Filtering Carbon Out Of Vodka

Hey guys, this is Luis from Austria. I am a young guy at the very beginning of my distilling career.

I am planing on doing a vodka. First Batch is approx 100L. My take on carbon filtering was to put 18g of carbon per 1L @ 60% ABV into to stainless steel tank and let it settle for 4-5 times. Then I was planing on filtering the carbon out with the Still Spirits EZ filter system. Turns out this takes forever and the booze is still a bit "grey" and "cloudy" from the dust. So I filtered the booze through a 0,2 micron candle filter which worked out great. Spirit is clear and shiny again.

My question is: Is there a more effective (and cheap) way on getting the carbon out of the vodka? Maybe using household sediment filters and pumps or so..

Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers from Austria!


  • I don't filter for my production vodka, I use 30 crystal dragon plates and make proper cuts, much easier.

    I have used carbon before, and I suggest using a small/tiny pump and pumping through a small spool section with SD 'filter discs' at each end of the spool and 2" to 1.5 reducers to hold the finlet discs in and then 1/5" barb fittings to connect to hoses. For carbon, I use Norit Rox 0.8 carbon, and a 2"x4" spool holding this will clean hundreds of liters ( there are 1225 square meters of surface area per gram of this stuff and it has little dust). Also, pre-wet carbon, virgin carbon generates significant heat and may expand in your packed chamber.

  • edited July 2022

    Commercially, you will always see sub-micron filtration after carbon.

    While you can do things like wash, upflow, and use slow flow rates to minimize carbon dust, it will always exist.

    A filter cartridge for 0.1-0.2 micron for finished vodka would likely last thousands and thousands of gallons if care is taken to avoid pushing a large amount of fines through. These are easily cleaned and reused.

    It’s incredibly cost effective, this is the most effective and lowest cost approach.

  • Commercially, there are also carbon impregnated sheet filter pads that can be used to scrub color, flavor and aroma. These are being used extensively in seltzer production. Eliminates the fines issue but means you need a plate and frame or lenticular filter. I am about to trial some of these sheets using a small 6" x 6" home wine filter frame.

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