Critical Process Filtration In search of a New Filter Solution for the Micro Winery on Kimball
With the Micro Winery building on Kimball ( see previous posts) It became apparent that a new filtration solution was needed. We had been using an Enolmatic Tandem Filter Housing to do our final filtering before bottling. We also were using a Buon Vino Super Jet Plate Filter for larger volumes. One of the big issues with the Plate Filter was the time it took to filter a barrel. Waiting around ate up valuable time besides changing filter pads in mid stream was a pain. Don’t get me wrong at the time it was the best small non commercial winery filter one could afford and it still does a great job.
My search for a new solution started at the Eastern Winery Show I attended last Winter where on display I saw a variety of Cartridge Filter Housings. Frankly I was a little surprised that Plate Filters did not seem to attract the attention I would have expected and there was a definite focus on Cartridge style filtration.
Keeping this all in mind I called Critical Process Filtration on a different matter. If you own a Enolmatic Filter Housing you know how much certain distributors charge for the filter cartridges. Some are gouging period. There is no need to pay outrageous prices for what are really low end line filters. Critical Process Filtration is not a distributor they are a manufacturer of filter cartridges. They make these for a wide variety of industrial uses and pharmaceutical uses. What I learned was there are quite a few choices of cartridges that will fit in a Enolmatic Housing. Some of these filters are rated absolute, others use a different filtration material. Putting it simply a fiberglass media is easy to wash and lasts longer and has better thru-put than the standard poly propylene ones we have been buying for years and paying too much for in the bargain. As a result of my phone call I was able to order some of the cartridges that I wanted to have on hand but it was then the call took a different turn.
If you go to their web site you will find it takes a bit of getting time to get acquainted with not only all the filters they produce but as I found they also make filter housings. I discovered they make quite a few different housings. I was able to order a housing that accepts up to four 10 inch cartridges. The best part besides the price ( much better than St Pats) is I can choose to use any amount of cartridges from 1 to 4 and the input and outputs are fitted with 1 ½ TC connections to work with my impeller pump. The housing is fitted with a bleeder port, drain port, and pressure gauge port. I converted the Gauge Port to accept a 1 ½ Sanitary Pressure Gauge. And the Housing comes in beautiful polished stainless steel. As you can see in the picture I mounted the housing to a plastic furniture dolly. This housing is heavy!
This weekend we finally got around to bottling and I used two 1 micron cartridges in the housing using special plugs for the other unused ports. We started with a 60 gallon volume and filtered from barrel to tank. It took 5 minutes! We then filtered another 75 gallons with the same 2 cartridges in minutes with barely a movement on the pressure gauge. What a pleasure! I keep saying to myself why didn’t I do this years ago. Then I remember , how one little pump can change life.
Brent Arbogast of Critical Process Filtration is extremely helpful and told me he welcomes amateur winemakers like us. He did indicate that you should know what you want to order before you call. So don’t be a pain in the ass. If you are calling for a replacement Enolmatic filter cartridges please see the other post on this blog for all the information you will need.
A big thank you to Brent and all the Folks at Critical Process Filtration.