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Anyone considered centrifugal filtering?

I’ve been looking a lot online and a lot of commercial wineries use centrifugal filtering. I wonder if a cream separator would perform the same function… of not, could it be modified fairly easily to do so? I’ve also read that the extreme G’s kill the majority of the yeast.
I have looked for centrifugal filters but have only come up with industrial skid type setups starting in the $20,000 range. The cream separator is like $150 on ebay.

Any thoughts?

Yea - would love to make a ‘home’ version and give it a try. Would prob. need some sort of stir mechanism instead of using direct pressure. I would guess the cone would need to be expected to contain much of the lees to allow the top of the vortex to be pulled off then at the end draw off the sediment and then get the last bit of sake out.

I’ll do some calculating… I may be able to make, or get help making a stacked disc separator that will fit onto a blender (or some other readily available household appliance).

Hi,

I watched a youtube video of one of those cream separators…

So you’re thinking that clear sake will come out the milk side and thick nigori cream will come out the cream side? I’m just a bit confused as to what you think this type of centrifuge will achieve.

What about a commercial salad spinner?

This one:
http://www.hobartcorp.com/products/food-prep/salad-dryers/
spins at 405 RPM.

The sake could be poured into mesh bags and then loaded into this thing. I think the result would be more like a pressing though than a filtration.

Is your goal to kill the yeast and end up with ultra clear sake?

At what point in the ferment are you thinking of implementing filtration?

How do you currently press your sake?

-MPFbrewer

[quote=“MPFbrewer”]Hi,

I watched a youtube video of one of those cream separators…

So you’re thinking that clear sake will come out the milk side and thick nigori cream will come out the cream side? I’m just a bit confused as to what you think this type of centrifuge will achieve.

What about a commercial salad spinner?

This one:
http://www.hobartcorp.com/products/food-prep/salad-dryers/
spins at 405 RPM.

The sake could be poured into mesh bags and then loaded into this thing. I think the result would be more like a pressing though than a filtration.

Is your goal to kill the yeast and end up with ultra clear sake?

At what point in the ferment are you thinking of implementing filtration?

How do you currently press your sake?

-MPFbrewer[/quote]

The cream separator was presented because of the high rpm, already being made of food grade materials, and the relatively low cost compared to other centrifugal filtration/separation machines I had found.
I finally found a blog on a biodeisel forum yesterday where a guy used one to purify used vegetable oil. In his post, he said that only clean oil came out the milk side, and nothing out the other. He went on to mention that the stacked disc design of the separator held a very minimal amount of particulate… which seems to make the cream separator a bad choice… only exception being that it already has a motor set up for very high rpm, which is what we want for filtering the lees down to 1 micron or less. (I read the blue jean flavored sake thread… what a shame.)

I am trying to come up with some cost effective means to filter our sake at an accelerated rate, instead of having to let it sit for an additional two weeks. (as recommended by TMAK, two weeks at 34F before fining)
Anything with the words ‘commercial grade’ attached seem to also have several extra zero’s on the price tag, so that to me eliminates the commercial grade (anything) option.

Killing the yeast was actually just an added bonus that I found along the way. The whole idea is mainly for clarification.

I have not finished my first batch yet, but my intent was initially to press the sake. Once the majority of the lees is removed, that would make a centrifugal filter a much more viable option.

I will take a picture of the press i built. I of course haven’t used it yet, but my design uses two all-thread rods, a couple springs, and some mdf scaps I had laying around in the garage. I’m using two one gallon buckets (using 1 gal paint strainer bags) stacked together instead of a piston and cylinder setup. All I have left to finish it is to cut some stainless wire mesh to lay inside the bottom bucket (to allow the sake to flow). On the bottom of the outer bucket I epoxied a plastic barbed fitting so I can attach a plastic hose for routing.

If 2 weeks is too long to clarify and rack…how much are you trying to speed the process up and how much sake are you trying to clarify?

I came across some information that said high rpm centrifuges can heat the liquid up and cause shearing. Like you said, to clarify down to < 1um will require very high rpm and therefore probably generate some heat and cause shearing. Both of those things might not be great for sake quality.

Personally, I feel like the more delicate filtration/pressing processes are better. Making excellent sake depends largely on the patience of the maker. Attempting to speed things up usually results in decreases in overall final quality.

From what I have read and heard, sake that is hung to drip produces the best quality. It’s a very delicate, and time consuming process; however, doing so apparently retains much of the “essence” of the sake.

A centrifuge that is going to function like some of the 20K ones for less than $200 seems like it will be very difficult to accomplish.

That being said…I look forward to seeing what comes of this discussion. I would totally be into trying out a home made centrifuge if it would still result in high quality sake.

平和,

-MPFbrewer

All this actually stemmed from a random curiosity, but that’s how I found this forum, and how most of my projects begin.

I agree on the shearing; I’ve actually turned to looking at counter top centrifuges. It seems these are designed for very small volumes of liquid, but it is possible that a slightly scaled up version could be of use… maybe just a quart at a time as opposed to the largest capacity I’ve found for the $200 range - 150ml… roughly 0.04gal.

So, instead of using centrifugal filtering, which could damage the molecular structure and compromise the quality of the sake, if we instead look at using centripetal force.
At a radius of around 9in, based on 3450rpm, the simulated gravitational force should be in the neighborhood of 3,047x earth’s gravity.

