Indeed, after using most fining agents there will be a layer of sediment generated and you’ll need to rack the wine off of it accordingly. Fining agents, by definition, are introduced into a wine to interact with whichever of the wine compounds you are trying to mitigate or reduce. For instance, bentonite is a natural
The goal for experienced and new winemakers alike is a product that is both pleasant in taste and appearance. Unfortunately for many new winemakers the result is stubborn cloudiness with sediment, or worse, a product that develops haze once bottled. A wine that is cloudy is considered a seriously flawed wine and thought to be
If you want to serve a crystal clear and microbial stable wine, it will require filtration. Explore the “how” and “why” of wine filtration, along with the equipment needed to do it.
When it comes to clarifying your wine kit, there are five “S’s” that will guide your way: Start, stir, smash, sweep, and suppress.
Red wines are typically not fined as often as white wines, to which we often add bentonite in order to remove potentially haze-causing proteins. The tannin from the skins of red wines tends to bind with excess protein, the agglomeration of which will precipitate out during the fermentation process. Nor do we usually cold-stabilize red
Well, an old-timer winemaker I used to work with would say, “The most natural fining agent for any wine is time.” What he meant was that with time, solids fall out, proteins eventually coagulate and fall to the bottom of the aging vessel and tartrates reach an equilibrium so they aren’t in excess and big
Even my “purist” winemaking friends usually aren’t opposed to doing a little egg white fining when it comes to smoothing out the rough edges on their big reds. It’s an ancient and
The fun of filtration! I’ll deliver the bad news to you and my readers first by telling you that really no matter how tight of a pore size you use to filter your wines, there is always the possibility of sediment developing over time. In fact, with red wines, it’s actually just about guaranteed. You
Fining of wine is the addition of one substance to remove another. This basic definition often stretches to include adding more than one substance at a time, stabilizing wine without necessarily removing something, and maybe even adding something that will need to be removed later by filtration. It is a diverse subject with several classes
In the fifth installment of our year-long series about how homemade wine is made using home-grown grapes in Upstate New York, the wines are put through malolactic fermentation and cold stabilized.
Wine, as I’ve often written, is a complex chimerical soup. Wine naturally contains lots of different amino acids and some of those amino acids are in long-chain form and actually are proteins. Because proteins are pretty big molecules (as molecules go), they sometimes are so big they can’t be dissolved in the wine as a
In the final installment of our year-long series, the wines are bulk aged, oaked, and bottled.
Beyond basic pectic enzymes to increase juice yield and improve clarity, I have not seen much mention of enzyme use in country fruit wines. To be sure, most of the commercial enzyme preparations available to the home winemaker are isolated and purified for use in grape wine. That does not mean, however, that they will
Since 1992 (over 20 years) is quite a long time to store bottled wine. If you go to a supermarket or liquor store, you’ll notice that most red wines currently on the shelf date from 2013, 2012 or at the very oldest 2011. Yes, it’s true that American wine consumers don’t tend to age their
Egg whites are an ancient, traditional and natural additive and are sometimes used to pull excessive tannins out of wine in a gentle treatment process known as “fining.” Practiced for centuries all over the winemaking world, a solution of egg whites, water and salt are stirred into the wine and allowed to settle out, pulling
Is the salmonella (commonly associated with eggs) a problem to consider when fining with egg whites? Bob McKee Tucker, Georgia Egg whites are an ancient, traditional and natural additive and are sometimes used to pull excessive tannins out of wine in a gentle treatment process known as “fining.” Practiced for centuries all over the winemaking
For readers who don’t know, adding a solution of egg whites to wine does a nice job of pulling out excess tannins and phenolics that might cause your wine to be overly
Wine Wizard replies: Absolutely. There are an increasing number of filters out there for the small-scale producer. From rough filters that’ll just knock out large, visible particles all the way down to membrane filters that will exclude tiny things like yeast and bacteria cells, home winemakers can now filter like the big guys. Check online
Clarifying elderflower wineI made some elderflower wine last year and have now decanted it into bottles. It is very cloudy. What would you recommend to make it clear, please? Huw M. Edwards via email Hmmmm. As long as it is not fermenting and is stable other than being cloudy, it sounds like you need either
Shellfish and chitosan We’ve all heard of comments about sulfites or phenolic compounds causing headaches, but I use chitosan and kielsosol for clarifying agents. Chitosan is made from shellfish byproducts — could these cause an allergic reaction (headaches?) to those who are allergic to shrimp or lobster? Ray Ruthenberg Woodbine, Illinois Though I’m no medical
The first thing you notice when someone hands you a glass of wine is its color and clarity. We all expect wine to look clear and appealing and there are many ways to improve the clarity of a wine, the most straightforward of which is fining. Fining is the act of adding a product to
The short answer to your question is: 0.45 micron nominal filter pads are the industry standard for “sterile” filtration. These pads prevent all yeast and bacteria from getting through. So, if you
Dear Wine Wizard, I used isinglass as a clarifier in my Viognier. I have it in a 55-gallon plastic food-grade barrel. It started to settle out some of the particles but never brought the wine to clear. I then transferred five gallons of it to a glass carboy and within one week it was as
To filter or not to filter, that is the question. For the home winemaker it often is less a question of quality than a question of cash flow or wanting to be