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Thread: Clearing the wine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Default Clearing the wine

    Gravity and time and a good racking schedule will normally be enough to clear your wine, but occasionally the wine will not clear of it's own accord, this can be caused by many things, but the most common would be a "haze" caused by the presence of pectin, starch or tartrates in your wine.


    To test for the presence of pectin, take a small sample of wine and add to it three times it's volume of methylated spirits and shake vigorously. If pectin is present then it will form gelatinous clots and strings almost immediately. (but ocasionally takes longer, up to 5 minutes)

    Pectic hazes can be treated by adding extra pectin destroying enzymes (sold as pectolase here in the UK) then rack as normal once the haze has precipitated out.

    Starch can be another cause of haziness, to test for the presence of starch take a small sample of wine and add to it a few drops of dilute iodine solution, if starch is present then a deep black-blue colour will develop.

    Starch hazes can normally be removed by the addition of a starch reducing enzyme (Amylase here in the UK) this enzyme is added to the wine and it is then left in a warm place until signs of clarification are observed. Then rack as normal once the haze has precipitated out.

    Tartrates can also cause a haze, this can normally be precipitated out by placing the wine in a cold location (just above freezing) for a week or so (it may take up to a month) Then rack as normal once the haze has precipitated out. Adding cream of trtar to the wine can help to make the tartrates drop out.


    All references from "Progressive Winemaking" Peter Duncan and Bryan Acton (ISBN 0-900841-23-0)
    Last edited by lockwood1956; 10-03-2008 at 12:30 PM.
    N.G.W.B.J.
    Member of 5 Towns Wine and Beer Makers Society (Yorkshire's newest)
    Wine, mead and beer maker

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