Craft Brewers Conference 2017

Pentair Haffmans downsizes membrane filtration system for craft brewers wanting ‘clear beer’

Pentair offers a compact membrane filtration system for craft brewers. ©iStock/artJazz

Pentair Haffmans showcased its down-sized version of its beer membrane filtration (BMF) system, the Compact S, at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C, targeting smaller craft brewers with annual production of 10,000 to 100,000 hectoliters.

Pentair Haffmans supplies quality control equipment, micro-filtration, and CO2 systems for the brewing and larger beverage industry. 

Pentair launched its first beverage membrane solution in 2002 for large brewers and beverage companies, Pentair marketing manager, Mary George, told BeverageDaily.

“This also allows for very fast switchovers,” George said, explaining that craft brewers are typically in need of operationally flexible systems to produce seasonal beers and one-off releases.

The Compact S BMF is able to treat beers up to five million yeast cells per milliliter and can filter a variety of beers including: full malt or with adjuncts, dark beers, and low alcohol or high bitterness, according to the company.

Brewing a clear beer

The Compact S is able to filter out diatomaceous earth (DE), a natural-occurring, clay-like substance that many brewers use to filter beer but can result in a hazy beer.

“A lot of brewers don’t want a clear beer, so this is for the brewer who does,” George said.

Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston, Texas, who brewed roughly 57,000 barrels in 2016, installed Pentair’s Compact S system in 2015 to increase the clarity of its beer.

“Clarity is key for many of our beers,” Stephen Rawlings, Saint Arnold’s brewing operations manager, said. “DE has always worked, but it’s messy and hazardous. The BMF allowed us the opportunity to increase our clarity and keep our brews safer.”

The brewery performed a 16-week sensory and shelf life study of beer produced by both the DE filter and BMF systems and found that the BMF system delivered a “brighter beer” without any adverse impact on beer taste or shelf life, added Rawlings.

Do more with less

Pentair’s BMF also touts being a sustainable and clean technology for brewers because it filters more beer with less water while producing no solid waste.

“With membrane filtration, breweries no longer rely on the one-time use of raw materials,” the company said.

One-time use materials can also pose waste handling issues and disposal charges that add up over time, according to Pentair. 

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