The Clarifier is a new, reusuable, stainless steel, multistage filter cartridge for beer and wine. Designed to fit in any standard 10" filter housing, it comes in 1, 2, and 5 micron versions. This filter has a two stage design, with the first stage trapping hops and other large particles while the second stage filters out yeast and protein particles down to the filters rating. Being reusable, the Clarifier by Hastings Brew Works pays for itself in just a few filters compared to other disposable equivalents. The clarity that is achieved by this filter would normally take months of waiting for the particles to settle out of your beer. As a bonus, forcing your beer through the filter under CO2 pressure helps begin its dissolution into the beer, giving you a jump start on carbonation.
The example photo shows how much yeast and trub was removed from a 5 gallon batch of a 7% IPA using a 5 micron Clarifier. This beer had an unusually high yeast load and was dry hopped with 2 ounces of pelletized hops 3 days before filtering.
Choosing the Right Filtration Level:
There are varying opinions regarding the right filtration level, as well as differing data regarding the size of yeast cells and other particles to be filtered in beer. Some literature suggests yeast cells are between 5 and 10 microns in size; other recent studies show the mean size is actually 3.5 microns and proteins in the beer account for the particles at the 5-10 micron level. In actual practice all versions of The Clarifier are effective, it’s your personal preference that determines the filtration level you desire.
Whichever filtration level you choose, keep in mind that filters are not 100% efficient so some amount of yeast will remain in your beer after one pass through a filter. So, beers with very high yeast loads will contain more residual yeast after 1 filtration pass than those with low/typical yeast loads; for beers with high yeast loads some brewers will choose to use two filtration passes or use two filters in series in one pass.
There are styles which call for unfiltered beer, and some people feel all beers are better unfiltered. On the other hand, many believe unfiltered yeast cells and trub cloud and mask the malt, hop, yeast esters, and other flavors you designed into your beer. Clarity level in beer is another factor that depends on personal taste and filtration level.
Much of brewing is about controlling the process to achieve repeatable excellent results. Filtration at your chosen micron level helps you more easily and consistently achieve your desired flavor profile batch to batch by removing uncontrolled variables. It allows your recipe to shine through.
Not to mention, it helps you enjoy your beer sooner!
There are many different ways to filter, and each brewer will adopt their own process that works best for them. This is an overview of one method that works well.
Filtering is accomplished by racking the beer from the fermenter into a keg and then filtering from that keg into the final conditioning/serving keg under CO2 pressure. For best results cold crash the unfiltered keg for 1 to 2 days at approximately 30F before filtering into the conditioning/serving keg. The beer should not be stored under CO2 while cold crashing. The cold crash step is recommended but not required.
The filter sits between the 2 kegs, connected to the ‘out’ ports of both; this allows the CO2 to force the beer out of the full keg through the filter and gently down the dip tube of the empty keg. The full keg is sealed while the empty keg has its lid removed. (If you are concerned about leaving the lid open on the receiving keg, one option is to cover the opening of the empty keg with a paper towel thoroughly wetted with Star San.)
Ensure the hoses connected to your filter housing and kegs are securely clamped and the hoses are rated to an adequate pressure. The pressure required will be dependent on the amount of particulate you are filtering in your beer, and the filter housing port size (1/4” ports on the filter housing require more pressure to filter than 1/2” ports).
The cold crash step is important and you’ll see better results including it in your process. Target a pre-filter beer temperature as close to freezing as you can, without actually freezing the beer; 30°F is a good temperature target.
Filter slowly for best results. Target a flow rate that will filter 5 gallons in 1 hour or longer. For filter canisters with 1/2" ports/hose start at 10PSI, for canisters with 1/4" ports/hose begin at 15PSI. Slowly increase the pressure until you reach the desired flow. Monitor the flow rate and increase the PSI accordingly as more pressure will be needed as the filter takes up solids. It’s typical with 1/2" ports to reach a final filtration pressure between 20 and 35 PSI; 1/4" ports will reach a final filtration pressure of up to 50 PSI, depending on the level of yeast and trub in the beer. As a reference point, typical home water systems which use the canister filters operate at 65PSI, with a normal range from 40 to 80PSI. Remember, lower pressure and longer time is more effective.
Filter slowly, relax and have a homebrew while the filter does its work for you, including the jump start on carbonation.
The amount of yeast and trub you see in the canister after filtering will vary considerably based on a number of factors including the yeast load in the beer filtered, how much trub was present, micron level of the filter used, speed of filtration, etc… For instance, a low gravity beer with a very low yeast load will have only a small amount of yeast in the canister after filtration but when you backflush the filter to clean it you will see the yeast cloud the water as it is flushed from the filter.
When finished filtering, immediately backflush the cartridge while still in the filter housing assembly. Connect hot tap water to the ‘out’ side of the filter assembly and backflush for several minutes under full tap pressure until the outflow water runs clear. This removes the trapped particles within the micronic mesh.
Next, clean via your normal process. Recirculating a cleaning solution such as PBW through the cartridge/filter assembly per cleaner directions with a small self-priming or submersible pump is an excellent method.
Stainless Steel & Silicone construction
Comes in 1, 2, and 5 micron versions
Two stage filtration
Fits standard 10" filter housings
10" x 1.25"
Made in the U.S.