When it comes to brewing or distilling, wedge wire screens are the preferred, state-of-the-art construction for false bottoms. The unique “V” profile of the wire components ensures that solids stay where they belong — out of the wort — while enabling filtration and proper flow of the wort for easy extraction for recirculation, turbidity testing, and eventually, boiling. With wedge wire, clogging is much less likely to occur, meaning that all steps of the lautering process can be carried out efficiently and with minimal need for adjustments or in-process maintenance by staff.
Wedge wire is also the simplest type of lauter screen construction to clean and maintain. Further, it can be easily manufactured in sections to allow for simple addition and removal — whether for maintenance or manway access.
In terms of materials, stainless steel is an ideal choice for lautering screens for several reasons:
Food/beverage grade approval
Ability to be easily cleaned
The temperature fluctuations and durability requirements of lautering (and the brewing or distilling processes overall) mean that the investment in stainless steel is a worthy one, providing a long-lasting, nonreactive surface for the lautering process to occur. At this critical juncture of the process, any small fluctuations in temperature or chemical makeup can compromise the wort. This can create future issues with the boiling process and lead to a beer or liquor that won’t taste as it should, and, in most cases, will be unusable. So the wedge wire false bottom is the better choice now.