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Filtering beer with coffee filter question

I dont care to spend 80 bucks on the beer filter system and ive been trying to come up with a way to filter beer before kegging. It doesnt need to be crystal clear beer, but want to get rid of the bigger particles floating around including dry hops.
I had the idea to wrap a coffee filter around the end of the auto siphon and hold it in place with a rubber band and siphon the beer through that.

Has anyone seen this done? Will it even be able to siphon with the filter on it, and how much particulate do you think will be removed?

never tried it, but i suppose its worth a shot.

You may end up clogging your siphon and/or simply obstructing the flow causing it to not work at all. I did try this once early on with a muslin bag on the hose end of my autosiphon to get rid of leaf particulate with disastrous results. I have since used pellets or a muslin bag when dry-hopping with leaf hops (which is rare).

I have to ask the question, does cold crashing/conditioning combined with gelatin/other finings not get it clear enough for you? Head over to the ‘post a pic of your pint’ thread and you can see some brewers on here getting pretty clear beer without filtering.

I use a paint strainer bag and some other use panty hose on the end. I would think a coffee filter would not be porous enough.

Ive never used gelatin. How good does it work?
Ive used irish moss but it didnt work that great. Even cold crashing leaves a little behind, I was just trying to find something that would help just a touch more. I only said coffee filter because I figured it would trap just about everything.

Irish moss won’t pull out dry hop particulates. It coagulates denatured proteins from the malt.

Gelatin is very easy to use and works great. It collects yeast and other suspended particulates through net charge (static?) differences.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/06/ho ... latin.html

I should have been more specific. I used the irish moss for the haze. I was looking for a way to drop more yeast and particulates and the gelatin seems to be the right answer. I will try that out.

Thanks

Coffee filter will not work, it won’t let the liquid flow fast enough. When I’ve got big particles that I want to separate out of the beer (typically fruit bits, when I dry hop I use a bag), I’ve used a wire cage around the end of the autosyphon with a piece of cheese cloth wrapped around that with a rubber band. The wire cage is essential, or the cheese cloth will get sucked into the autosyphon inlet and clog it.

To get rid of haze, the best method is to get your process tuned in. You want to achieve a proper pH in the mash. You need a vigorous boil in the kettle to promote hot break. Use Irish moss added during the last 10-15 minutes of the boil to bind denatured proteins. Cool the wort rapidly to get a strong cold break. If you do that, and give the beer at least 2-3 weeks to settle out after fermentation is complete, you’ll get crystal clear beer without filtering or using finings like gelatin.

FWIW, I do a modified ‘no-chill’ by using my immersion chiller to get the wort down to 120* or so, usually in about 5-10 minutes, then chill the rest of the way in my ferment fridge, and I haven’t had noticeable issues with clarity.

To Cellars’ points though, the other practices mentioned will help with proteins that cause haze. Some swear by a protein rest in their mash, but I’m not a fan as it can wreck head retention if not done perfectly.

Are you rehydrating your Irish Moss before dropping it in? Most instruction kits that come with it don’t instruct the user to do it, but I have heard it makes a big difference. Basically just take about a cup of wort at the beginning of the boil, put it into a coffee cup with your Irish moss, and add the whole thing @ 15 minutes. Whirfloc is pre-rehydrated IM.

Cold crashing will really help precipitate out particulate. Depending on where you live these days, just throw your fermenter in the garage for a day or two and it will drop out the yeast/particulate into a dense cake at the bottom.

Finally, if you want to use gelatin, IMO and IME its a cheap easy way to get to another level of clarity. There is a thread somewhere on NB debunking a lot of the methods for using it found on the internet. Essentially, the RIGHT way to use gelatin (according to this guy’s master-baker grandmother…who I implicitly trust):

-sanitize a cup/measuring cup
-add a cup of cool water (60-70*)
-add 2-3 T of store bought plain gelatin
-let it sit there for 15-20 minutes to ‘bloom’
-put it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds
-stir vigorously
-add to COLD beer in fermenter (no need to stir, it will diffuse)
-wait minimum of 2-3 days

I won’t disagree with any of Pietro’s points.

For chilling, I don’t think you need to get all the way to pitch temperature rapidly, but you do need enough of a sudden drop that the cold break will get shocked out of solution. I think chilling it down to 120 in less than 10 minutes qualifies for that. There are some who swear that chilling speed doesn’t matter, but my personal experience when I switched from putting my kettle in an ice bath to using a plate chiller gave a dramatic improvement in clarity.

And yes, I rehydrate my Irish moss. Can’t say for sure that has had a big effect, but it is easy to do and the logic makes sense.

When your cold break looks like egg drop soup, you are on the right track for fast chilling.

FWIW, you can get very clear beer with little or no extra effort and just letting time and gravity do their thing.

Here is my Amerian pale. It’s been in keg for about 7 weeks following a 3-4 week primary: no fining, no filters, no geletine, no irish moss. I took this pic three days ago as I wanted a pic before the keg ran dry :wink: .

cheers.

dont suck so much crap into the keg, leave a little beer in the fermenter. Just about any beer sitting for a few weeks or more will be fairly clear.
If you dry hop I just put a bag around the siphon or cane before I start, then a short period in the keg cold crashing beers are always crystal clear

When your cold break looks like egg drop soup, you are on the right track for fast chilling.

Yea, mine looks like that lol.

Thanks for all the input everyone. It will certainly help. I usually brew darker beers, so I never notice the haze, but right now I have two light beers in primary getting ready to keg and I wanted them to look nice, although I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it tastes good.

[quote=“tiltrotor22”]When your cold break looks like egg drop soup, you are on the right track for fast chilling.

Yea, mine looks like that lol.

Thanks for all the input everyone. It will certainly help. I usually brew darker beers, so I never notice the haze, but right now I have two light beers in primary getting ready to keg and I wanted them to look nice, although I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it tastes good.[/quote]
Actually, I really like drinking a clear beer. I’ll take a tasty hazy beer over a clear crappy tasting one, but I’d rather get tasty and clear.

Leave the beer in the primary for an extra couple of weeks. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

pitro, is your gelatin recipe for a 5gal. batch?

yes. not sure if its a more gelatin = more clarity thing or not.

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