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Beverage Making Beer, wine, mead, soda, cider, spirits, cordials, etc.

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Bottling Cherry Wine

Tonight I have started bottling some of my cherry wine that has been sleeping for about 18 months. Starting with the 3 gallon batch first as this is a time consuming task as I filter it first. Helps all the naysayers who only like their wine crystal clear.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:12 AM
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How do you filter? I was trying to use a cheese cloth and strainer but it keep clogging up and got a little messy. I think next time I need to strain the large stuff out first and then go finer.

I think some pieces are fine, lets you know it was homemade just like yeast in my beer probably good for ya.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:34 AM
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I've never made cherry wine but with the other fruit wines I've made, I've never filtered and they usually turn out pretty clear. At least no one has complained (yet). The blueberry is too dark to see if it's clear or not (smile) which works out because I only racked it once or twice.

Silly question here...doesn't racking more clear it up enough? Wouldn't filtering it before bottling expose it to quite a bit of air which is what should be avoided? I've never filtered and wouldn't know how if I wanted to.

I don't mean to sound silly but I'm still learning the art of wine making.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:31 AM
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Well that is what they say but since I have started filtering I have not had any go bad. I do not mind the sediment in my wine but it does distract from the looks when you pour it in a glass to serve to somebody and it has it in it. So one day I decided say the water container with a brita filter in it. My wife said she was just going to change it. I told her to hold on and filtered a couple gallons of apple wine I had. Came out great. Now time will tell if it goes bad so will let you know if I have any bottles left in a few years if it goes bad. Aren't you adding air to it every time you rack it?
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:22 AM
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Default few things

1) If I filter, I tend to steal a technique from the making of grappa (Italian grape brandy made from the must comprised of skins, seeds, stems etc from wine making) and filter through a combination of a layers of different grades of crushed pumice. Pumice is a light volcanic stone that's rather frothy. The grades range from 5, 3, 2, 1, and .45 micron. You can skip this and use a market variety wine filter. You must have a 2 and .45 micron filter to remove yeast and bacteria. Mine is an outline filter, meaning it does not insert into the tube, it slips over it. I wrap my stones in an equal sized filter paper meaning 5 micron with 5 micron paper to .45 micron paper. These are stacked with 1 inch space between the layers using metal washers within some pipe. I use gravity to filter them. The tube leads into the top of my 1 inch pipe with a pvc end cap with a hole drilled big enough to be a snug fit for the wine tube (about the diameter of surgical tubing). The pipe then leads to a blow off tube of 1 inch diameter (stolen from my primary fermentor for beer brewing.) which then leads to my 5 gallon primary. After each batch these layers must be changed to prevent cross contamination and sterilization is needed.

2) It's easier to get an inline filter and the filter plugs, or another on the market filter system.

3) I find my way while it produces clear results for most my wines it is not a sure fire thing. Sometimes wines are cloudy because of pectin. For example, Typical levels of pectin in fruits are (fresh weight):
apples, 1–1.5%
apricot, 1%
cherries, 0.4%
oranges, 0.5–3.5%
citrus peels, 30%

Citrus peel and sometimes citrus based wines are very tough to get to clear. A cloudy wine is not always because of pectin. It is common practice to leave a little bit of wine in the bottom of the secondary. Great care must be taken to not get too close to the lees/sediment when racking as this stirs up the lees/sediment which as us Italians says sours the wine. By filtering your able to remove some of these factors but not all. Pectin is very hard to get rid of, and often needs further additives to break down the pectin. To do this you need to add pectin enzyme. To figure out if it's pectin, add 3-4 fluid ounces of methylated spirit to a fluid ounce of wine. If jelly-like clots or strings form, then the problem is most likely pectin and should be treated for each gallon of wine draw off one cup of wine and stir into it a teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Set the treated sample in a warm place (70-80 F.) and stir hourly for four hours. Strain the sample through sterilized muslin cloth and add to the bulk of the wine. Leave the wine at 70 F. for 4-5 days. The haze should clear. If it does not, strain the wine through sterilized muslin cloth and then through a vacuum-pumped filter. If this does not work it is not pectin causing the cloudyness.

4) Bewarey of your tools. copper, zinc, iron, or aluminum implements or primary fermentation vessels can cause white, dark, purplish, or brown hazes. If the culprit was iron or copper, a few drops of citric acid will usually clear the haze. If zinc or aluminum, try fining with egg shell, and if this does not work you must filter.

5) Lactic acid hazes, If you use a malo-lactic bacteria and there is a silky sheen when the secondary is swirled make sure the fermentation is complete and treat with 3 crushed Campden tablets per gallon of wine, wait 10 days, and rack.

6) Starches can also cause cloudyness. (potatos corn etc) Test by adding 5 drops of iodine to 8 ounces of wine. If starch haze is present the wine will turn indigo blue (interesting fact banks use this same technique in pen form to check for counter fit bills which are often printed on starchy paper, real bills are not). Treat with Amylase or Amylozyme 100. Amylase is used just like pectic enzyme is used to treat pectin haze. Apples do contain starches. If you opt to use Amylozyme 100 it is used differently, treat with 1/2 ounce Amylozyme 100 (one tablespoon) per gallon of wine and bring into a warm room (70-75 F.) for a week. The wine should clear.

7) Filtering is generally not used specificly for clearing as most problems are starches or pectins with homemade wines. It's mostly for microbial stability. For example if wine sits too long on baker's yeast instead of wine yeast. When this happens, one must treating by adding one crushed Campden tablet and 1/2 ounce of activated charcoal to each gallon of wine and stir with a sterile rod. Let settle 4-6 hours and stir again. Repeat this 4-6 times then let sit undisturbed 24 hours. Rack through a double layer of sterilized muslin to catch minute charcoal particles. Another problem that is very uncommon is called flowers of wine. Flowers of wine is when small flecks or blooms of white powder or film may appear on the surface of the wine. If left unchecked, they grow to cover the entire surface and can grow into a thick layer. They are caused by spoilage of yeasts and/or mycoderma bacteria, and if not caught at first appearance will certainly spoil the wine. If caused by yeast you may have a problem, the yeast consumes alcohol and give off carbon dioxide gas. They eventually turn the wine into colored water. The wine must be filtered at once to remove the flecks of bloom and then must be treated with one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of wine. The saved wine will have suffered some loss of alcohol and may need to be fortified by addind alcohol (brandy works well in my opinion and does offer some creativity. Banana brandy in blueberry wine very interesting) or consumed quickly. If caused by the mycoderma bacteria, it must be treated lik any other yeast infection without filtering. The Campden tablet may check it, but the taste may have been ruined. Taste the wine and then decide if you want to keep it. Bacterial infections usually spoil the wine permanently, but early treatment may save it.

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