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Filtering herbal macerations (Fernet)

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Hi folks, I have a question about filtering products containing a lot of particles in suspension, specifically Fernet. Our Fernet starts out as a neutral spirit, in which we macerate 23 different herbs and spices and then barrel age for 3-6 months. The final step is to back sweeten the spirit with Agave Nectar. The product becomes fairly viscous and has a lot of residual fines from the herbs held in suspension. We currently filter while bottling with the following setup: 2 10" filter housings (one with a string wound cartidge, the other with a 5 micron cartridge) connected to an XpressFill diaphragm pump filler (http://www.xpressfill.com/volumetric-bottle-filler.shtml). The product looks great at bottling, but after a couple of weeks sitting in the bottle we are seeing a significant amount of fines settling out and clumping on the bottom. I have concerns about going with a finer filter cartridge as the current filters load up pretty quickly and severely tax the pump on the bottle filler as it is.
I have reached out to our filter supplier for their opinion, but I'm hoping some of you may have thoughts as well.
Cheers!

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Thanks Oregon. That was my filter reps first suggestion as well, and makes a lot of sense! I'm a little embarrassed I didn't think of it myself... I'm going to try that when we process the next batch.

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You always have to filter as it is going to presented in the bottle.

Never filter before and then add something later.

I'd be glad to help you,

Alex

 

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