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Fining: A brief summary of different fining agents.

Fall Bright, The Winemakers Shoppe Dundee, NY, USA, 607-292-3995

 Cold Stabilizing will also help clear your wines in addition to dropping the acid

Note: 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. 
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. Allergies to egg albumin must be taken into consideration in using this old time fining process.

Gelatin has a positive charge and precipitates with negatively charged tannin. It is excellent to reduce tannin.

Red Wines: 2 grams per 5 gallons. Dissolve gelatin in hot water until dissolved, but avoid excessive heat, allow to cool. Add to wine.  Mix well. Allow 2-3 weeks to settle. There may be slight color loss.

No tannin necessary with red wines when fining with gelatin, unless you feel that your wine is low in tannin. May use more if necessary. Taste test.

            White Wine and Beer: First, add 2 grams of tannic acid per 5 gallons during racking, which has been dissolved in small amount of water.

            After you finish the addition of the tannic acid during the racking, add 2 grams per 5 gal. of gelatin (3/4 tsp.) which has been dissolved in hot water and cooled. Mix well.

            If persistent haze occurs, re-chill, rack and add 1-2 grams of tannic acid (dissolved in hot water). Add during racking

We do not stock white tannic acid used for light brews and white wine.

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 effective.

Isinglass, Isinglass, having a positive (+) charge, is used at the rate of 15-40 milligrams per liter in beer or white wine. Dissolve package recommended rate in 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. 

 Isinglass is a made from Sturgeon (fish).

Biofine Isinglass is sold dry in 1/2 ounce packs.  Usage rate for 5 gallons is 1/4 teaspoons in 2 ounces of non-chlorinated cool water (2 tablespoons).  Thoroughly dissolve and allow to stand for 20 minutes.   (We usually use more water if needed.)

Pre-prepared liquid Isinglass has a short shelf life.

LQ Super-Kleer KC Finings: Liquid clearing agent with a one-two pouch 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 days. CAUTION: 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. Cold mix sparkolloid may be used for juice or wine.

Powdered pectic enzyme instructions indicate a usage rate of 1/2 teaspoon per gallon with no differentiation for the different fruits.  Store at room temperature.

Pectic enzymes hydrolyze and depolymerize (break down) the naturally occurring pectin in grapes and other fruits. Resulting juices and wines have  improved rates of settling, clarification, fining and filtration. Added at crushing, it releases juice from the pulp, increasing both free-run and total juice yields at any given level of pressing effort.  Enzyme activity doubles with each 10oF rise in temperature with maximum activity at about 140oF. It has thermal stability within a range of 25o to 140oF (-4o to 65oC). It is stable within a pH range of pH 2.5 to pH 6.5. Refrigerate, if liquid, as optimum storage temperature is 41 degrees F (5oC). It will lose 15% to 20% of its strength per year if not refrigerated during storage, but only about 3-5% if refrigerated. 

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. There are about 20 drops in 1 ml and 28 ml in 1 ounce or ~560 drops. Refrigerate liquid pectic enzyme.

Pectic enzyme Color Pro: SCOTTZYME COLOR PRO Refrigerate 1 fl. oz. Approximately 600 drops per ounce. 30 drops = 1 ml from our squeeze bottle. We also have a different size plastic syringes that work for measuring ml. 
Dilute to 10% solution in distilled water to add.

Crushed red grapes 60-100 ml/ton:

1 ml (30 drops) per 20-33 pounds, 9-15 drops per 10 pounds

Red Juice: 125-150 ml/1000gal 4-5 drops per 5 gallons BEFORE FERMENTATION

Red Wine: 150-300 ml/1000gal 5-9 drops per 5 gallons BEFORE FERMENTAION

Crushed white grapes: 15-20 ml/ton: 2-3 drops per 10 pounds.
White Juice: 50-60 ml/1000gal: 0.5-0.6 ml per 10 gallons, 15-18 drops per 10 gal, 7-9 drops per 5 gallons.
White Wine: 100-200/1000gal: bench trial recommended: 1 ml to 2 ml per 10 gal,
30-60 drops per 10 gal 15-30 drops per 5 gallons

Use upper rate for American varieties and other fruits. Dundee, NY

On the press deck Tom uses pectic enzyme. He has been using Zyme-O-Clear and Color Pro. I don't sell the Zyme-O-Clear to the amateur, as the rate is so minute it is hare to measure. Tom uses 2-5 ml per ton for this item. Color Pro is better suited for the amateur.

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 from Scott Labs pdf and now Laffort USA

Polylact is a blend of PVPP and casein in a cellulose base from Laffort USA. 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 Polylact.
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 conditions.)

Reference: Winemaking Basics (Ough), Technology of Wine Making (Amerine), Brew King News and product instruction label from Fall Bright.


May Your Wines Fall Bright!