That means that even at this relatively low rpm, the settling process could be done instead of in two weeks, in around 7 minutes. Keep in mind that would only be for what ever quantity that will fit in the centrifuge at a time, so this process could have to be repeated several times to settle an entire batch.

I have an idea for a fairly simple design in mind… I have to round up a few parts (such as a motor). I may have a salvaged one lined up from an old HVAC unit… Beyond that it should just be some pvc, an old used tire (as a protective shroud) some pvc pipe stuff, all thread, bearings, and a couple boards =)
Definitely not science lab quality, but should be fairly cheap to make and a fun experiment!

Took a pic of the press:[attachment=2]IMG_20130505_155103_241.jpg[/attachment]And of the cylinders for the centrifuge project:[attachment=1]IMG_20130513_053034_537.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]IMG_20130513_053146_473.jpg[/attachment]The cylinder is ~2.5"x5.5" it holds, when filled completely full, exactly 16oz of water. I bought eight of them. It fits nicely inside a 3" pvc pipe. I’m planning to drill holes to put a bolt through at the bottom to hold the cylinder in place. It will be easier to show what I am doing than to explain it all. I will draw it on some paper and get it posted.

I had a brain cell fire yesterday… I have a spare router laying around in the garage… they are variable speed already… I have to check the torque specs, but I might be able to couple the router to the threaded rod instead of using pulleys and belts… potentially much nicer.

I’ll be doing some work on the centrifuge project this weekend… got a 4 speed motor from an old HVAC unit so I can ramp the speed gradually…
I’ll take pics and get them posted as i progress!

Router idea was a bust… the lowest RPM it will go is 10k… I guess I could use pulleys and reduce it… but I think I’ll go ahead and use this other motor since routers are typically designed for the cooling fan to operate at higher rpm.

More pics of the progress:

And more…

Still more:

…and the motor and belt drive:

I realize the belt isn’t tightened… Everything is just mocked up for now. I will be picking up a 55gal barrel today after work to use as a housing… in the event this thing decides to fly apart. There is also only four cylinders right now, I will be building another layer above the first one.
The pulleys are 2" and 8", so that should give me 4x the speed of the motor… so I will have four speeds: 600, 1200, 1800, 3600.
So far the electrical has been the bulk of the expense; almost $100 total in the project, and $40 of it is just switches. I found a 5 position rotary switch online that will handle 12 amps, but it will take a month to arrive… so I used light switches from lowes for now.

Wow! That’s pretty dang cool…

I’m sure you are going to test this thing at the slowest speed possible first to see how well everything is balanced. As you probably know, very small differences in weight (<1oz) can cause major variances in centripetal acceleration…which could lead to a massive wobble and catastrophic results…

I learned that the hard way using a lab centrifuge one time. I forgot to add the balance and that thing almost walked itself right off the bench :oops: . I had to wrassle it in place while it slowed down just to keep it from falling. That freaked me out so bad…I never made that mistake again, and I made sure to be meticulous about balancing all the future runs.

Good call on the 55 gal to keep things safe-ish. Anyhow, I’m rooting for you and I hope it works as planned.

and

http://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafety/NewsAndStories/CentrifugeDamages.htm

be safe…

平和,

-MPFbrewer

LOL! Thanks for the encouraging pics M! :smiley:

I’m hoping the 0.1oz variation will be fairly negligble since each cylinder will have ~15oz of sake, plus the ~10.3oz the pipe weight… that’s a 0.4% variation in weight between the cylinders (assuming I fill each canister with equal weight).

Yes, my first test will be at low speed unloaded. I will cycle through the speeds for several minutes, and then once I am satisfied, I’ll do a half load run (with water) cycling through all the speeds, and then a fully loaded run.

I only have one teir right now; I’ll probably affix another above the first. I have enough length on the threaded rod it shouldn’t be a problem. Then I should be able to do just short of one gallon at a time.

I do have a question… regarding the order you guys think it would be best to get the best clarity…

filtration (pressing)
fining (bentonite)
centrifugation

Do you guys think it would work best in that order, or should I centrifuge before and after adding the bentonite?

I am planning to cold crash at 34F for 24 hours once the primary fermentation is complete, then go into the clarification stage. Is there a significant enough amount of fermentation that I should wait longer?

Progress update… new pics!
It works, but I’m having to swap out the motor. It kept tripping on thermal overload, I already have a replacement that is rated for much higher torque… the sacrifice being it only operates at 3450 rpm.
Anyway… on with the pics!

And another couple…

Edit:
Also having to swap out the pulleys since the original configuration was to quadruple the rpm… definitely don’t want this thing spinning up to ~14,000 rpm!

I have considered it, but I can’t stomach paying more than a grand for a setup.

If I had the space, and the inclination, I’d pick up one of these

http://www.simplecentrifuge.com/ordering.html

It works using continuous flow, and with a small water pump they guys used them to clarify algae out of water, so removing yeast from beer/mead doesn’t seem a big stretch.

I was also thinking about picking up a Cream Spinner, as they’re pretty high RPM, and while it might take out only MOST of the sediment, it will make it so my Buon Vino MiniJet filters last for more than 5 gallons (I make 10 gallon batches most often).

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