View Full Version : Racking - Siphon or Filter?

08-26-2010, 05:08 PM
I'm sure there must be a very good reason for siphoning when racking, but I'm curious as to what the disadvantage(s) is to pouring the mead through a paper filter.

Chevette Girl
08-26-2010, 05:15 PM
The primary would be time constraints, I've tried using a coffee filter to filter wine and it takes for fricking EVER... not to mention the length of time that you're exposing your wine to oxygen while it's waiting to permeate the filter and splashing down into the collecting container... you're also leaving it more open to possible contaminants... whereas racking by siphoning is generally low-turbulence and low air/contaminant exposure.

That said, using a wine filter makes for a very pretty, clear wine much faster than letting it settle out naturally... but I find using mine is a real pain in the patoot, it doesn't like to prime so it's hard to get started, and it drips and wastes a fair bit.

08-26-2010, 05:31 PM
Oxidization is a huge issue, but also I find that paper filters simply do not remove most of the solids. Siphoning (with the proper flow-reversing tip on the cane) is definitely the easiest way to go, and gets the best results other than maybe a proper wine filter system.

Medsen Fey
08-26-2010, 08:51 PM
Even after sterile filtration, proteins and tannins (which are small enough that you'd need ultrafiltration to remove them) can continue to aggregate and combine eventually forming polymers large enough to precipitate out. I've had filtered wines drop sediment in the bottles later, so racking (and fining) are the best ways to get clarity.

08-26-2010, 10:48 PM
.... so racking (and fining) are the best ways to get clarity.Thank you Medsen. Guess it's time for me to search the forum and learn about fining.

12-09-2010, 01:49 PM
Been thinking about filtering fermentations a little lately... Since I found this thread I figured it would be a good place to ask some questions...

If you were to use a filtration setup (seen one on amazon that's listed for beer, and has a 5 micron cartridge filter, and housing) could you move the wort/must through it via the auto-siphon/racking cane? The one I've seen comes with connections for ball-lock corny kegs (which I don't have just yet) but is there any reason why I can't use it between two carboys? What size filter would I need to use in order to ensure that all the remaining yeast particles are trapped? Is this something that's viable to do, or would I be better off just waiting until I have corny kegs and let it go through a CO2 push? Or should I just continue to rack between carboys and leave what I can behind?

I really noticed a difference when I racked my melomel at the start of the week. It went from a muted color to a much brighter one after I racked it... I have it sitting on some more blackberries, but it's slated for another racking on either Saturday or Sunday, onto what I have left for fruit (about 1-1/2 pounds more, mashed)...

12-09-2010, 02:05 PM
Someone correct me if this is wrong, but I think you'd need a 1 micron filter to get the yeast out. Also, it doesn't seem economically viable to use a filter setup unless you've got floating capital/you're a commercial facility.

I like cold crashing, racking, and fining if need be. It's cheap, no filters to replace, and very repeatable. Just my $0.02

Medsen Fey
12-09-2010, 02:15 PM
Filtration isn't all that costly once you have made the initial investment.

Golddiggie, there are a lot of threads on the topic; search "sterile filtration" or "micron" with me as author and you'll find some. You can filter without kegs but you need to have some sort of pump mechanism - gravity and an autosiphon may not do it. The advantage kegs have is that you can purge the system of air so no oxidation occurs.

12-09-2010, 02:46 PM
Filtration isn't all that costly once you have made the initial investment.

Every time you've said this, I've been skeptical. So I did a few searches. You're totally right about it not being too expensive after initial investment. I had imagined these things would run in the >$1000 range...but nice ones seem to be right around $200-300 range, some even cheaper. Guess it pays to do some research...:rolleyes:

12-09-2010, 02:49 PM
I'm seeing some even cheaper types, but I'm not sure if they'll work for mead... Like in the <$50 range (no pump, lines with a filter housing and 5 micron filter with it)... It is billed as for beer, but I'm wondering if it could also be used for mead... At the very least it would help when racking off of fruits and such...

12-09-2010, 03:42 PM
5 micron is fine for getting big stuff out (fruit bits), but you'd need >1 micron for "sterile filtration". That said, if you didn't do a "course" filter first, your sterile filter would clog faster than you knew what to do with it.

Hurray for doing some research! Lol

I also found cheaper models, but they were hand pumped. Kinda like the pump and spray bottles gardeners use.