Keep it clean: how to decide what distillery filtration system you need

distillery filtration systemdistillery filtration system
distillery filtration systemdistillery filtration system


Keep it clean: how to decide what distillery filtration system you need

Every business in the beverage industry needs to have a filtration system for production. Luckily, with the help of technology, there are easier ways for you to filter spirits. Along with your filtration system, you will need water treatment for your distillery. This will ensure that the wastewater coming out of the filter is treated before it goes back into a water source.

Due to water scarcity, it needs to be used wisely. And this is why you need to find an effective way to recycle and reuse the water coming through your filtration system.

An efficient way to recycle and reuse your distillery wastewater is by having a treatment plant. You can find a water treatment company in South Africa that can install a treatment plant for your distillery, and ensure potable water goes back into the environment and your distillery. Having the right water treatment plant and filtering system allows your business to produce beverages that adhere to health and environmental regulations.

So, now that you understand the need to consider both factors, the next step is choosing the right distillery filtration system. For starters, you need to think of the price, productivity, size and efficiency. Those factors will depend on the type of spirits you’re selling:


Know what are you distilling

Distilling is a common practice in the food and beverage industry, especially when it comes to beer, wine or spirits. When choosing a filtration system, you need to consider what you will be using it for. For example, temperature differs for every type of distillery.

If your distillery is producing white spirits; it needs to be filtered at ambient temperature. This is calculated by the air temperature of the room where the spirit is being stored. On the other hand, unlike white spirits, brown spirits need to be filtered at lower room temperatures.

Whiskey: throughout the filtration process, whiskey goes cloudy once water and ice have been added. Therefore, whiskey would need to go through a chilled filtration process. The process will remove the properties that make the whiskey look cloudy e.g the protein and fatty acid.

Tequila: in the tequila industry, carbon filtration is a commonly used process. This is because there are several pollutants that can be found during the production process, like furfural or esters. These contaminants are often challenging to clean up with distillation. This is why carbon filtration would be needed as it will absorb the contaminants.

Vodka: carbon filtering is a step that needs to be done throughout the production stage. The filtration process is then controlled by flow meters, and different types of vodka are regulated at different speeds.

Gin: for gin, the filtration stage will occur before processing because it’s a neutral spirit has gone through the process already.


Identify what filtering method you will need

Filtration plays an important role in the final result. There are a number of aspects that impact the overall product such as raw material, alcohol concentration, temperature and the quality of water. But your final product needs to be perfect - it must look appealing and clear from any particles. Keep in mind that your filtering method needs to remove only the dirt that causes cloudy or a hazy colour. If it removes the good qualities, it will change the taste of the spirit.

The next step is understanding the two filtering methods; chill-filtration and carbon filtration.

  • Chill filtration: this process is normally used for brown spirits such as whiskey and tequila. The method will remove pollutants without altering the taste and aroma of the spirit. To achieve the optimal spirit in the chill filtration process, the spirit will have to go through depth filtration. Please note that there are factors that can affect this process such as the temperature, amount and speed of filters being used.
  • Carbon filtration: this is a method that absorbs impurities from spirits making sure it is clean and ready for production.


The size of your distillery

The size of your distillery filtration system will depend on the size of your distillery. If you have a large distillery, you will need filter sheet technology as it has both an absorption and depth filtration. Whereas a smaller distiller can have a filtration system that is simple to use and economical, especially if you will be filtering small batches.

Other questions you will need to ask yourself are:

  • How many spirits will you be producing in a month?
  • How often will you be distilling?
  • How many distillery shifts do you plan on having per day?
  • What type of spirit are you producing?
  • Is there enough running water for your distillation cooling process?
  • Would you need an adaptable solution in case you need to upgrade in the future?
  • Which energy source do you prefer?


Final thoughts

Choosing the right filtration system for your distillery is simple. As long as you know the method used for each spirit and understand the size of the filtration system. However, it doesn’t end there. You need to have a wastewater treatment facility as well. As mentioned previously, there are water treatments in South Africa that will ensure your distillery purifies the water after it has gone through filtration. So, do your research and find a water solution in Cape Town and surrounds, and ensure your wastewater is taken care of.


distillery filtration system