • #5
          Finings are a good idea as well, but realistically they aren't likely to significantly improve sedimentation of the problematic particulates. If you are seeing this clog your lines, then the particulate size must be fairly significant, and the quantity abundant.

          The problematic particulate will likely weigh more than cells of yeast, for instance, meaning it should drop at least as quickly. You should be able to condition your beer long enough to rack off of this particulate into the BBT, where further settling can occur before packaging. If no BBT, then longer time in the Uni-tank, or transfer to a clean one.


          • #6
            I've had very good luck with pectic enzymes. You'll have to choose carefully which one(s) to use at what concentrations and temperatures and pH for what fruit you are using. Not a panacea, but highly effective. Definitely use them prior to fermentation! Perhaps a 1-2 day soak at the right conditions will settle some sludge in the dosing tank. Large operations do it in minutes in-line. Also look into pectic enzyme test with strong alcohol to get a rough idea of whether it may help you with residuals. Or, better yet, get your puree depectinized from your supplier.
            Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--