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For various reasons, including (a) lack of bench space, which equals ageing time; and mostly (b) an intermittent case of gout, which means that brewer's yeast is a serious no-no for me—I'm forced to think the unthinkable, namely filtering my brew.

Given my equipment, methods, preferences, and prejudices—50-litre batches, hoppy low-gravity ales (+/- 4% alcohol), and no pumps in the system—I figure on using twin Sankey kegs, driving the beer from one keg into the other with CO2 at some modest pressure, and at room temperature, then tossing the filtered keg into my kegerator and force-carbonating it cold. My kegerator can hold 2 50-litre Sankeys, or one Sankey and whatever Cornelius kegs I can shoehorn into it. Extended lagering, cold-filtering, and fining for clarity, are out of the question, at least in warm weather.

I've seen two basic filter types discussed on other homebrew forums: stacks of cellulose pads in plastic holders, with thumbscrews to keep things tight; and cartridge types, whether purpose built or adapted to filtering beer.

The question is what to put between the two kegs. I've read that the pad types tend to clog quickly, and from past (very distant past) experience I believe it. Plus I've found they can leak or weep. No fun, so I'm inclined to favor a 'whole-house' type of cartridge system, most likely a pair of Rainfresh filters in series, the first being 5-micron, the second 1- or 2-micron, both nominal not actual. Don't want to wring all the goodness out.

I'd welcome any thoughts or opinions on the subject, and any suggestions for a better filtering method than the one I have in mind. Thanks in advance!

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Are you sure that filtering the beer will remove purine? A quick Google search shows that beer is on the "avoid" list for gout, and they must mean commercial beer. Almost all commercial beer is filtered within a micron of its life. So if filtered beer is to be avoided, what will you gain by filtering yours? –  Tobias Patton Apr 20 at 16:53
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Good question. Alcohol is likewise 'contraindicated', as they say, which is another reason I stick with hoppy low-gravity ales. Since I don't plan to give up drinking beer any time soon, eliminating brewer's yeast—another known aggravating factor—seems to make sense. My first serious flare-up was the result of my U-brew guy (a weird BC legal loophole) having problems with his filter system, leaving a yeast haze in the beer. –  Glasseyed Apr 20 at 17:59

1 Answer 1

One way to filter the beer is using finings. I don't know their impact on purines but they certainly clear beer fairly well. SuperKlear works well and you can watch the line between clear and cloudy move down the carboy over a couple of weeks. I also don't know if there is any kind of purine tester, but something like that may be useful to determine the effectiveness. I've also hear that shellfish can be bad for gout (and SuperKlear and isinglass use chitosan, a fish swim bladder collagen), so take that into account.

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Fining may be an option, now that I have a second kegerator capable of holding 3 Sankeys. What luxury! :-) –  Glasseyed Jul 3 at 13:13

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