Whether for the reason of a fruit fly wandering into the carboy neck and becoming a pickled insect corpse floating aimlessly in a batch, or the fact that there are usually small particulates I want to eliminate, I like to filter my home brews.
Earlier during my wine making journey, I bought a small plastic disk system. It had a filter pad you placed in between two disks that you squeezed together to form a seal. Then you would run a hose in the top half of the disk, through the filter pad inside, and out the bottom. It was simply disastrous. It would leak around the sides, and the filter pad would jam up halfway through my batch. So I would have to stop everything, pull it apart, change the pad, then continue. The leakage around the disks and loss of wine from pulling the disks apart resulted in watching the precious brew go to waste. It was messy, time consuming, and increased the potential to contaminate the batch.
So I decided it was time to play with the big boys and get a big boy toy. I invested hundreds of dollars in a motorized filter plate system. As if the messy and wasteful disk system wasn’t bad enough…now I had several issues to try to manage. This thing squirted wine out the bottom, and the pads jammed within less than a minute of filtering. The hoses and tubing leaked and it was annoyingly loud. I had to stop it, change the multiple filter pads, the start it up again. The waste was incredible, the noise intolerable, and the the cleanup time took a long time. Definitely not worth it, given the terrible results. Not only that…the one time I got some wine to actually filter through it I noticed filter pad particles and fibers floating around in the bottle of white wine!
I took it to a Goodwill dumpster, threw it in, and drove away. Later on I felt really bad for having let it live, probably in someone’s hands who wasted their home brew by trying to use the contraption. I should have chopped it into scrap and thrown it in a landfill somewhere. By the way, if you bought a really crappy motorized wine filter from Goodwill I am sorry. My bad.
So I then decided to use an under-counter water filter, which was okay but it wasted a lot of wine that got trapped in the filter casing. I modified it, and it worked okay, but was extremely bulky and unstable. It would topple off the carboy, and was heavy enough to yank the tubing off the fittings. More wasted product.
So one day I decided to fix the issue and make the KLR Filter. I got a solid piece of PVC plastic, drew out a design, and had a local machine shop shape and thread it. I found the exact type of filter material I wanted to use for my batches. I drew up the gasket and seal diagrams and had them made. I found a body that I could modify to work and modified it. I assembled it and gave it a test run.
It worked beautifully. My wife took one look and said, “You ought to make those for other people.” So I did.
I still use my original prototype and it works great. I started making beer and filtering it, and after figuring out the filter micron size to use (50, 20 and 10-micron are perfect), it works great. I course filter beer after initial fermentation, then again just before adding the priming sugar and bottling it. I filter my wine after initial clarification using the 5-micron filter, and again before bottling by using the 1-micron filter.
The KLR Filter does exactly what I hoped it would. It simply works.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.
Inventor of the KLR Wine and Beer Filter