- The wine could still be fermenting.
Check with the hydrometer.
- Most country wines and some kit wines suffer from pectin hazes.
It is prudent to assume that pectin is likely to be present and add Super Enzyme (or a pectic enzyme) at the time of adding the
- No finings have been added.
Even if a wine appears clear, dissolved protein can still precipitate later to form a haze or sediment and can interfere with the correct maturing of the wine. Use Vin
Clear sachets or liquid finings and put in a cool place.
- Finings have been added at the wrong temperature.
The wine must be cool during the fining process (18C, 64F or below) and the temperature must not be falling. Cool the wine overnight and when
thoroughly cool, add the wine finings as instructed.
- Fining gel too liquid.
Isinglass finings, the most widely used, changes from a gel to a runny liquid if stored too long in a warm place. The liquid has very little fining action, though if added
to the wine, it can be removed completely by a further addition of fresh gel. Always store liquid finings in a cool place. However, Vin Clear sachet finings are a special product that does not suffer from any of
the disadvantages of the liquid isinglass finings. This product can be stored almost indefinitely at any temperature and still remain 100% active because it’s origin is from freeze-dried
The home winemaker can produce brilliant wines quickly and easily by following a few simple rules.
Many winemakers will think when reading this title, why bother, allowing my wines to stand, followed by racking has always been good enough for me. Bouquet and taste are very important, but the
appearance of a wine is normally its first attraction. Take a glass of water from the tap, hold it up to the
light and observe the brilliance... we take this for granted if not for drinking! Wines should also be made to shine like this.
Firstly, it is necessary to understand the reasons why some wines remain obstinately cloudy long after fermentation has completed.
After fermentation and racking, wines often have a hazy appearance. Hazes are basically formed from all fruit and vegetables used in winemaking and are
also present in concentrates used in kit wines. Country wines in particular, can produce the most complex hazes, which are more difficult to clear.
Technology can prove that the finest wine haze can take up to 60 years to settle and few winemakers are not likely to wait that long, hence the need to speed up the operation.
There are normally millions of microscopic particles in the wine, of all shapes and sizes that are too light to settle and are constantly floating in the wine.
It is the vast number of particles present which cause the haze. These particles carry a minute positive electrical charge, which prevents them from joining to form larger ones. However
, by adding a substance with an opposite charge (you will recall from science lessons that unlike charges attract) this enables the particles to grow, become heavier and then fall as a sediment.
This is the principle of fining and is a vital step in the effective clearing of wines.
Unfortunately, in some wines there are stubborn hazes that carry no minute electrical charge. These are
pectin and starch hazes where a jelly like film surrounds the haze particles making it more troublesome
to clear. This produces a type of frog-spawn effect in the wine, making it difficult for a fining reagent to reach and be attracted to the haze particles.
To obtain star-bright wines easily and quickly it is necessary to consider the following basic steps: -
1. Treat for PECTIN (or starch).
2. Add FININGS.
3. FILTER for professional brilliance.
1. It is reasonable to assume that pectin will be present to some extent in all wines. To remove pectin treat with Super Enzyme (now available in
sachets) preferably at the time of adding the yeast, or during fermentation. However, if added later you should then keep the wine in a warm place for at least 3-4 days.
2. Add VIN CLEAR wine finings (or similar) to the wine whenever it
remains cloudy after fermentation and racking. Many types of wine finings are available, but for hundreds of years isinglass has been a most reliable
treatment for clearing both beer and wine. Although isinglass is convenient to apply in the liquid form, there has always been concern over its shelf life.
From the time of manufacture, it begins to deteriorate, a simple analogy being that of a charged battery that begins to discharge upon standing.
Isinglass liquid finings also denature rapidly, with consequent loss of fining properties, when exposed to temperatures above 20 C, even for short periods of time.
VIN CLEAR sachets are now available in freeze-dried powder form. This new product can be stored almost indefinitely at any temperature and still remain 100% active. VIN CLEAR
is a highly effective fining reagent, containing a mixture of both freeze-dried isinglass and silica hydrogel. The latter is normally only available to the commercial breweries.
3. To achieve professional brilliance, it is worthwhile considering a wine filter, which is extremely useful
and simple to use. A filter will remove minute particles much smaller than the human eye could ever possibly see.
The principle of wine filtration is straightforward.... a barrier is simply placed across the path of the wine
. The barrier (better known as a filter pad) comprises a material having countless thousands of pores
that are small enough to trap the greatest possible number of haze particles, whilst still allowing the wine
to pass through. Filter pads are highly sensitive products, having small pores that perform much better
when used for polishing a reasonably clear wine, typically after following the earlier steps 1 & 2. After
polishing through a filter kit, this will produce a wine with true colour and professional brilliance.