Beer Final Filtration for Extended Shelf Life and Maximum Freshness at Competitive Cost
Brewers seek maximum microbial safety while preserving the taste and freshness of their beer. Beer final filtration offers brewers the optimal solution by removing yeast, bacteria and particles that can negatively impact beer flavor and quality throughout its shelf life.
More and more breweries apply beer final filtration to achieve maximum shelf life and satisfy consumer expectations. Cold filtered beers achieve higher market growth, and consumers are prepared to pay a premium for a better product. Compared to pasteurizer and thermal treatment, the beer final filtration provides higher microbial safety with unchanged freshness and taste stability at equal or lower cost.
Pall is leading the development in beer final filtration with beer specific membranes, cartridge designs and a process and system platform based on Pall's patented cluster technique. Today the CFS NEO beer sterile filter system combined with the PARE cartridge family offers the most advanced, safe and economical solution for contamination control in beer.
Beer Final Filtration and Impact on Taste
Investigations by third parties on taste stability have shown a clear advantage for membranes over thermally treated beers.
Impacts on beer from pasteurization (flash) at various PU Levels (10, 25, 40) compared to membrane filtration.
- Increase of color - up to 0.3 EBC
- Decrease in SO2 content at 20-40%
- Reduction on EAP value at 15-35% (Endogenen Antioxidative Potential/ESR-Spektroscopie)
- Increase in oxidative and thermal indicators (e.g, Phenylethanal & Furfural)
- Taste panels tendency to prefer non-pasteurized beers (odor)
Membrane values adapt to pasteurization levels after 8 to 12 weeks under normal storage conditions (20 °C).
75% of beer is consumed within 4 to 8 weeks after packaging.
Comparing beer “sterile” filtration with pasteurization at a normal level, the microbial removal rate is better with membrane-based beer sterile filter systems.
While membranes separate bacteria and yeast from beer pasteurization just inactivates the cells and leaves them in the product. With beer sterile filtration, the membrane in use is controlled by Integrity Testing before and after each production batch; this allows for documentation and traceability for each production lot.
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The PARE cartridge family offers the most advanced, safe and economic solution for contamination control in beer.
The lead final filter within the PARE family is the PAREQII filter. PAREQII filter cartridges are hydrophilic membrane filters qualified for the removal of spoilage microorganisms.
The cartridges are suitable for exposure to repeated hot water sanitization and in situ steam sterilization cycles for longer service life. The laid-over pleat construction along with optimized support materials provide reliable and high throughput during operation.
Pall innovates new products to reduce cost for beer sterile filtration on the capital and operations side.
CFS NEO is a modular concept that allows flexible design adjustments at the lowest investment.
A new cleaning process for filter cartridge regeneration was specifically developed for CFS NEO Systems. The cleaning process utilizes low media and cleaning chemical consumption to further reduce operating cost.
The service life of the membranes is significantly improved. Thus filtration costs outperform pasteurization even with beers that have a more demanding filterability.
Beer final filtration – basic process considerations
Successful membrane filtration of beer has two opposing requirements:
- Low and gentle flux during filtration
- High and intensive flow during rinsing and cleaning
Single filter housing installations are always a compromise between these two requirements.
Pall CFS NEO technology offers brewers a solution that optimizes both in a single system design. CFS NEO Systems group filter membranes into clusters, with each cluster having its own housing and outlet valve. During filtration, all clusters are open to minimize the flow rate per filter element. Flushing, regeneration and integrity testing is done cluster-by-cluster.
The cluster principle offers significant advantages with CFS NEO:
- Individual cluster integrity diagnosis for high biological safety
- Individual cluster venting to reduce oxygen pick up to a negligible level
- Constant and controlled flow distribution to all cartridges
- Gentle flow during beer filtration to preserve taste and freshness
- High specific flow during rinsing and cleaning for prolonged service life
- Minimized water and energy consumption
- Controlled backflush for pre-filters
- Permanent system availability
- Fast and easy filter change out
- Low investment and operation costs
Pall CFS NEO Systems are designed as stand-alone units to be installed directly upstream of the filling line without any requirement for a buffer tank.
It is fully automated and typically operated by the filling machine operator.
CFS NEO Systems are comprised of the following:
- The filter module with cluster housings which holds the filter cartridges
- Piping and connections to filler supply line
- Membrane cleaning module
- Integrity test device
- Control panel
- CFS NEO Systems operate from 50 to 800 hl/h either as batch or continuous systems
- An integrated pre-filter option can be chosen
- Pasteurizer Replacement beer filter cartridges are a family of pre-filters and hydrophilic membrane filters designed for beer sterile filtration with the reliable retention of spoilage microorganisms. The Pasteurizer Replacement filter cartridge family was developed and validated for the removal of beer spoilage microorganisms in the CFS NEO.
- There are 6 family members providing a reduction in microbial spoilage organisms during beer final filtration. Four cartridges are constructed from microbial removal membranes with a correlated integrity test value. Two of the cartridges are pre-filters designed to protect the selected downstream final membrane filter and aid in the removal of beer spoilage organisms. The single open-ended (SOE) configuration is designed to fit into the sanitary housings on the CFS NEO to ensure effective microbial reduction and assembly integrity.