Intro/Factors to Consider
Selecting the correct size lenticular filter for your brewing operation depends on two primary factors: how much beer you need to filter, and how quickly you want to get it done.
Broadly speaking, lenticular filtration is appropriate for batch sizes up to about 60 bbl. Breweries often produce different beers in different batch sizes, depending on whether they’re brewing a seasonal, experimental, or flagship recipe. Selecting the correct size filter is about finding the right balance between not being grossly over-sized for your smaller batches or under-sized for your larger ones.
When selecting a filter system, we find that the best practice is to operate as though you have more beer to filter, and that it is less filterable than you assume to be the case. As with many things, it is better to have additional filtration capacity and not need it, than vice-versa.
Filter System Total Capacity
Total Capacity refers to the amount of beer that can be processed through the filter system without performing a module regeneration. As product is passed through the filter media, particulate matter builds up, eventually reaching a state where the media is no longer capable of removing additional material. Capacity is evaluated based on the total surface area available for filtration: the more surface area available, the more product can be filtered before the media is spent. Lenticular modules are available in 12” and 16” diameters and with different internal configurations, which results in a range of surface areas between them:
The following table is based on performing polishing filtration on a well-settled ale, without having to stop midway through to regenerate:
Module Diameter x Qty
Total Surface Area
Suggested Batch Size
* Fine tune sizing based on desired throughput, filter grade selection, and filterability of your beer.
** For batch sizes larger than 60 bbl. we recommend Pressure Leaf filtration or use of a centrifuge to clarify your beer.
Filter System Flow Rate
Flow rate refers to the rate at which a system can filter product. It is the other factor to consider in addition to overall system capacity when sizing a filter, and is primarily gauged by the grade of filter media selected, and its diameter. Coarser media predictably yields higher flow rates, and is balanced against tighter media’s ability to remove more particulate material. As with all filtrations, going too tight, too soon will yield lower throughputs and possible loss of mouthfeel, weight and color of the beer.
A system’s throughput is also influenced by many additional variables, such as product turbidity &filterability (how cloudy the product is and how easy it is to remove the source of the cloudiness), as well as the brewer’s transfer technology (pump vs CO2 pressure, head and flow rate of pump). Other major factors include any use of fining agents, and whether the beer is undergoing any additional pre-clarification, e.g: via pressure leaf or centrifuge.
The following table shows average flow rates for different media grades and sizes, and should be considered a rough guideline. Again, when in doubt it is best to assume your beer is less filterable than you think it is.
Flow rates are shown in gallons per hour per module, for a well settled ale. For a lagered product, flow rates can be up to 2-3 times.
ZD Series: ZD EK, ZD 08
ZD Series: ZD 10, ZD 25
*1 US bbl. = 31 gallons