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Fining Stone Fruit Wines

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Andy Satter

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Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:19 am

I'd appreciate some advice on how to fine a batch of peach and a batch of nectarine wine. The wines were started with whole fruit (minus the stones) during primary fermentation. I racked the wines 3 months ago and have been keeping them in the 33-40F temperature range. The wines have cleared somewhat, but are still hazy. (In contrast, a batch of raspberry wine started at the same time is as clear as a bell.) As a test, I've used bentonite in two separate 1 gal jugs - -one for peach, the other for nectarine -- and there's been slightly more clearing after letting it sit for 3 months in the exact same cold environment. But the wines have a long way to go. I plan to rack them again but am not convinced that will do the trick. In the past, I've used Kitosol 40 with much success, but now hope to avoid using any products that contain shellfish derivatives. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, does anyone know if starting with fresh fruit juice vs. whole fruit would alleviate some of the hazing? Thank you. Andy
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Brian Gilp » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:02 am

I have not played with stone fruits but the first thing that came to mind was pectic enzyme. Article from WineMaker magazine on fining agents http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/techniques/article/indices/12-clarityfiltration/26-a-clearer-understanding-of-fining-agents indicates that I may not be too far out in left field.

Also if the bentonite did not work than you may need a positively charged agent.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Alan Wolfe » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:53 pm

I think Brian is right. A generous addition of pectic enzyme, and pay attention the temperature at which the enzymes are most effective. I've also had good luck with hot-mix sparkalloid for difficult haze problems. Good luck.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:55 pm

Thanks for your replies, Brian and Alan. We used a generous amount of pectic enzyme during primary fermentation. In the past, I've had excellent success using Super Kleer, which is composed of 2 pre-mixed pouches, kieselsol and chitosan and was hoping to avoid it due to the potential but unlikely chance of someone having an allergic reaction to the Chitosan. Thanks to your reminder that Bentonite is negatively charged and that the ongoing haze might require a positively charged agent, I discovered that Super Kleer is both -- negatively and positively charged. Hence the two pack, one-two punch. Here's more information on that. http://www.fallbright.com/newsfiningcoldst.htm.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever used a combo of bentonite and Isinglass as another way to achieve a negative-positive 1-2 punch? (At least Isinglass has been approved by the Feds and the EU as a safe ingredient -- a status that I believe has not yet been granted to chitosan.)

Alan, I'm curious to learn if filtered before bottling when you used Sparkoloid? I read somewhere that it can leave a fine trace of sediment that shows up over time in the bottle if the wine has only been racked and not filtered. Was that your experience?
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Alan Wolfe » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:47 pm

Andy - I've always filtered after using sparkalloid. It probably would leave a very fine sediment over time, depending on how long you let the wine rest before racking. The sediment is visually unattractive and necessitates decanting prior to consumption but in such small quantities is harmless.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:40 pm

Alan, that makes a lot of sense and I absolutely agree that visibly noticeable sediment can be a big distractor -- even if the wine itself is a winner. Do you use a jet filter or something else? Any impact on the final product's nose? Color? Flavor? Thanks in advance, Andy
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Brian Gilp » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:39 pm

Andy, I can't contribute any on your question about using both bentonite and isinglass. I have actually never used a fining agent but only work with grapes and have only a few white ferments under my belt. Everything I have made has dropped clear given enough time.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Alan Wolfe » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:53 pm

Andy - For small quantities of wine I use a 10 inch SOE cartridge filter. If needed they are available down to 0.2 micron absolute, essentially a sterile filter. I use sterile cartridges for wines with residual sugar. Probably not necessary if also using sorbate, but an added safety factor. Re-fermentation in the bottle is so embarrassing.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:09 pm

I went and checked peach wine we had fined with Super-Kleer and bottled approx. 15 months ago and discovered evidence of fine sediment. We had not filtered the wine before bottling. The taste was exceptional and no signs of secondary fermentation. I think I see a filter in our future. Thanks all for your thoughts and comments. I'll loop back and let you know what we end up doing.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Alan Wolfe » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:58 pm

