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Filtering charcoal particles out of barrel aged rum question

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Hey all, we are just getting ready to bottle our barrel aged spiced rum.  We noticed even with our inline fine mesh screen on our filler, that tiny charcoal particles are making through.  What’s the best way to filter these particles without taking away from flavors?

 

thanks in advance!

 

Zack

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5 and .5 micron filters in series is what typically gets recommended..

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We sell a lot of cartridge filters in those sizes. The most popular ones we sell are Graver QMC from 0.6 to 10µ, and Graver GFC 1µ.

Probably the next most common question I hear after "how long do filters last before they clog?" is "what size do I use to filter out particles without removing flavor?". For spirits it would be pretty challenging to remove flavor using normal dead-end filtration like the cartridges linked above. The things that add flavor to your spirit are almost certainly entirely dissolved in solution. That is to say, they are not particles that would be caught in a filter, but are liquids that will pass right through. Unless you are running your spirits through nanofiltration or ultrafiltration, you can rest assured that filters are just removing the large particles like bit of charcoal dust, bits of barrel char, etc., and not having any impact on flavor.

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Smaller (tighter) the filter, the prettier the spirit looks.

Something about the sparkle, clarity, brightness you get from sub-micron filtration that makes the spirit way more visually appealing.

We are totally crazy, because we see nothing wrong with going as low as .22, or .1, with brown spirits.

 

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After visiting a distillery in Denver and seeing how they managed this problem, I had adapted their strategy and use a diaphragm pump to empty my barrels in place without disturbing the char sediment.  If you have barrels stacked up you might consider getting them unstacked and lined up a few days prior so they resettle and then decant the clear spirit out.  I do a 1 micron depth filter + 0.5 micron absolute polish and don't get nearly as much binding/plugging of the filters doing this way....

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2 hours ago, Beach Time said:

After visiting a distillery in Denver and seeing how they managed this problem, I had adapted their strategy and use a diaphragm pump to empty my barrels in place without disturbing the char sediment.  If you have barrels stacked up you might consider getting them unstacked and lined up a few days prior so they resettle and then decant the clear spirit out.  I do a 1 micron depth filter + 0.5 micron absolute polish and don't get nearly as much binding/plugging of the filters doing this way....

It's not a bad idea, and quite often it's how wineries deal with the same issue, where lees and sediment collect at the bottom of the barrel. Our curved barrel racking wands allow you to angle into barrels already sitting on a rack without having to move them around, and they have an adjustable bolt at the bottom that allows you to keep the inlet of the wand off the very bottom where all the crud is.

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We run a 3 micron bag filter then a 1 micron 20" code 7 depth cartridge filter for aged product. When we dump a barrel, we dump it through a stainless gin basket (well, used to be a gin basket) to catch all of the big chunks.

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On 11/19/2019 at 8:00 AM, Stumpy's said:

We run a 3 micron bag filter then a 1 micron 20" code 7 depth cartridge filter for aged product. When we dump a barrel, we dump it through a stainless gin basket (well, used to be a gin basket) to catch all of the big chunks.

Hi Stumpy - we have some 5- and 1-micron bags on the way.  Which supplier are you using?  Links welcome or referrals.   Thanks!

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On 10/31/2019 at 12:18 AM, Wise Men Distillery said:

Hey all, we are just getting ready to bottle our barrel aged spiced rum.  We noticed even with our inline fine mesh screen on our filler, that tiny charcoal particles are making through.  What’s the best way to filter these particles without taking away from flavors?

 

thanks in advance!

 

Zack

3-5 uM for spiced or gold rums

5um for dark (or you will loose colour)

1-3 uM for white rums. But check flavour post filter.

A 5uM filter will remove 99.9% of charcoal sediment.

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:57 AM, MichaelAtTCW said:

It's not a bad idea, and quite often it's how wineries deal with the same issue, where lees and sediment collect at the bottom of the barrel. Our curved barrel racking wands allow you to angle into barrels already sitting on a rack without having to move them around, and they have an adjustable bolt at the bottom that allows you to keep the inlet of the wand off the very bottom where all the crud is.

Do you have any pump recommendations with the wands?  Just curious what people are using.

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@John Bassett: Most distilleries use an air diaphragm pump sized according to their needs. Probably the most popular one we sell is the SimpleSpirits 43. They can pull liquid from about 15 feet dry, and 30 feet wet. The 43 is large enough that bits of char up to about 1/8" won't have any adverse effect. You can use smaller AODD pumps, but might want to put an inline mesh gasket screen to prevent solids from getting caught in the check valves.

You can use an electric pump, but we recommend keeping the VFD control outside of any areas designated for C1D2. In those cases, an SQN 20 is a nice little pump that can self-prime from about 10 feet dry and uses a C1D2 motor. You could go centrifugal, but priming from barrels could be a pain.

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