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In the quest for super clear beer (and increase shelf stability) some brewers like to filter their beer. What impact does it have on flavor, aroma and color? Which aspects of flavor (hops only, malt and hops, only malt flavors)? Can any striping of these things be compensated for in the recipe?

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Yes filtering will strip away some flavor from both the hops and the malt. Depending on pore size of the filter is how much flavor you will lose. The smaller the pore size, the more flavor loss. This can be compensated for when doing your grain bill as well as amount of hops during various additions. Aroma hops cannot be compensated for but dry hopping can add aroma back into the beer after filtering.

  • Can you cite the evidence for claim that filtering strips out flavoring components? I'm assuming you are referring to components that are smaller than yeast cells themselves. Proteins and smaller components would be fairly difficult to filter unless they had been aggregated with a fining agent that constructed large bundles of molecules. – 42- Aug 4 at 17:49
  • See this answer that discusses carbon filtering and I suspect is where the source of the misconceptions that I think is the source of the above misinformation above: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/16221/… . The issues involved in mechanical filtering are quite different than those using activated carbon. The molecules that convey flavor are much smaller than any pore size I have seen available for filtering beer. – 42- Aug 4 at 18:57

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