Homebrew Filtration: Tips and Techniques

Filtering is an important step in the homebrewing process to ensure a clear and clean final product. While there are various methods and equipment available, one popular approach is using an inline filter between two kegs.

By employing this method, you can effectively remove unwanted particles and sediment from your beer, resulting in a more visually appealing and better-tasting brew. The primary purpose of filtering is to mechanically strain the beer through layers of filter material, with two main techniques being surface filtration and cake filtration.

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a filter is the micron rating. This rating determines the size of particles that the filter can remove. A 0.35 micron nominal filter is often recommended as it efficiently eliminates most from the beer. It can remove up to 90% of yeast particles at 0.4 microns and 10% at 1.2 microns. However, it's important to note that filtering with such a fine micron rating can be a slower process.

Alternatively, you can opt for a 1 micron absolute filter. While this filter will take longer to complete the filtration process, it is highly effective in removing nearly all yeast particles. However, it is not recommended for bottling beer due to the extended filtering time.

If you are dealing with particularly cloudy or recently fermented beer, a 5 micron filter may be a better choice. This type of filter provides a coarser filtration, allowing for faster flow and capturing larger particles. While it may not remove as much yeast as the finer filters, it can still significantly improve the clarity of your beer.

When using an inline filter, it is essential to set it up between two kegs. The beer is then forced through the filter using CO2 pressure from the source keg and into a clean destination keg. This method ensures a controlled and sanitary transfer, minimizing the risk of contamination.

By investing in a reliable filter and selecting the appropriate micron rating for your specific needs, you can achieve professional-level results in your homebrewing endeavors. Filtering your beer not only enhances its appearance but also contributes to a cleaner and more enjoyable drinking experience. So, give filtering a try and elevate the quality of your homebrewed beer!

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Can You Filter Homebrew Beer?

It is possible to filter homebrew beer. Filtering can help improve the clarity and appearance of the beer by removing any sediment or particles that may be present. It can also help enhance the overall flavor and aroma by removing any unwanted impurities.

To filter homebrew beer, the most common method is to use an inline filter. This type of filter is placed in the transfer line between two kegs. The beer is forced using CO2 pressure from the source keg through the filter and into a clean destination keg.

Here are the steps involved in filtering homebrew beer:

1. Prepare the filter: Make sure the filter is clean and sanitized before use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to properly prepare the filter for use.

2. Set up the transfer line: Connect the filter in the transfer line between the source keg (containing the beer to be filtered) and the clean destination keg. Ensure that all connections are tight and secure.

3. Apply pressure: Use CO2 pressure to force the beer from the source keg through the filter and into the destination keg. This can be done by attaching a CO2 tank or regulator to the source keg and adjusting the pressure to a suitable level.

4. Monitor the process: Keep an eye on the flow rate and pressure during the filtering process. Adjust the pressure as needed to maintain a steady flow without any excessive foaming or leaks.

5. Collect the filtered beer: As the beer flows through the filter, it will gradually become clearer and sediment-free. Allow the beer to completely transfer into the destination keg.

6. Carbonate and condition: Once the beer has been filtered, it may need to be carbonated and conditioned before it is ready to be served. Follow the appropriate carbonation methods and aging recommendations for your specific beer style.

It's important to note that filtering is an optional step in the homebrewing process. Some brewers prefer to skip this step and rely on natural settling and fining agents to clarify their beer. However, if you desire a crystal clear and professional-looking final product, filtering can be a useful technique to consider.

How Do Breweries Filter Their Beer?

Breweries employ various methods to filter their beer, ensuring its clarity and removing any unwanted particles. One common technique is the use of mechanical filtration. This involves passing the beer through specially designed filters to separate out solids and impurities. There are two primary types of mechanical filtration used in breweries: surface filtration and cake filtration.

Surface filtration involves the beer passing through a layer of filter material, such as diatomaceous earth or cellulose pads. The filter material forms a barrier that traps larger particles, preventing them from passing through and resulting in a clearer beer. This method is often used as a pre-filtration step before further processing.

Cake filtration, on the other hand, involves the formation of a filter cake by depositing a layer of filter material on a porous medium, such as a filter plate or cartridge. The beer is then forced through this layer, and the filter cake acts as a barrier, trapping particles and allowing only the filtered beer to pass through. This method is particularly effective in removing smaller particles and improving the clarity of the beer.

In both surface filtration and cake filtration, the filter material used can vary depending on the desired level of filtration and the characteristics of the beer being processed. Common filter materials include diatomaceous earth, cellulose, activated carbon, and various synthetic materials.

To ensure optimal filtration, breweries often employ multiple stages of filtration, gradually reducing the size of the particles being removed. This helps achieve the desired level of clarity and quality in the final product. Additionally, breweries may also use other techniques such as centrifugation or fining agents to further clarify the beer.

Breweries filter their beer using mechanical filtration methods such as surface filtration and cake filtration. These techniques involve passing the beer through layers of filter material to separate out solids and impurities, resulting in a clearer and more visually appealing product.


Filtering beer during the homebrewing process is best achieved by utilizing a filtering system between two kegs. This can be accomplished by using inline filters placed in the transfer line, allowing the beer to pass through layers of filter material. There are two main techniques for filtering beer: surface filtration and cake filtration.

When choosing a filter, it is important to consider the micron rating. A 0.35 micron nominal filter is recommended as it effectively removes the majority of yeast from the beer, up to 90% at 0.4 micron and 10% at 1.2 micron. However, it should be noted that filtering with a 0.35 micron filter may result in slower filtration.

Alternatively, a 1 micron absolute filter is available, which removes almost all yeast at a high efficiency rating. However, this filter may take longer to filter the beer and is not recommended for bottling purposes.

For those dealing with particularly dirty or freshly fermented beer, a 5 micron filter is recommended. This filter will effectively remove impurities and provide a cleaner end product.

The choice of filter depends on the specific needs and requirements of the homebrewer. By selecting the appropriate micron rating, one can achieve a desired level of filtration and produce high-quality, clear beer.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.