Lessons from the Brewmaster: Filtered Beer

Why We Filter Our Beer at Pure Order Brewing Co. 

Filtered beer or beer that is filtered, if you are trying to sound smart, is beer that has been filtered. Filtering beer is very similar to water filtration. It is a process that takes out the turbidity inside the beer. This process filters out particles such as yeast, hops, and even bacteria. It is what makes the beer crystal clear and gives you the ability to see through the glass and check out the pretty girl sitting at the end of the bar.  Sure, filtering takes out some of the flavor, but you can’t check out that girl at the end of the bar if you're drinking a Hefeweizen, now can you? Not to mention no one looks cool with a lemon wedge in their beer.

Here at Pure Order Brewing Co. we filter our beers for several reasons:

  1. First, it makes the beer look beautiful in the glass, shining brightly and catching sun rays cascading through your glass.

  2. Second, it takes out some of the impurities and standardizes the flavors throughout the glass.

  3. Third, it prolongs shelf life as it removes some of the harmful bacteria that the beer has picked up along the way.

  4. Fourth, it just makes the beer look cool okay. While some flavor is lost during the filtering process, brewmasters are aware of this phenomenon and produce their beer accordingly so the end product tastes the way they want it to even though it is filtered.

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I don’t want to speak for all brewmasters, but all beer is filtered cold (can’t reverse those two words on the event I might have a cease and desist letter in my mailbox tomorrow). Beer is filtered cold because it helps the yeast and other particles drop to the bottom of the fermenter. This prevents any clogging up of filters, allowing us to filter more efficiently and retain more beer in the bright tank.  Filtering cold also helps to protect the beer on its way through the filter to the bright tank.  

I am not trying to disregard unfiltered beer here as we have a delicious Hefeweizen on tap at our brewery, our famous Crooked Neck Hefeweizen. Ultimately some beers are meant to be unfiltered and some are not. The direct translation of Hefeweizen means “with yeast” and therefore you can’t have a filtered Hefeweizen. Instead you would have a Kristalweizen, which is basically a filtered Hefeweizen. The yeast in the Hefeweizen and any beer for that matter adds a dynamic to the beer that softens some flavors while pronouncing others. Unfiltered beer has an increase in beer haze and a decrease in shelf life. This is due to yeast autolysis and the formation of certain proteins and polyphenols which result in beer spoiling organisms.  

There are several ways to filter beer. Here at Pure Order we use a Diatomaceous Earth Filter. This machine uses DE or Perlite as a filtrate to cleanse the beer of the turbidity within itself.  Perlite is ground up volcanic glass that has been sieved to a certain grade to produce uniformity in the perlite itself. The higher the number the less filtered the beer will be. This allows more items to flow through the filtrate. Another popular form of filtering is with plate and frame, or filter sheets, a process similar to coffee filtration. Centrifuges are also used to filter beer, spinning it at high intervals, removing out the gunk and leaving bright beer in the bright tank.  Several other forms of filters are used but with less frequency.

Check out more from lessons from the brewmaster and the Pure Order Beer Finder today. Follow Pure Order Brewing Co. on Facebook and Instagram and stop by the brewery today for a delicious Pure Order brew, a game of bocce, live music and local eats.

Cheers,

James Burge & POBC Crew