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Current Situation and Development of Beer Filtration

Jun. 13, 2019

With the increasingly fierce competition in the beer market and people's increasing demand for beer quality, beer filtration technology has developed rapidly, and many new filtration technologies have been applied to actual production.


This paper summarizes the beer filtration technology used in breweries at present and looks forward to the prospect of beer filtration technology in China. After a period of low-temperature storage, most of the cold turbidity and yeast cells have been precipitated and separated, but a small amount of substances are still suspended in the wine.


To prevent yeast cells and other turbines from precipitating from beer within the "minimum shelf life", further filtration treatment is necessary before packaging.


With the increasingly fierce competition in the beer market and people's increasing demand for beer quality, breweries try to reduce costs and improve beer quality, among which the filtration of beer is the key.


ZHEHAN cooperates with a number of large breweries around the world. Its main filtering products are:


Johnson screen (drum screen)

Sintered filter

Wedge wire filter


The main purposes of beer filtration are as follows:


(1)Removal of suspended substances in wine, improvement of beer appearance, making beer clear, transparent and lustrous

(2)Remove or reduce the substances that make beer turbid and precipitate, such as polyphenols and proteins, to improve the colloidal stability of beer.

(3)Remove microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria and improve the biological stability of beer.


Beer filtration can be divided into filtration clarification, abiotic stability treatment, and biological stability treatment.


In the aspect of beer filtration and clarification, centrifugal separation, diatomite filtration, and paperboard filtration are commonly used in China at present. The main equipment used is centrifuge, diatomite filter (including plate-frame diatomite filter, candle diatomite filter, horizontal disc diatomite filter), plate filter and so on.


In the aspect of non-biological stability treatment, adding PVPP, silica gel, tannin and protease to beer is widely used. In the treatment of biological stability, pasteurization is the main method of sterilization, while aseptic filtration has aseptic membrane filtration technology.


In addition, ZHEHAN also provides distillers grains of solid liquid separators for breweries. Its core separation fittings are the same as fish screens - Johnson screen.


1. Centrifugal Separation


Because of the high viscosity of beer fermentation broth and the small particle diameter, the natural sedimentation rate is very slow. The separation rate is greatly improved by using centrifuge instead of natural sedimentation.


Centrifuges are generally not used alone, but mostly combined with diatomite filtration. When there are too many turbid particles in the fermentation broth, the centrifuge is used to pre-clarify the fermentation broth, and then diatomite filter is used to filter it. However, the problems of centrifuge pre-clarification are as follows:


(1) because of the friction between high speed rotating and air, the temperature of the beer that has cooled has been heated up. The foam caused by the leakage of carbon dioxide makes it difficult to filter the next step.


(2) During the clarification process, a certain amount of oxygen will be mixed into beer, which will affect the quality of beer.


(3) The centrifuge is noisy and expensive to maintain at high speed.


2. Diatomite filtration


Diatomite filtration is one of the most widely used filtration methods in breweries. Diatomite is the remains of marine single-cell algae. China's diatomite mineral resources rank first in the world. The main component of diatomite is amorphous silica.


At present, most of the filter aids used in beer primary filtration are diatomite or mixed particles of diatomite and quartz sand. Clear beer with turbidity less than 0.6 EBC and low microbial content can be obtained by diatomite filtration. The advantages of diatomite filtration method are as follows: continuously updating the filter bed; fast filtration speed and large output; large surface area and strong adsorption capacity, which can filter particles below 0.1-1.0 um; reducing alcohol loss by about 1.4% and improving production operation conditions.


But in 2000, Wang Shuqing proposed that diatomite contains Fe2+. When acidic beer is filtered by diatomite, Fe2+ will inevitably dissolve into beer. It can catalyze oxygen in beer to rapidly become hydrogen peroxide, which can cause redox reaction of some substances in beer and deteriorate beer quality. Therefore, it is suggested that diatomite with iron removal agent should be used as filter aid in beer production.


In addition, there are many other problems in the widespread use of diatomite:


(1) During the operation of diatomite filter, the labor intensity is high, and the diatomite dust is harmful to the health of workers.



(2) As a kind of mineral resource, diatomite will be short of resources, and large-scale use will inevitably lead to increased costs.


(3) Diatomite can not be recycled, and waste diatomite has caused serious environmental pollution.


In view of the above problems, it is imperative to find new technology to improve the existing diatomite filtration process in breweries. Two methods to improve the process are briefly introduced.


(1) Recovery and reuse of diatomite.


This method uses hydrocyclone to recycle diatomite. The experimental data show that the recovery of diatomite by this method has a better particle size. The removal rate of yeast and protein can reach 70% after first-stage washing. It is expected that the requirements of industrial application can be reached after 3-4-stage washing. The biggest advantage of this method is less investment and convenient maintenance of equipment.


(3)If successful in industrial production, it will have a far-reaching impact on the recovery and utilization of diatomite, reducing the production cost of beer and reducing pollution.


(4) Perlite, a substitute for diatomite, is a compact glassy rock formed by volcanism. After processing, the product is made into the white powder and can be used for filtration. Because of its loose and low density, fast filtration speed and good clarity, it is a new type of filter aid material.


By comparing perlite filtration technology with diatomite filtration technology, it was found that perlite filtration technology had high efficiency, good quality and lower color of the beer, which made liquor more lustrous and had no effect on liquor itself. It was easy to operate and cost-saving.


