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After the boil I have been told to run the wort through a filter before adding yeast and letting it ferment. It seems like you would get more flavor leaving the hop leftovers in.

What is the advantage of filtering the wort before fermentation?

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4 Answers 4

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It would remove the break material and other such things, which may or may not have an effect on how long the beer would store if you're planning on aging it. You may also filter out nutrients that the yeast could use if you're doing that, though. Filtering after fermentation makes much more sense to me.

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Agreed. While you want to leave the break material behind, you needn't filter to do this. If you siphon from your kettle to your fermenter, you can leave the bulk behind while still pulling nutrients through. If you pour instead of siphoning, you can run it through a seive to catch the big stuff while still allowing the nutrients to get into the fermenter. –  JackSmith Jan 5 '11 at 19:25
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When I tried this, I found my beer got a soapy, almost rancid flavor. If you want a better, rounded flavor from your hops, you're better off using new and dry-hopping. It's the best way I've found to get a full hop flavor.

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As a matter of practicality, I'd be tempted to screen, not filter, and have in the past. I also use a wort-chiller of the counter-flow variety, and they do not work well with either the break material or floating bits of hops. A standard / fine stainless wire mesh strainer is plenty good enough to keep the chiller from getting clogged with solids of either sort. While the process of forcing wort through the clogged chiller in an effort to clear the jam can be entertaining, it's not recommended.

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The hops that were in the kettle really have nothing left to give. There's no benefit to leaving them in.

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What about late additions? –  Jeff Roe Jan 6 '11 at 21:28
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