Ask Wine Wizard

I really want to filter my Chardonnay like the big wineries do. Are there small-scale filters for people who only make a barrel of wine?

TroubleShooting

Nathan Maas — Portland, Oregon asks,
Q

I really want to filter my Chardonnay like the big wineries do. Are there small-scale filters for people who only make a barrel of wine?

A
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 and with your winemaking purveyor of choice, but when I was last in my local boutique winemaking supply store I saw a couple of company’s filters that I know are nationally available. Most filters on the market are sold as a filter body (the better units are made out of metal and weigh at least a few pounds) that holds the refillable pads or cartridges, which actually do the physical work of filtering out the solids. That way you only spend the big bucks (on the filter body) once and can re-order the cheaper filter media only as you need them. I should mention here that filtration isn’t always necessary in winemaking, even on a commercial scale. If you’ve got a dry red wine that
Response by Alison Crowe.