In addition, if perlite filter aids and diatomite filter aids are combined for filtration, the oil consumption will decrease obviously and the cost will be better. However, in the study of Li Haoming and Wang Ruifu, there is no mention of the source and waste pollution of perlite, so whether perlite can be used in actual production still has some problems.


Crosspure, introduced by Basf, Germany, is a typical new technology which can replace diatomite filtration and can be recycled indefinitely. Crosspure's filter aids have a granular structure similar to diatomite and can be used normally in current filters.


This granular material contains two kinds of polymers, polystyrene, and VPP. The new materials compounded by these two polymers have high mechanical and chemical stability. On the one hand, this new filter aid can filter out the turbid particles in beer, on the other hand, because it contains PVPP, it can adsorb tannins and other phenolic substances that cause beer turbidity.


The clarity, stability and taste color of beer filtered by this method are similar to those filtered by diatomite + PVPP, and the beer filtered by this method has better polyphenol stability. If the large-scale application in China can fundamentally solve the problem of diatomite resource shortage and pollution.


3. Treatment of abiotic stability


In commercial storage of canned clear and transparent beer, due to the reaction of protein and polyphenol, turbidity may occur, which makes beer lose its original luster and gradually form precipitation.


Tannins or protease can be used to solve the problem. However, the small amount of tannin is not enough to affect the filtration performance of beer. A large amount will damage the foam of beer, and may also produce astringency.


In addition, if the protease is added, even if the normal amount is added, it will also reduce the foam of beer. A large amount of addition may cause the spewing of beer.


In addition, bentonite and silica gel can also be used, but these methods have changed the taste and foam quality of beer protein to a certain extent.


At present, PVPP is better material. It can absorb tannins and other phenolic substances without harmful effects on beer. According to experiments, the adsorption capacity of PVPP can reach 80%-90% of the saturated state within 4-5 minutes, and it can be directly used in beer filtration. After treatment, the PVPP cake can be regenerated with NaOH solution, and the regenerated PVPP has little difference from the new PVPP.


4. Biological Stability Treatment


The beer filtered by diatomite can remove most yeast and micro-substances, but it also contains trace yeast and bacterial impurities and has a short shelf life. Therefore, the daily bottled beer must be sterilized after bottling, so that the residual yeast and other miscellaneous bacteria stop breeding and prolong the shelf life.


Tunnel pasteurization and instantaneous pasteurization can kill microorganisms in beer. However, pasteurization can ensure the biological stability of beer, but the effect of high temperature will reduce the chemical and physical stability of beer.


If the high temperature causes CO2 to escape, the protein-tannin colloid substance spills, affects the beer flavor, has a bad influence on the beer's foam and the appearance, finally affects the beer quality.


Sterile membrane filtration can kill microorganisms in beer through membrane filtration at room temperature without affecting beer flavor and stability. The membrane used for beer aseptic filtration is generally composed of acetic acid fiber, nylon, and polytetrafluoroethylene, which has good biological stability.


The advantages of the aseptic membrane filtration process are that the filtered beer is pure, refreshing and durable, and is more popular among consumers. For the producers, because the sterile beer can be directly obtained by membrane filtration, the pasteurization process can be omitted if combined with sterile packaging to produce the biologically stable and reliable finished wine, and the finished wine has no pollution of filter media, and the loss rate of the product is small.


The disadvantages are: the price of the membrane is high, the regeneration is difficult, and the production cost is high.

5. Cross-flow membrane filtration technology


The traditional filtration technology is static. In the process of filtration, because of the continuous deposition of solids in the filtrate, the thickness of the filter layer is getting thicker and thicker, and the pressure difference is getting bigger and bigger so that the pressure difference finally increases to the point that it can not be filtered.


Cross-flow filtration is dynamic. The filtrate flows through the membrane tangentially. The flow direction of the unfiltered and filtered filtrate is vertical. Because of the friction force of turbulence caused by the high flow rate of unfiltered liquid, a small amount of sediment attached to the filter membrane can be taken away without blocking the filter holes and increasing the pressure difference.


6. The advantages of cross-flow membrane filtration are that no matter cleaning or filtering is in a closed state, it can realize automatic and continuous production and greatly improve production efficiency; it has no pollution to the environment, no waste discharge, little beer loss and can realize "cleaner" production; it can replace the secondary filtration of diatomite and filter, greatly reducing production costs; it has high automation and convenient maintenance; Filtration AIDS should be used.


7. Other filters


(1) The deep-bed aseptic filtering system is a filtering system developed by German Hantman Company. It consists of a filter and a filter pad. The core of the filtering system is made of cellulose and diatomite. The filter pad can be repeatedly cleaned, regenerated and used for a long time.


Tapered filter pads and components enable CO2 to pass completely, while low oxygen absorption, beer flavor, color, and foam are guaranteed.


(2) The liquid bag filter is a kind of closed filtering system, which can be divided into a single bag, double bag and multi-bag. Its working principle is to use pressure to filter. The material of the filter bag is mainly polypropylene. This filtering system has the advantages of high efficiency, universal system and low cost of the filter bag.


(3) Pall Marksman filter was developed by Zhoushan Inbo Beer Co., Ltd. Its work has the following characteristics: large diameter, high flow rate, high contamination capacity; high-efficiency filter quality; all polypropylene material, with a wide range of chemical compatibility; filter core suitable for installation in all bag filter shell, without replacement or modification of the filter shell, waste is easy to deal with.


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