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Jenise

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Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:49 pm

I have several little funnels with fine mesh screens in them that I've been happy enough with using for wines from which I expect a lot of sediment, but at a friend's home recently I witnessed this friend--who has a 4000 bottle collection, so he's no piker--using a paper coffee filter and conventional funnel to extract the sediment from some older Washington wines. "Too much fine sediment gets through those screens and it has a muddied taste. This is the only way to truly clean them up," he said.

It took about ten minutes for all the liquid to pass through the paper filter, but the resulting wine was pristeen in both clarity and flavor. A '95 Andrew Will 'Pepperbridge' Merlot, a few old Betz wines and a '92 DeLille Chaleur Estate (ooh la la) were given the same treatment. And at the end of the night I concluded that Hal was right, not only could I see a surprising amount of fine, powdery sediment in the filter I could taste the difference between how the wines tasted vs. how they'd have tasted here at home with only the nominal "cleaning" achieved with a fine mesh screen. Younger, fresher.

I would have never considered doing this. In no small part because my one experience at filtering wine through paper involved a fine old port and a paper towel--a contrivance jimmied together on a camping trip with fellow wine lovers--that resulted in our beverage tasting more like paper towel than fine old port.

Not so with a coffee filter, apparently, and I'm sold on the method. Going to buy me some coffee filters!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Dale Williams » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:53 pm

I have a mesh funnel, but generally only use in the case of a totally disintegrating cork that gets into bottle.

I generally decant conventionally (with candle, no filtering). But have often used an unbleached coffee filter for putting dregs into glass. Based on how long that takes, I don't think I'd have the patience to send whole bottle through!
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:55 pm

Done it many times. As Dale notes, I use unbleached just to be safe. Never tried a bleached one so no idea if there is a difference but why take the risk.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jon Peterson » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:05 pm

I have used coffee filters, too, Jenise. I think they work great. I admit to using them less often since I bought a stainless wine filter/funnel thing but the paper works!
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Robin Garr » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:44 pm

A Melita filter and setup is my standard way to get that coveted last glass out of a bottle of Vintage Port. Why waste it? :D
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:49 pm

Echo...echo...I also use the filter, but only for the dregs.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Steve Edmunds » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:58 pm

Did you say "Paper-Bridge?"
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jon Peterson » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:45 pm

Jenise wrote:Going to buy me some coffee filters!


Do you make coffee, Jenise? If so, how, French press?
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:48 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:Done it many times. As Dale notes, I use unbleached just to be safe. Never tried a bleached one so no idea if there is a difference but why take the risk.


Hal used bleached ones, but I'm just back from the store and I bought unbleached for the same reason you do.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:49 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:Did you say "Paper-Bridge?"


Ha ha. Should have. :)
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Jon Peterson wrote:
Jenise wrote:Going to buy me some coffee filters!


Do you make coffee, Jenise? If so, how, French press?


Oui. :) In a stainless steel single serving mug. In fact, I'm having some now: it's 10:41, and this cup that I made at 9 a.m. is still warm.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Howie Hart » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:38 pm

FWIW - All my home made wines pass through a coffee filter before bottling. I have a filter that's designed to use specially made pads to clear the wine. However, they are expensive, so I cut coffee filters to fit the unit. Before filtering I circulate diataomceous earth (used in swimming pool filters) stirred into water to coat the coffee filters before filtering the wine. So, actually, it's the DE that traps the fine particles and not the coffee filter.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Ian Sutton » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:43 pm

Occasionally through a filter funnel with wire mesh cradle (and also I insert a layer of muslin cut to fit).

However if you don't filter through your teeth, then you're a wimp :wink:

Seriously though, there's a lot to be said for gentle pouring, especially with older wines which might react badly to excessive exposure to air.

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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Mark Lipton » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:48 pm

Howie Hart wrote:FWIW - All my home made wines pass through a coffee filter before bottling. I have a filter that's designed to use specially made pads to clear the wine. However, they are expensive, so I cut coffee filters to fit the unit. Before filtering I circulate diataomceous earth (used in swimming pool filters) stirred into water to coat the coffee filters before filtering the wine. So, actually, it's the DE that traps the fine particles and not the coffee filter.


In that case, Howie, why not dispense with the filter paper altogether and use Celite™ (diatomaceous earth) in a fritted (sintered) glass funnel? We use this setup in lab routinely to filter reactions and it works a dream. Easy as pie to clean, too.

