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I'm not a home-brewer, but this seems like a good place to ask the question. why are many commercial beers filtered?

I prefer unfiltered beer and I am just curious to know why they filter it in the first place.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's mostly to achieve a crystal clear presentation, and also because the average consumer expects no sediment in a can or bottle of beer. Also, filtering out the suspended solids improves the flavor of the beer, especially noticeable in light colored beers.

Craft brewers that don't filter the beer leave the yeast in suspension so the beer can condition or naturally carbonate. Commercial brewers don't do this since the beer is also pasteurized after being filtered and packaged. If the beer were left unfiltered, the pasteurization would destroy any yeast still in the beer, preventing any further aging or carbonating in the bottle. Consequently, the use of filtering also requires bottles and kegs to be force carbonated, which further reduces time to market.

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Does this mean that unfiltered beer are typically also unpasteurized? – user606723 Jun 25 '12 at 14:01
Yes, that's the general case. – mdma Jun 25 '12 at 14:40

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