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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Spirits Filtration

Hello everyone, we recently have completely renovated our distillery and have begun selling through a distributor. Up until recently we have not filtered other than Cold filtration. However, once we started shipping through our distributor, we received some complaints over haze and protein fallout in our whiskey and brandies. We currently use a Reverse osmosis system to dilute our spirits, so we ruled that out as a potential cause. This lead us to using a plate and frame filter with pads varying from .8 micron to 5 microns. Unfortunately these micron sizes have lead to the striping of a lot of color and compromises the integrity of out product. Does anyone have a suggestion on filtering methods that they have found work as well as what micron size to use for whiskey, brandies, and gin?


Reply:

To remove those hazing components, you need to chill filter or chill centrifuge. The latter will avoid removal of color components, but the former will affect flavor and color excessively if you go to very small filter size, certainly 1 micron or below. And you will still change flavor and mouthfeel in any case, which is one reason why more of us are producing NCF spirits. But the side effect is the hazing, particularly for any spirit aged in barrels. Your gin, if not aged, should not have this problem.


Reply:

How are you rinsing your pads before filtration? We use soft water then purge with RO before use. If you use hard water, you can put calcium and magnesium into your pads, which then can migrate into your bottled spirit.

Also I would recommend checking out Beco pads, we use the select A on our brandies, with chill filtering and have noticed minimal flavor and color impact. We worked with David Strauch, at Strauch Chemical Supply.

https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/catalog/filtration/beco-select-a.html

For our whiskeys we use a 5 micron, and go non-chill filtered. We haven't had any haze issues with them.