Jump to content

Milk cream separator as a spirit centrifuge

Recommended Posts

Hello to all forum friends, my name is Jose Echeverría from LUNA Spirits, we the first and only producer of gin and other premium spirits in El Salvador https://luna.com.sv  (sorry about the commercial ;)

I´m trying to make a centrifugal device to filter /clarify our LUNA Amari, LUNA Salmwood "Reposado" gin, and other spirits that have final maceration after distillation.

The question is if, has someone tried to adapt a milk separator or some other similar device that is easy available and cheaper than industrial equipment?


Thanks for your help !!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jose

We have done trails comparing chill filtration, cartridge filtration and use of a centrifuge.
The centrifuge didn't get too far in the trail as there was a lot of issue with spirit clarity, the consistency was erratic at best.

Wouldn't recommend putting a premium spirit through a separator designed specifically for separating milk into cream and skim milk. They are not designed to handle the characteristics of spirits, such as alcohol content, viscosity, and different densities.

Cartridge filtration has the consistency, but you could get tied down into an expensive contract for the cartridges themselves.

We found chill filtration to be the most viable solution.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried a quick pass through some activated charcoal and then pass through a 1 micron or smaller cartridge filter?

You can use gravity so its a "set-it and forget-it" kind of thing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Vonish for your comments and sharing your experience, I will take your advice and search in that direction. I will post again any findings here to share.
The only thing that bothers me is that in practice if I let the spirits rest for a few days the elements I want to filtrate precipitate naturally, so it seems it needs mechanical filtering.

I will try to find a filter material that can be backflushed for easier cleaning.

For our LUNA Salmwood "Reposado" gin filter works great but in the case of LUNA Amaro, it's so turbid  it quickly blocks regular filters...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, José Echeverría said:

Thanks Kindred Spirits , I can't use charcoal because it will remove the spirits flavor .

I'm thinking about a type of conical tank for resting and the sucking the residues with a quick controlled aspiration.

A quick pass through the charcoal won't strip flavor, I have a number of clients use it as a primary step with gins and whiskeys. It just helps filter some of the oils and minerals. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, José Echeverría said:

Thanks Kindred, I will try and compare !
I'm planning to also test "deatomacea" sand, we use it here for pool cleaning. 🤔

When testing make sure to use the "food grade" Diatomaceous earth. The filter grade can have trace minerals and other things that would be dangerous to have in alcohol for consumption.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you leave the elements in the spirit? Have you tried using a pillow mesh (like a big tea bag), once done, just take them all out at once.

There will be some particulates left, but won't be as hard on the filter. It doesn't affect the taste either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be careful as the equipment you're thinking of using isn't designed for high proof spirits, so thing might go boom. 

As an alternative, you can get one of these (https://www.morebeer.com/products/beer-filtering-system-10-housing-95-mm-duotight-fittings.html) with an array of filters to help you. We use one with 50 micron and 20 micron filters for our brown spirits/amaros. 20 micron will not significantly alter the flavor of you spirit and will remove solids that are visable to the eye down to a fine dust that might settle at the bottom of the bottle. We use a series: 50/20/10/5/1 four our limoncello and it comes out very clear. though not perfectly clear. Going smaller than 20 micronw will effect the flavor. Each spirit's flavor change is different. We use a flowjet pump to power it. easy peasy. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Jose,

I have never put finished spirit through a centrifuge, but here is how we dealt with clarifying spirits at my last distillery- 

1. Agar agar fining agent, let is sit and let the solids settle over the course of a couple of days, preferably in a cold environment

2. Rack off the clarified spirit, being careful not to disturb the bottom

3. Filter as slow as you can, through nothing bigger than 20 micron. Depending on the spirit, we would go down to 1 micron, or carbon.

It is a little labor intensive, but that was how we got the best results with our amari and other liqueurs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...