First, it is crucial to document your winemaking process to replicate or improve this future process. Many causes exist for a wine to have a hazy or poor clarity of which a majority can be cleared relatively quickly with time and sometimes with chemicals or natural additives. The most common method is racking wine, which means letting the material floating settle and siphon or drain the top portion off, leaving the materials at the bottom and more transparent wine in another tank.
Gelatin Finings: Add between ½ and one teaspoon per 5-gallon batch, dissolved in water, and added after the wine has completed primary fermentation. This additive removes yeast and some tannin from suspension through binding. It works incredibly well for red wines but less so for white wines.
Super-Kleer KC Finings: This is a dual-stage wine clarifying kit. This kit contains two premixed pouches of kieselsol and chitosan. The fining process works by creating strong negative and strong positive charges in the wine, allowing for larger yeast clumping and faster clearing. Works great in wine kits, grape and fruit wines, and alcohol mashes. 65 mL (2.2 fl oz) packet.
- Add kieselsol (packet D1) to carboy (5-6G/19-23L) of wine, etc.
- Gently stir.
- Dissolve chitosan (packet D2) in 1 fluid oz./30mL of warm water.
- Add and stir gently.
This process clears wine in 12-48 hours but can take up to 2 weeks for the full effect. May not clear pectin haze or products made with hard water.
It is excellent for wines since chitosan is very gentle on flavors and aroma, so it is a popular option for clearing wines.
Biofine Clear: – Clarifier that uses silicic acid (SiO2) as the primary active agent. Use this to speed up yeast sedimentation and also remove other haze forming protein particles. It is vegan.
Add between ½ tablespoons and two tablespoons to clarify the wine and only take a couple of days to clarify fully. This clarifier must be stored cold.
Bentonite: – This is a clay mineral naturally produced from volcanic ash. Winemakers may use bentonite at the beginning of fermentation to help clarify and create a more refined fermentation to ease the clarifying process. Bentonite can be very useful in removing unstable proteins out of a must or wine to add at the beginning of fermentation or a month before bottling the wine. Bentonite binds to positively charged proteins and absorbs many times its weight in water to clump together and drop to the bottom as sediment. You must premix with water before use.
Pectin Haze is a protein haze from the fleshy parts of grapes that is hard to clarify and clear.
Pectic Enzyme: An enzyme used to reduce pectin’s hazy effect (pulp matter) when using real fruit in your wines. Mix two teaspoons with cold water and add to 5 – 6 gallon of must before fermentation. Another measurement tool uses ½ teaspoon per gallon only in wine and adds to the must at the beginning to improve must clarity. This enzyme also makes pressing more efficient and aids in tannin extraction. Grapes have some pectin, and many different fruits have higher pectin levels like apples, oranges, plums, and pears.