“Every filtration of the wine is a bit of degradation, but without that it is not possible. If we want to bottle the wine and ensure its stability, filtration is necessary. It’s about choosing the right equipment and following the best practices and pressures from individual manufacturers of both plate and candle filters.”
In general, we can divide the filters into plate (pad), floating – diatomaceous, tangential – crossflow and membrane candle micro filters.
Plate (pad) filtration
A fairly inexpensive and simple method of operation; by complying with the manufacturer’s recommended pressures and the right procedure, standard clean wine can be obtained from this filter. In stainless steel, these filters are very durable and are best suited for hobby winemakers.
Previously, these filters were mainly used for rough filtering. With a properly chosen type of diatomaceous earth, however, they can boldly compete with plate filtration. Diatomaceous earth (or kieselguhr) is an excellent natural inert material with excellent filtration properties. But its capabilities have been limited in the past by the technical imperfections of filtration equipment. Nowadays, most modern diatomaceous earth filters are the top in filtration technology.
Diatomaceous earth is a cheaper option than plates, but before the microfiltration itself associated with bottling we recommend filtering the wine with sterile plates...
Tangential – crossflow filters
Financially the most demanding filtering option that is suitable for medium and large wine-growing companies. The wine is fed to the membrane tangentially (parallel, not perpendicular to the filtration medium, as with the other filtration) and thus produces pressure differences across the membrane. This causes a certain volume of wine to pass through the membrane as a filtrate and the remainder continues along the membrane with filtered impurities. These together with the stream of wine clean the membrane wall. For more information, contact the company Bílek filtry, s.r.o. on www.filtrace.com.
Membrane candle filtration
The advantage of these devices is closed air-free filtration without loss, simple and quick application of the candles (sometimes referred to as cartridges) and their regenerability. It can be used for both white wines (candles with 0.45 micron filtration) and for red wines (candles with 0.65 micron filtration).
Microfilters are an essential tool for perfectly clean wine before bottling. They can be connected to bottling machine. We can recommend you the tried-and-tested TANDEM-ENOL-MATIC microbial filter intended for operation with the Enolmatic bottling (or filling) machine (filter medium – 10” candles, Italian candles with nominal micron rating 0.5/0.25 microns). For larger winemakers we recommend Hobra or Parker domnick hunter candles. These are in the 10” and 30” versions, with an absolute micron rating of 0.25, 0.45 and 0.65 microns. It is good to include so-called pre-filter before these candles, which is a polypropylene candle with a pore size of 0.5 or 1 micron. Those who do not have the possibility to put a pre-filter candle in front of the membrane candle, they can use a membrane candle with an integrated pre-filter (all in one candle) – this is especially recommended in Tandem filters for the Enolmatic bottling machine. Prior to this filter, the wine should of course flow through the sterile plate filtration.
If you have membrane candles for a long time or are unsure of their effectiveness, you need to do a so-called membrane integrity test to determine if the candle is good or you should throw it away. This test is carried out by the company Bílek (phone: +420 518 372 134) in case of the Parker domnick hunter candles and by the Ing. Martin Sopouch, Hobra consultant (phone: +420 733 530 205), in case of Hobra candles.
In our offer we have mainly filtration equipment from companies Bílek filtry, s.r.o. and Hobra, which mainly supplies filter plates and candles (see www.hobra.cz); and also plate filters by Filtrex Svitavy company.