Andy - One further comment with regard to filtration - If you taste the wine immediately after filtration, I think you will find that the wine has been negatively affected. Wait a couple months and the wine will recover completely. There are, of course, differing opinions, but with the exception of wines at the very highest level of quality, most people believe it doesn't make any difference.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:37 am

Alan, any suggestions for a particular a filter for volumes of 50-100 gal? Thank you. Andy S
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Howie Hart » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:28 am

A standard 10 inch house filter from Home Depot would work nicely. You will need hoses and adapter fittings to connect hoses. Here is a link to a supplier of filter cartridges: http://www.filtersfast.com/Pentek-WPD-110-water-filters.asp. 5 micron for general, coarse filtering; 0.3 for sterile. You will also need a way to push or pull the wine through the filter. A small diaphragm pump to push it through or a vacuum pump to pull it through (I'd recommend an oilless vacuum pump - search EBay). Or you could buy all this stuff in a kit, with propriority filters - complete with vacuum bottler: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/enolmatic-vacuum-bottle-filler.html.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:07 pm

Hi Howie,

I have a Livorani EP food grade pump that works incredibly well for racking and am wondering if it would work with one of the filters listed on the website you suggested. Off the top of my head, I'm guessing the Livorani would effectively draw the wine from my 50 gal tank and push it through the filter. The trick will be to match the draw rate of Livorani with the flow rate of the 5 micron filter. just wondering if you have any experience with this. Also, have you used a similar filter after fining with bentonite, Isenglass, and/or colloidal silicon dioxide? If so, did the 5 micron filter do the trick or did you have to use the 1 micron version? Thank you. Andy
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Alan Wolfe » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:01 pm

Andy - I believe that a 5 micron filter is nearly worthless unless you have a very serious problem, i.e., cloudy wine as opposed to wine with a haze. Even a 2.0 micron filter won't remove a persistent haze. You need the ability to get down to 1.0 - 1.2 microns and at that level it's still just a clean-up. 0.45 micron will remove almost all yeast cells and is often considered "sterile," though I like 0.2 micron for sterile filtration.

With respect to pumps, an oversized pump, i.e., one with too great a volume of flow or too high pressure will either cause oxidation through cavitation or force so much wine through the filter that it's capacity is overwhelmed. An over-pressure by-pass valve can help but I am not a good enough engineer to make a suggestion. Throttling the input valve can slow flow rate but increases oxidation.

My best advice for filter devices would be the SOE or DOE cartridge filter units sold by Presque Isle Wine Cellars in Northeast, PA. They are not cheap but work well.

As for filtering after fining, I like to wait as long as possible before filtering to allow most of the fining agent to settle out before filtering, although this is not a good idea with some organic fining agents. It's easy to choke a cartridge by filtering too soon.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Oliver McCrum » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:08 am

I prefer my peach wine unfined and unfiltered.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Andy Satter » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:46 am

Oliver,

Unfined and unfiltered would be the gold standard in my book if only the wine would clear on its own through racking. Our raspberry wines do this but the peach and nectarine don't -- even if we cold store and rack them multiple times. We've always started primary fermentation with the whole ripe fruit, minus the stone, and wonder if this has contributed to the haze. The wines end up with a beautiful color and are translucent and definitely not crystal clear. (BTW, we plan to press the fruit and use juice only for this summer's harvest.) Does your unfined and unfiltered peach wine have any type of haze or have you figured out how to clear it naturally? Thanks. Andy
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Oliver McCrum » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:28 pm

Sorry, Andy, I was making a grape wine joke. I've never had a peach wine.
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Re: Fining Stone Fruit Wines

by Howie Hart » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:49 pm

Andy - there is another website, similar to this one, but it is geared for home mine makers, small wineries and grape growers. There are forums for fruit and country wines, kits, fresh grapes, etc. I think it would be more helpful to to you, as this site is geared more for wine drinkers. You may want to check it out: http://www.winepress.us
In fact, there is a current thread there on your topic: http://www.winepress.us/forums/index.php?/topic/53074-fining-timing/
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