Plate Filter Blues

I had a gift certificate to another site and didn’t need anything that they had in stock, so I picked up a plate filter similar to this one

. I loved the idea of having instantly clear beer and no sediment in the bottom of the keg. Wow…what a piece of crap!

After taking the time to setup and sanitize everything, It took over 3 hours to process five gallons. Over that time I lost 32 oz. to leakage. The beer is still cloudy. I followed instructions to the letter.

Strange that almost all of the product reviews on the NB site are so positive. Not at all consistent with what appears on other sites.

Anyone else try this or even a canister filter?

I use a canister filter with a 1 micron polyspun filter and it works perfectly. I set my CO2 to about 3 psi and never had a problem.

I have never used the plate filter so can’t comment. Was the gasket seated properly?

KC, I have the same filter and have never had a problem with it. Absolutely no leaks, and it takes about 20 minutes to filter five gallons. How much pressure are you using? I keep it at eight psi or below.

In my experiences with wine, and to a lesser extent with filtering beer, the liquid should be relatively clear before going through the filter. If it is significantly cloudy going in, there is a good chance the filter won’t fix that issue.

That being said, I have put a number a cloudyish wines through a superjet and they cleared out fine.

I would recomend letting the beer clear out much more before you filter. Could be leaking and taking so long because the pads are getting clogged too quickly. I assume you are using the coursest pads for this?

The filter is for finishing the beer - not for speeding up the process in any significant way.

I bought a plate filter several years ago for the same reason- sounded neat and didn’t need anything else at the time. I share your disappointment. I didn’t like how much beer I had to donate to the process. I also found that to get really get brilliant beer, I had to run it through 2 different grades of filter. I gave up and just use fining now and settle for pretty clear, not brilliantly clear beer.

Hope this doesn’t get you down, since you already spent your money, but as someone who used to filter his beer regularily, I just don’t see any point in it anymore.

If proper brewing practices are used clear beer is achievable without the filter. Filtering is not a shortcut to clear booze.

Theoretically you are going to get more flavor out of unfiltered beer.

From a lazy guy point of view, it is one more thing to do, which is not really needed - though there can be some cases where it can help.

On the bright side, if you ever decide to make wine you can use the same filter set up. And in the case of wine, filtering can be very usefull.

I’ve never tried to filter beer, but have filtered plenty of wines and I’m pretty sure the principles are the same. As noted above, a filter is for use after the liquid is already substantially clear. If it is visibly cloudy, you should cold crash it for at least a few days to let the yeast settle out, or pre-filter it with #1 course pads before filtering again with #2 fine pads. If you try to put cloudy product through a fine or sterile (#3) filter pad, you are just going to clog it, resulting in slow flow, pressure build-up and likely leakage.

Beer actually clears up brilliantly if just given a few weeks in a cold place before bottling or kegging. Wine takes considerably longer, and therefore it is easier to justify the added work and expense of filtering.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I have actually been getting very clear beer using Biofine Clear and 1-3 weeks in the keg (depending on how flocculant the yeast strain was). Very happy with my clarity.

I was hoping to use a filter to completely eliminate sediment in the keg and to cut down on flatulence, which seems to have started around the time I started kegging. I guess the latter could be caused by the Biofine, which I also started using around the same time I started kegging.

This may be part of the problem. When I ordered filters, I ordered the course and fine in order to experiment with both. They just threw both in a box and didn’t label them. I noticed that they were stamped with a 1 and a 3, and I assumed 3 was the course. Oops. Should have used the 1. Also I think the whole process was doomed from the initial surge of sediment that came up as soon as I opened the throttle. In hind-site, I should have pushed the initial bit out before attaching the hose to the filter.

I may or may not try it again. The whole process was a serious hassle from end-to-end.

Nothing wrong with flatulence!.. :cheers:

You know, you really don’t need to add or do anything to get crystal clear beer except to have your process under control (proper pH for mash water, good rolling boil to promote hot break, rapid chilling to promote cold break, good sanitation) and to give the beer enough time to let everything settle out after fermentation and before bottling.