Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wine Clarification

When home wine making is done using fresh juices or grapes it is usually desirable to fine your wine to clarify (or clear) your wine. Fining is usually necessary because of the high amount or proteins present.

There are quite a few fining agents available for the wine making hobbyist to choose from including Bentonite, egg whites, gelatin, Kieselsol, Isinglass, pectic enzymes, Chitosan, Sparkolloid, grape tannins and my personal favorite, LQ Super Kleer (a dosage of Kieselsol and a dosage of Chitosan). Wine can also be filtered in lieu of using a fining agent.

Fining agents which are not liquids should be dissolved in water prior to introduction into the wine. After fining, kit wines should stand for at least two weeks prior to stabilization, wine from juice should be allowed to clear for at least four weeks and wines from grapes should be allowed to clear for approximately eight weeks prior to stabilization.

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A review of each of these fining agents will be done over the next few days beginning with Bentonite the next time I write a blog article.

When choosing a fining agent to use you should consider whether the agent works well with white wine or red wine or either and also you should consider the density of the lees which will result from the use of different agents. Fining agents which do poor job of lees compaction will result in a larger amount of sediment. This will possibly result in a second racking being required and ultimately a reduction in wine quantity. This aspect will be reviewed as we write about each of the fining agents.

BlueStem Winery
is a licensed and bonded Iowa winery. We have been making wine professionally since 2005 and as wine making enthusiasts for over 30 years. We operate a retail store selling homebrewing supplies, wine making equipment, our own line of brewing ingredients kits called BlueStems Best and home winemaking kits from both WinExpert and Cellar Craft. WinExpert kits have been a staple at BlueStem since we opened in 2003 and we have just recently added the Cellar Craft kits to our winemaking supplies inventory.

We stock a complete line of winemaking equipment, homebrew supplies, beer brewing equipment, homebrewing ingredients plus wine making ingredients and supplies.

BlueStem prides itself on prompt shipping of your brewing equipment and home brew supplies purchases and on knowledgeable, friendly service. We will always take the time to help you with any problems or concerns.

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