Cheap Beer filter

Post #1 made 9 years ago

I looked at all kinds of ways to try and filter my beer and none of them were very cheap. I wanted to be able to filter the beer and not lose much of it in the process. I also wanted a cheap easy to clean reusable filter media. My filter cost me about $20 not including the tubing which I already had. I used 2" pvc pipe but any size would probably work. The filter media is a polyester voile curtain I got at Big Lots for $4.

I use a corny keg to do pressurized fermenting so I put the filter between the kegs when I transfer the beer. I only set the pressure at about 15 psi so it's slow. I put the fermentor keg up on the counter top so gravity can give me a hand with the flow. Very little beer is lost in the process which I like, don't wanna waste beer that's alcohol abuse. I can't really comment the filters efficiency as I have nothing to compare it to. But I can say it's the best beer filter I've ever had I have used it to filter two brews and it worked great on both no trub made though. After I'm done I just pull the curtain out and rinse it out and wash it with the next load of laundry. I have discovered it's better to sew the cut end unless you like a zillion white hairs in your clothes.

All the pieces are standard pvc fittings with 2 nylon 1/2" npt to 1/4" barb fittings and 1 cheapy stainless sink strainer. I cut the pipe 12" long which makes the whole thing about 18" long total. After I had it together I let it sit for about a week until the pipe dope smell was totally gone. I put the sink strainer on the output end to keep the curtain out of the outlet fitting. I then crammed as much of the curtain in the pipe as humanly possible and cut it off.

Please forgive the crappy pictures my phone sucks as a camera!
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PHins UP!!! ~~^~~

Post #2 made 9 years ago
Good Idea, Using the Voile we have, is very good, and the PVC Pipe is great for size and easy to make!


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Post #3 made 9 years ago

Thanks! It was super easy to make and really easy to clean. The hardest part of it was waiting a week to try it out. One thing I forgot to mention is teflon tape the threaded cap before each use. If you don't put any tape it's darn near impossible to get it back out by hand.
PHins UP!!! ~~^~~

Post #4 made 9 years ago
pr8headed wrote:

Please forgive the crappy pictures my phone sucks as a camera!
That's ok, my camera sucks as a phone :)

Great idea, great innovation. I'd love to see comparison pictures of the fermented beer filtered and un-filtered.
Last edited by hashie on 16 Mar 2012, 04:38, edited 3 times in total.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #5 made 9 years ago
Nice work, I like how you have put the hook on the side of the filter too.
Could you pass the beer through with gravity alone? or do you need to use some pressure to get it to go through the filter?

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Post #6 made 9 years ago
With my camera there would be little difference between the two :roll: I mostly use it as a trub filter between the frementor keg and serving keg. I'm sure it doesn't even come close to filtering like a plate filter. But for $20 it kicks arse.

I don't think gravity alone would do it or at least the amount I have in my kitchen. It's pretty slow going at 15 psi but I don't wanna push it to fast I leave the trub in the keg. The hook was an after thought I saw it hanging in the garage and gave it a new life.

PHins UP!!! ~~^~~

Post #7 made 9 years ago
I'd be just a little bit concerned by PVC not necessarily being food grade
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III


Post #9 made 9 years ago
Good Day Lylo, That is why I will never live in California,
To many thing cause cancer there!!!
Honest Officer, I swear to Drunk, I am Not God.
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Post #10 made 9 years ago
I don't allow California rats to drink my beer! I dunno I never thought about it not being food grade. The beer is only in contact with it for a few seconds before it moves on to it's new temporary home. I was more worried about the pipe dope tainting the flavor. It took a week for the stink to go away. Which is a nasty thought how many of us have cpvc water pipes and drank water from them within days of installing them?
PHins UP!!! ~~^~~

Post #11 made 9 years ago
This is really nice thinking pr8 :salute:. Love it!

I'm going to throw in a few things though...

1. Make sure, even after washing in the washing machine, that you sanitise that material. Filters, of any sort, in my opinion are the perfect harbour for post-fermentation infections.

2. In light of the above plus the extra work, do you think you can find a way of not filtering at all? The reason I say this is because I used to filter but no longer do.

I started filtering because a retailer told me to. Who was I to know different :smoke: ?

Filtering though became such a PITA (and I think you have already started to see this problem) I stopped it along with the fact that I noticed an infection in my beer. It was very slight and most people, including judges, couldn't taste it but some of us could. I personally couldn't stand it. Filters weren't the cause of my problem, faulty keg welds were. However, having another thing (filtering) post-fermentation was another thing I had to eliminate.

I only do comps once a year and always only put in one or two entries which seem to get at least a bronze. On my last one, I didn't even chill my fermentors before transferring to the keg. I pretty much threw them into the keg, crash-chilled the kegs and then bottled out of the tap a few days later.

Somehow, and I honestly don't know how, they got a bronze and a silver :roll:.

So, my main question is should we be filtering at all? (Filtering rarely solves haze, only sediment.)

If so, in what circumstances? Is it a sediment problem? If so, why do you have one? Bag porosity? Too rapid transfers? Or, is it haze?

If not, then what can pr8 invent for us next? Give him a problem and I reckon he will come up with a nice solution :peace:.

And, while I have been a bit negative in this post on the value of filtering, there must be scenarios where filtering is a very good idea. What are they? Have you tried filtering and non-filtering or just been like me and started filtering too early in your brewing career?

Not much fun for me to write the above post. But, I reckon pr8 will like it. He obviously likes a challenge and is excellent at solving them.

All I'm really saying here is, "Should we bother with the hassle of filtering?".

I don't actually know the right answer :scratch:.

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Post #12 made 9 years ago

OP stated that he does pressurised fermenting in the keg, My assumption was that he uses the filter solely to get clean beer into the serving keg when he pushes it off of the trub/yeast cake in the fermenting keg. I don't think he's doing it to fix a haze problem but instead just to catch any debris during the transfer from fermenter to serving vessel. (His method doesn't allow him the option of using a racking cane and clear hose and being able to stop when it starts sucking up the yucky stuff.)

But.....I could be wrong.

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Post #13 made 9 years ago

I sanitize it before reuse and I think I'm going to start filling the filter with sanitizer and bleed it off when I start the transfer. That should help with not adding extra oxygen which I had not thought of but was suggested on HBT by audger. I could probably get away from filtering if I cut the dip tube in my keg but I really don't wanna do that. I'd rather leave it stock so I can still use it as a serving keg. It is a minor PITA and it does slow down the transfer quite a bit. I don't really mind the extra step as it catches at least 90 some percent of the trub.

As far as haze I don't really know I've not had any trouble with it yet. I don't even know that my filter would catch all the stuff that would cause the beer to haze? I love your post this is why I put the idea out there to get new perspective. As far as filtering beer just to clear it I'm like you I'm not sure if it's necessary. I've read that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and that it's like leprosy so I dunno.
PHins UP!!! ~~^~~

Post #14 made 9 years ago
Did I write all that stuff above Todd? Friday night drinks. Dear oh dear! Please excuse my meandering ramblings :P.

One thing I should have said is that I'm able to crash chill my fermentor these days. If I couldn't, I'd probably still be filtering. So there's one example I should have mentioned pr8. Filtering is really handy in situations like that and yours.

With that oxygen problem you mentioned, you can always put a shot of CO2 into the filter and lines if you are worried. Another thing you could try is to have the inlet hose at the bottom initially so as the air gets expelled. Once you have beer coming out instead of air, hook it all up and turn the filter the other way up.

Hopefully I've made more sense in this post :lol:.
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