when you make wine at home you have several things you have to do and one of them is clear your wine to remove residue from the fermenting process. The grape solids left after pressing, this is also known as “grape crap”, and it appears like a thick layer of mashed up grapes on the top of your fermenting wine and must be removed or you can get off-flavors in your wine.
So, what is the best way to clear your wine to remove the yeast and grape solids? There are several options for this including clarifying agents like bentonite, gelatin, or isinglass that you can buy to help settle out the particles. However, if you want a cheap easy way to do it then try one of these methods below!
One way to clear out your wine is to add some type of settling agent to the fermenter. There are many different agents you can use, but here are my top three choices for grape wines.
Another option for clarifying your grape wine is bentonite, but it must be used with care because you can strip too much color or body from your wine when using bentonite. Also when you use bentonite it must be used with a fining agent to help remove the bentonite residue that settles out of your wine.
A by-product of the fishing industry this is the fastest acting clarifying agent you can use to remove your grape solids. You can get liquid or powdered isinglass, it’s pretty cheap and you only need 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons of wine. To use isinglass follow the instructions on the product label which usually requires mixing with warm water prior to adding to your fermenter. This is the only clarifying agent I use when I want to clear my wine in less than 24 hours.
The last option for clearing your grape wines is gelatin, but you cannot add this to your fermenter until 1 week after fermentation begins because the active yeast will break this product down so it can’t do
To properly use gelatin you need to mix 1 tsp per gallon of grape wine with hot water and let it cool before adding this mixture to your fermenter. Don’t forget to rack the active yeast off the bottom before adding this clarifying agent, because it will clear too quickly if any of the sediment is disturbed by racking.
Best Way To Clear Your Wine – Summary.
This is not an easy task to do. There are several reasons you want to remove the grape pulp residue, but the biggest reason is that it will give your wine off flavors if you leave it in. You can get all kinds of nasty tastes or your wine might even not be drinkable.
If you use one of the products mentioned above that is in my opinion one of the easiest ways to clear that homemade wine you have spent weeks on.
For many, this is a step that they find hard to do. However, with the right product, you can make it an easy step in the home winemaking process.