We sell Plate and Frame filters for winemaking. Basically these filters consist of plastic plates which hang in a steel frame. The filtration media (stuff that actually does the filtering) are square pads (also called sheets) of cellulose fibers that are placed between the plates in the filter. A common misconception is that the wine will pass through each pad on its way through the filter. In reality if you were able to dye one small portion of the wine blue and have that portion stay together through the filtration when you took the filter apart at the end there would only be blue on one pad. The different sizes of filters basically change how much wine you can filter without having to stop and change the pads, which typically results in a large amount of wine being lost. There is a good demo of how these filters work at the following link, just scroll down until you get to the part that says "Sheet Filtration."
Our 20x20 cm filters do come with a pump installed on them. The pump is a stainless steel centrifugal pump, very similar to our PMP100 just with a lower outlet pressure. These pumps are not great to work with, and wherever possible we recommend the customer work with either the PMP150 or the PMP175 for filtration.
40x40m filters do not include a pump. The assumption is that once you are making enough wine to need a filter this size, you already have an appropriate pump.
This basically comes down to two criteria: How much wine do you want to filter at once, and do you want to do double filtration.
Sizing a Filter
Sizing the filter is pretty straightforward: A 20x20 cm filter pad will filter 10-15 gal of wine before clogging up. So, a 10 plate 20x20 filter will run between 100 and 150 gal before the pads have to be changed. Again, ideally you do not want to have to stop and change pads in the middle of a filtering run; It's a pain in the butt and results in a lot of lost wine. So try to steer the customer up a level if their lot size is right on the edge of what a filter can handle. 40x40 cm pads filter 4x as much as 20x20 cm pads do: 40-60 gal per pad. That means that a 10 plate 40x40cm filter will do the same amount of wine as a 40 plate 20x20 filter.
Double filtration is a process in which a solid center plate is installed in the regular filter body and the filter is essentially split into two distinct chambers. This allows the winemaker to put filter media of two different grades into the filter and essentially perform two filtrations at the same time. The wine will pass through the first chamber (rougher filter media) and then through the second chamber (finer media). You cannot filter two different wines simultaneously with a double filtration system. If the customer wants a filter sized for double filtration then naturally it will need to be twice the size of a standard filter for them. The advantage to working with double filtration is both the time savings as well as the fact that the wine is only being pumped once.
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