A brief summary of different fining agents.
Fining agents are more efficient in clearing wine when a sediment
base exists. It is very
important to properly prepare the fining agent and to mix the agent
thoroughly with the wine or beer and the sediment.
Negatively charged fining
agents such as bentonite will attract and bring together particles
having a positive charge. Agents
such as isinglass and sparkolloid will attract negatively charged
particles. This process allows for the molecular weight structures
of the particles to become larger. Larger and heavier particles
fall to the bottom of the carboy when their mass becomes large enough.
If the fining agents do not find enough particles to join
together into larger particles (which will fall out) then the
clarification process stalls.
Small particles on their own remain suspended and the
effectiveness of the fining agents is reduced.
If your fining stalls, then it is time to filter.
Bentonite has a negative charge.
Bentonite is best added immediately following the completion of
the primary fermentation. Wine
with a high pH will require more bentonite to obtain the same results as
less bentonite at a lower pH. Use
2.6 to 4.5 grams per gallon. (2.6
grams of granular Bentonite is about 5/8 teaspoons) Mix Bentonite
with 5 ounces of water. Let
stand overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Mix some wine back into the slurry and add to the wine.
This is fast acting. You
can probably rack in 24 hours.
Egg White is used only on red wines.
Using 1 egg per 5 gallons, separate and discard yolk, add a pinch of
salt and 100 ml. or a ¼ cup of water and stir well. Add to wine,
stirring. Rack within two weeks to avoid off flavor problems.
Gelatin has a positive charge and precipitates
with negatively charged tannin. It is excellent to reduce
tannin. Sprinkle 2 grams or approximately 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of
gelatin per 5 gallon onto a small amount of water or wine, soak for 5
minutes, warm until dissolved but avoid excessive heat. Allow to
dissolve and cool before adding to the wine. Add
to the wine. Allow 2-3 weeks to settle. There may be slight
Gelatin is usually not recommended for white wine as
it requires tannin to work and most whites are low in tannin. If
using for whites or beer, during a racking process, add 2 grams of
tannin or Tannic Acid (about 1 heaping teaspoon) per 5 gallons dissolved
in a small amount of wine or water. After racking add 2 grams of
gelatin per 5 gallons, which has been dissolved in hot water and allowed
Irish moss (Chondrus Crispus) is used to settle
out protein-tannin complexes in beer wort. Add recommended rate
per recipe during the last 15 minutes of the boil. Irish moss is very
Isinglass, having a positive (+) charge, is
used at the rate of 15-40 milligrams per liter in beer or white wine.
Dissolve (usually sold pre-measured for 10-12 gallons) in ½ pint of
water, shake vigorously for a few minutes. Let this set for an
hour and then add another ½ pint of water. Shake again and keep
cool or refrigerated, allowing to set for a day or two before using.
Mash lumps with a brush and strain through a cheesecloth or a tea sieve
before adding. Follow manufacture’s instructions.
Isinglass is a made from Sturgeon (fish).
LQ Super-Kleer KC Finings: Liquid
clearing agent with a one-two punch combination of Kieselsol and
Chitosan, creates both strong negative and positive charges in the wine,
allowing for faster and successful clearing. It is added directly
to the wine followed by thorough stirring. Add Kieselsol to carboy
of wine, etc. Stir gently. Dissolve Chitosan in 1 fl. oz of warm
water. Add to carboy of wine etc. Stir gently. Attach
airlock and bung. Clears wine, etc. brilliantly in 12-48 hours.
May not clear pectin haze or products made with hard water. One
package is sufficient to clear a 5 or 6 gallon batch of beer or wine in two
Chitosan is a shellfish derivative.
Sparkolloid is a polysaccharide in a
diatomaceous carrier with a positive charge. It does not strip
color. For 5 gallons dissolve 2.3 grams (1 ¾ teaspoon) in ½ cup
of boiling water if the sparkolloid is a hot mix. Simmer
about 15-30 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy. Replenish
water if necessary, may agitate in a blender. Add some wine to
thin and add to the wine while still hot. Agitate well. Wait 1-2
weeks for settling.
Sparkolloid Cold Mix also contains diatomaceous
earth and alginates. Use ½
teaspoon per gallon. Mix
required amount with a small amount of cold water. Stir
well until solution is smooth and creamy. Add
mixture to the finished wine and stir.
Let settle for one week or more, then rack or filter.
Pectic enzyme added at crushing
helps release juice form the pulp increasing juice yields and improving
rates of settling, clarification, fining and filtration.
Normal use at crushing is 4-8 drops per gallon for
hybrids and viniferas, 10-14 drops per gallon for American (Labrusca)
grape varieties and double that for fruits like peaches, plums, apples,
and strawberries. Weight
to gallon conversion for grapes is:
12 to 15 pounds (grapes) = 1 gallon.
If fermenting on the skins, calculate the gallonage at 12 pounds
to the gallon. If cold pressing, calculate the gallonage at 15
pound to the gallon. Let set on enzyme 4-8 hours
before pressing. Cover
the fruit with clear plastic to minimize oxidation.
are about 20 drops in 1 ml and 28 ml in 1 ounce or ~560 drops.
Refrigerate liquid pectic enzyme.
liquid pectic enzyme refrigerated
for maximum storage life when not in use.
Powdered pectic enzyme may be stored at room temperature.
PVPP or Polyvinyl-polypyrrolidone, alias Polyclar,
reacts with tannins and phenols, reducing browning due to a strong
affinity for catechins. It
removes color in both red and white wine.
Used for wine and beer. Polyclar
may be added during primary fermentation or to a finished wine or beer
at the rate of ¼ ounce per 5 gallons for red wine or beer and ½
ounce per five gallons of white wine.
The lesser amount is suggested where color loss is a concern.
Make slurry of the required rate with a small amount of wine or
beer, allow to sit for 1 hour and add directly. Agitate well.
Proper potassium metabisulfite should be added at the same time.
Stir vigorously several times during the first hour.
Wine may be racked or filtered after 24-48 hours and bottled any
time after that. Filtration
is highly recommended for separation.
Polylact is a blend of PVPP and
casein in a cellulose base. Polylact acts evenly on all types of
phenolic compounds and can be used as both a curative and a preventative
against browning and pinking in white wines and musts.
The rates below are for
Curative Usage rate: 0.3-0.7grams/L (5 gallons is 19 liters)
Prevent Oxidation: 15-30 grams/hl = 0.15-0.30 grams/L (such as use
on a white wine that will be exposed to long or extreme storage
Basics (Ough), Technology of Wine Making (Amerine), Brew King News and
product instruction label from Fall Bright.