Filtering Beer

This is the first time I have ever filtered a beer. First lets set the stage as to how I got to this point. Two days ago I received a filter from my son as a Christmas present ( by the way, it’s the end of March 2016) and as luck would have it I have a beer that is ready to be keged. Fourteen days ago I brewed a Brown Porter and put it in the primary for seven days then the secondary for six days. Yesterday I transferred it to a clean, sanitized keg and placed it in a freezer set at 28 degrees. The first step in the instructions that came with the filter says to get the beer as cold as possible. The filter kit came with two filters, a 5 micron and a 1 micron. I will be using the 1 micron filter because when I was playing around with it the other day I broke the plastic wrap on the 1 micron filter. I’m glad this comes with threaded connections. First it makes cleaning and sanitizing easy and second I have both ball lock and pin lock kegs. Today I’m going from a ball lock keg to a pin lock keg. I developed 2 leaks, one was user error which was easily corrected, the other was on the filter body. It did not come with an o ring to connect the screw on top. I’m going to guess that I lost about 16 ounces of beer total, so not a huge loss just a big pain. All total this process took 2 hours. That is from the time I started cleaning the empty keg and filter until I finished cleaning the empty keg and filter ( and floor). The actual filtering of the beer took 1 hour 15 minutes. I used just enough pressure to keg it flowing, right around 3 psi.

Now for the big question – Is it worth it? At this moment in time I don’t know. It defiantly made the beer clearer so it did its job. For me that could be a good thing. I have a small frig that barely holds 2 kegs so when one is empty I usually have to move both to get the empty one out. This stirs up the sediment in the other keg for the next couple of glasses. Also with less sediment in the keg when you tap it there is less that you will through out. So loosing one glass of beer during the filtration process verses 2 or 3 when you tap is saving at least one more glass of really good beer for you to enjoy. On the down side is cost, time, and flavor. The filters are a one time use then through it away. At a cost of 3 to 4 dollars each this could be too expensive for the gain and don’t forget the small amount of CO2 that you use. You also need two kegs to do this with, I just happen to have a keg that I don’t like to use because I have a hard time getting the lid to seal. While 2 hours is not that long you still need to be able to fit it into your schedule. Here again is the time and effort worth the gain. I saved flavor for last because I don’t have any experience with it but what I’ve read makes sense. I like to age my ales for 3 to 4 weeks because I feel it makes for a smother, cleaner, more blended tasting beer. I can see where filtering out all the hops, yeast, and other solids could make for a beer that has a green or a very young tasted to it. It will be interesting to see what this one tastes like in a week or so when I tap it.