Mark Lipton
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Carl Eppig » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:44 pm

We have relied on our decanter funnel in the past with good results. We use unbleached coffee filters for coffee, but my concern would be the residual coffee flavor in the plastic cone the filter goes into. We do wash it out every day, but there is still a coffee smell.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jon Peterson » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:54 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:We have relied on our decanter funnel in the past with good results. We use unbleached coffee filters for coffee, but my concern would be the residual coffee flavor in the plastic cone the filter goes into. We do wash it out every day, but there is still a coffee smell.


I do not use the plastic cone the filter goes into. I just place the filter in the top of the vessel the wine is going into.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:15 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:We have relied on our decanter funnel in the past with good results. We use unbleached coffee filters for coffee, but my concern would be the residual coffee flavor in the plastic cone the filter goes into. We do wash it out every day, but there is still a coffee smell.


I'm just going to put the filter inside a stainless steel kitchen funnel.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:47 pm

Jenise wrote: I'm just going to put the filter inside a stainless steel kitchen funnel.


Or one of those small cone shaped mesh strainers. Both work great and allow you to walk away if you want to while it filters.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Victorwine » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:08 pm

Hi Jenise if you think the “gravity” feed method through the coffee filter is to slow you could easily set up a “vacuum pump” set up it would go much quicker.

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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Jenise » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:15 pm

Victorwine wrote:Hi Jenise if you think the “gravity” feed method through the coffee filter is to slow you could easily set up a “vacuum pump” set up it would go much quicker.

Salute


I'm a girl. Is that anything like a breast pump? :oops:
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Victorwine » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:27 pm

Same principle, create a vacuum and let the liquid get drawn into it.

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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Howie Hart » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:38 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:In that case, Howie, why not dispense with the filter paper altogether and use Celite™ (diatomaceous earth) in a fritted (sintered) glass funnel? We use this setup in lab routinely to filter reactions and it works a dream. Easy as pie to clean, too.

Mark Lipton
I was actually thinking of getting some polypropylene filter cloth and cut it to shape to use with the DE. Here is a link to the filter I use. It is a small filter press: http://www.buonvino.com/index2.html.
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by Paul Savage » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:53 pm

I tried using a coffee filter once, on an older Burg, and it didn't work well. The sediment was just too fine. I recall someone else having the same experience. With wines like these there is no substitute for planning ahead, to stand them up a week, or even better, 10 days or more, in advance. I twist them by the neck sharply when I stand them up, to dislodge any sediment on the side of the bottle, and then I put the bottle(s) in a box I have propped up at about a 15 degree angle (with a board under the front side of the box), so all the sediment will re-settle into the back bottom corner of the bottle, opposite the front label. Sounds like a lot of trouble maybe, but such wines are often special, and they are getting too difficult, or expensive, to replace too!

When I'm ready to drink the wine, I will try to pull the cork at least 5 hours ahead of time, to use the "slow oxygenation" routine, and avoid decanting altogether! If the wine is poured carefully, with the front label always "up" (so as not to disturb the sediment in the opposite corner), there will be no sediment until the very last half glass. And surprisingly, as Monsieur Francois Audouze has commented, that last half glass is usually the best! All the aeration time, as well as the age on the wine, seems to yield sediment that is not bitter or unpleasant at all, at least if it gets this lengthy aeration (as well as the extra time it takes to finish the whole bottle!). Otoh, if you just open and pour a cloudy wine from the bottle, it IS muddled and generally not so good!

If I don't have time to pull the cork that far ahead of time, or if the wine is younger and even MORE time would be required, I will initially pour off a half glass or so, so the fill level goes down to low shoulder, exposing more surface area. Then, maybe two hours of "slow oxygenation" will enable most reasonably mature wines to develop (I don't drink many really YOUNG wines!). Young wines certainly have more body and tannin than older ones, and typically will need considerably more aeration, of one sort or another! But for good older wines, the slow-O routine preserves vitality and complexity much better, while allowing the wine to develop well. Just be sure to keep the wine at a gently cool serving temperature too - VERY important imho!
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Re: Decanting wine through a coffee filter

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:55 pm

That last half glass with the sediment is what the filter is for. Paul - are you speaking of a fine wire mesh coffee filter; because i have always gotten crystal clear results from a paper filter when used for those lovely dregs.
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