Options of beer filter in microbrewery

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Options of beer filter in microbrewery

In some microbreweries, brewer usually equip a set of filter to get more clear beer. So, how many common types of beer filter? And how to operate these filters? 

1. Candle Kieselguhr/DE Filter:

Candle Kieselguhr Filter is nice choice for small brewery to male craft beer clear.
The minimum filter accuracy can reach 0.45um through mixing Coarse& finer diatomite at different ratio.
Comparing with other filter, due to diatomite characteristic, the beer is given a good luster after filtering.
Every 1000 liters of beer will consume around 1kg of Kieselguhr as filter media.


2. Frame filter (Kieselguhr painted on the cardboards):
It is recommend when the filter capacity is above 5000L/hr, because the cardboard working condition is relatively more stable than other type of filter. Besides, for small brewery, the filter cost via using both cardboard and Kieselguhr is expensive, but the bigger beer production will share the filtration cost for per liter of beer. The labor-intensive is relatively big (needs to wash and dry cardboard).

3. Disc filter

There is sieve unit installed horizontally inside the vessel, and Kieselguhr earth is printed on the sieve.
More used for producing other beverage such as Cola.
The feature of the disc filter: Because the disc is horizontally installed, so if there is an emergency electric stop, the Kieselguhr does not drop off. So it is suitable that when you plan to filter beer intermittently under some special condition.
Disc filter is 3-4 times expensive than candle Kieselguhr filter. So if you do not foresee the ‘emergency stop’ during filtering, then the candle Kieselguhr filter is more recommended.

4. Bag filter
It includes a filter bag inside. The bag filter is also called Concentrator / Security Filter--connected after the  Kieselguhr filter to catch the  Kieselguhr drop inside the beer.
If you just want to filter beer roughly (to remove the big settlement), and no requirement for the accuracy and brightness for beer, then the bag filter can be used independently.
The filter capacity is increased via adding extra filter bags-- Using multi-bags.


5. Membrane filter
Filter capacity is less then 0.45um. If using only membrane filtration: the beer is not shiny after filtering; For the long-shelf craft beer, membrane is necessary and it can filter the E.coli. Normally the membrane filter stage is 3-stage maximum. Because the membrane material is fine, expensive and not easy to clean, so it can not be used independently, but connect a bag filter or Kieselguhr filter in front as prefilter. So the filter process can be: bag filter-1st stage membrane filter-2nd stage membrane filter-3rd stage membrane filter.
Filtration helps to extend the shelf-life of craft beer, but it does not have a decisive influence on the shelf life of beer. Beer shelf life is related with Oxidation and Bacteria. So the extreme condition to completely ensure the beer shelf-life is that the entire process of beer production is isolated from oxidation and bacteria--from mashing to filling, non oxygen contacted. A fully sealed filter is also necessary. The cost will be extremely expensive which can be only pursued by big industrial beer company.  For microbrewery,  extreme condition is not realize, but can still pursue a balance among various process.
Edited by Jana Wang

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