Celebrate National Beer Day!

Filter Your Beer with Diatomaceous Earth

National Beer Day: The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

It’s time to raise your glass and give a great big cheers for BEER! April 7 is National Beer Day—set to commemorate the day in 1933 when the Cullen-Harrison act reversed prohibition on selling beer in the United States. What better way to celebrate than to order a cold, frothy, filtered brew. How do you filter beer? So glad you asked. Here’s why you should filter beer with diatomaceous earth and enjoy a better tasting beverage.

Why Should You Filter Beer?

For anyone who’s enjoyed beer from a glass, you may have noticed how the light hits the clear, amber color. For anyone who’s brewed beer, you know the hops, malt, and barley need to be properly filtered to achieve this smooth, floater-free finish.

Filtering beer also affects the taste. The clearer the beer, the more flavor definition since there’s less yeast, tannins, and proteins to impact the taste. Cloudy beers are often described as having a subtle citrus flavor because of what wasn’t filtered out.

Types of Beer Filters

Brewers have used a variety of filter aids over the years. Everything from crushed shells to shrimp carcasses have been tried and tested, but it still resulted in sedimentation. Not only were they looking for a more refined filter material, but they also needed something that would remove particles down to a micron. The process also needed to easily handle a commercial-sized capacity.

This is where diatomaceous earth (DE) comes in. It’s been recognized as one of the most cost-effective and flexible mediums for clarifying beer. It’s also a renewable filtration process used today in the brewing industry.

What’s Diatomaceous Earth? Why is it a Good Filter?

Diatomaceous earth is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of microscopic diatoms (single-celled aquatic algae) found in fresh and salt water lakes and oceans. It’s a near-pure sedimentary deposit consisting almost entirely of silica. This mineral makes an excellent filtration aid because of its:

  1. High porosity. The pores within and between the cell walls are so small they trap bacteria, clay particles, and other suspended solids from liquids, resulting in drastically reduced contaminant levels. For beer, it filters out yeast, tannins, and proteins.
  2. High flow rate. Diatomaceous earth filter cakes extend the flow rate of the material being filtered without clogging. This helps brewers get their products to market faster.
  3. Less clogging. Other membrane filters can clog and create production problems. The biggest advantage of diatomaceous earth is that it doesn’t clog.
  4. Longer filter cycles. DE has a high capacity for holding solids, which allows for longer filter cycles and the removal of more solids.
  5. Mechanical filtration. This method requires the liquid to flow through a porous filter media and deposit the solids on the media. Therefore, taste or safety isn’t sacrificed during filtration and there’s no need to use chemicals.
  6. Availability. DE is a cost-effective solution because of its high efficiency and the fact it’s readily available.
  7. Sustainability. This renewable product is naturally grown and reproduced.

Because of its many benefits, it’s no wonder why brewers choose DE for filtering beer.

Filter Beer with Diatomaceous Earth

Using diatomaceous earth as a filter medium requires a compatible processing filter. Luckily, diatomaceous earth is compatible with a variety of filters already, making it easy to switch to this flexible solution. Being so adaptable also makes it easy for brewers to adjust the filtration process to their own standards, adding to the depth and flavor of their individual products.

One of the hardest parts of filtering a liquid is removing the smallest, softest substances. While some brewers choose to keep these elements in to add to the color and texture of the beer, other recipes require them to come out. Some filtering aids are not as flexible when it comes to the size of particles it captures. Diatomaceous earth provides the option for partial filtration to better customize the flavor profiles of the beer.

Where to Find this Beer Filter Aid

At Dicalite Management Group we understand how important it is to choose the right filtration method for your needs. Our high-grade diatomaceous earth is mined from the deposit at our Burney, California location and is a direct-run product, ensuring its consistency. This means you can focus more on crafting a better beer without worrying about the filter aid. Contact us to request a free sample.

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