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crazyhorse67

HAS ANYONE USED PLATE PRESS TO SEPARATE BEER/MASH

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We were talked into a plate press to separate beer liquid from mash solids. Has anyone used this method?. We are not having any positive results. The plate filters clog up about 1/2 way through the plate stack, so that only some of the plate cavities are dry pressed, the others are a floury mess. I have heard that several breweries are using this method but the ones I have talked to are pressing/filtering pre fermentation. They also say that they grind their flour quit fine which makes me wonder why our press is clogging up?. We are coarse grinding. The system was designed using samples of our mash and process information. JOHN BROOKS and MICRONICS have given us very little assistance since the Plate Press was dropped off (3 months late). John Brooks had a pump technician drop by for a day to review the AODD pump which is working correctly but she had no knowledge of  Plate Press operation. We installed a HUGE  7.5 HP compressor to maximize our air needs. Our plates are always stacked 1-3,1-3, we have tried short stacking, slower-faster feed rates on the AODD pump and AIR COMPRESSOR, premixing the mash slurry so pumping is consistant.

Any ideas?

Thanks, Doug

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We are using Wheat, I found that distilling on the grain created flavours that I wasn't thrilled with and it was a mess to clean-up.

We are attempting to filter post fermentation, I am guessing that the mash flour changes structure during the fermentation?. The beer guys I've talked to press pre-ferment. I'm not sure our plates can handle high temp. I will look into this!. I am worried that changing the process will change the flavour profile, which I really like.

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  I think that you would be better of doing the separation before fermentation. I'm not sure about wheat but I know that with corn you can throw 20% of the  alcohol out with the solids when you separate post fermentation. You should at least try the pre fermentation method to see if it gives you a flavor profile that you like.  Also your customers may like something different than what you like.   Also for whiskey, some of the flavors that may seem like negatives in a white spirit actually work well with the char in the barrel to produce something superior. I would try it some different ways and let 5 to 10 people do a blind taste test and see which comes out the winner.

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Keep in mind that Meura, who arguably invented this process, sees mash efficiency of nearly 100%, better than is possible with a traditional Lauter Tun.

From an ROI perspective, mashing larger batches, sepatating pre-ferment, and then ensuring your fermenters and stills are running full of alcohol is going to maximize payback.

The wildcard post-fermentation is yeast biomass, and maybe what is causing your problems.  If you are seeing a mix of dry cake, and wet mush, it means your filter plates are seeing differential pressures.  One section is clogging up, where the other isn’t.

Temp is also a factor, filtering hot works better than filtering cold, it’s a simple function of viscosity. 

If you can crash cool in your mash tun, try filtering a little bit warmer before you move to your fermenters.

Otherwise, you may need to start experimenting with different filter cloth or plate styles.  I am surrprised the manufacturer is no help here. 

 

 

 

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Thanks for your input guys!. We are going to try the fine flour, warm pre-ferment brewer style and see what happens next week. I will post our results! 

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1 hour ago, crazyhorse67 said:

Thanks for your input guys!. We are going to try the fine flour, warm pre-ferment brewer style and see what happens next week. I will post our results! 

When I discussed this method with a Meura rep they mentioned that the whole conversion process needs to be done before starting to filter otherwise we would get wet spots or essentially a “stuck mash”. Since we do a shorter cook and malt rest and allow conversion to continue in the fermentor we decided not to go that route. Not to mention the price...

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13 hours ago, Tom Lenerz said:

When I discussed this method with a Meura rep they mentioned that the whole conversion process needs to be done before starting to filter otherwise we would get wet spots or essentially a “stuck mash”. Since we do a shorter cook and malt rest and allow conversion to continue in the fermentor we decided not to go that route. Not to mention the price...

How much do they cost?

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2 hours ago, MGL said:

How much do they cost?

The model I looked at, budgetary number if I remember correctly was around $70k.

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That's quite the piece of equipment and price tag to be offered such little assistance in running it, I would be heated. Did you have any luck with filtering it right after mashing as opposed to after fermenting? Is this the only way to really separate liquids from solids when using grains besides malted barley? I've never heard of such a process until now!

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