To Filter or Not to Filter.... That is the Question!

Dec 21, 06:07 PM

For years and years, I have always relied on time and gravity to clear my beers. I have always been of the belief that the yeast in the beer is a good thing, helping to keep the beer “fresh” and flavorful. About 6 months ago, I went ahead and bought a 10 inch plate filter from MoreBeer and I have not looked back yet.

One of my favorite beers is an English Bitter on my beer engine (or hand pump, whichever way you wish to refer to it is fine with me). I used to brew this one on a Saturday, keg it on the following Friday, then wait a week or two before I could enjoy it, while waiting for it to clear to an acceptable level — I believe that appearance is a quality right up there with taste and smell, sometimes on a level footing with those two senses. Now that I have started filtering my beer, I can brew my favourite (Queen’s English used on purpose) on a Saturday and have a pint no later than the following Friday. Remember, this one is a Real Ale, so it doesn’t need to gas up like a typical beer. For me, ferment it, filter it, keg it, drink it – the last three all within 60 minutes time of each other.

Since I have purchased this filter, I have run a Pilsenser, two Brown Ales (a Newcastle Clone), three of my Real Ales, and a Cider through it. I’ve not been disappointed yet, nor have I noticed any degradation of my final product. There are three of my usual beers that I will not run through the filter – the Bavarian Wheat, the Stout (Guinness Clone), and for right now, the Belgian Strong Ale. All three of those would not benefit from filtering. You want the yeast and cloudiness in a wheat, the stout would show no appreciable improvement. As for the Belgian, I think the yeast is important to leave in the keg for this style as it sits in the keg for such a long period, normally.

Should you filter? That’s up to you. If you want my opinion, go for it. No damage done and now that I have tried it, I really believe with the publications that state that is speeds up the aging process.

Les

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