Wine Fining Agents - Achieving Clarity and Stability

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Procedures for Wine Fining

 

Copyright ©2021 The Beverage People, Inc

 

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST.

Always add Metabisulfite when adding a fining agent, to prevent oxidation during the mechanical stirring needed to blend in the agent.

The following guide will help you decide which fining agent will be most appropriate for your application.  Selecting a fining agent will depend upon what you are trying to remove from your wine.  For example, to remove oxidation or reduce bitterness, fine with Claril SP or Polyclar. To soften tannins, use either Gelatin, PVPP, or Egg Whites followed by Sparkolloid.  For protein stability, use Bentonite or Claril SP.  For general clarity, Sparkolloid is a good choice.

Click here to go directly to the instructions for the fining agent of your choice.

 


 

Fining Agents List - Alphabetical


 

Bentonite

FN32 - 2 oz | FN11 - 1 lb | FN10-B5 - 5 lb

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

  

White Wine, Rosé, Fruit Wine for protein removal and heat stability.

When to Use

Usually post-fermentation.  Rack in 1-2 weeks. Allow 3 weeks to settle before bottling.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Bentonite requires that a slurry be made up a day in advance. Measure out a 750 ml. bottle of water, and heat it to boiling. Slowly stir in 1 oz. of Bentonite. Mix it thoroughly for about one minute in a blender and funnel back into the 750 ml. wine bottle. Close with a silicone or latex stopper and let it stand for a day. Shake up the slurry to thoroughly mix it back into solution and then thoroughly stir 1/4 cup into each five gallons of wine. Rack as usual after 1 to 2 weeks.

Rate of Use

1/4 cup of slurry per 5 gallons.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

Negatively charged.  Attracts proteins and anthocyanin color compounds.


 

Claril SP

#9315 -50 g

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

  

Pre-fermentation White must fining; final clarity, and oxidation or bitterness reduction in all other wines.

When to Use

Pre-fermentation: settle 1-2 days under refrigeration.  Post-fermentation: settle for 10 days.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Suspend Claril SP in 10 times its weight in non-chlorinated water, let mixture stand for 3-6 hours.

Rate of Use

1.1-3.4g/gal, depending on application.  Higher rates for pre-fermentation fining, and lower rates for post-fermentation fining.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

Claril SP is a mixed fining agent made from Bentonite 50% (negative charge), PVPP 20% (no charge), caseinate 15% (positive charge), silica 15% (negative charge).  This blend attracts proteins, as well as polyphenols and anthocyanins.


 

Egg Whites

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

Red Wines with excess tannin.

When to Use

In barrel or carboy a month or more before bottling.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Whip egg whites to a soft froth with some wine and water then mix into the wine thoroughly.  Consider following with Sparkolloid fining.

Rate of Use

1/2 egg white per 5 gallons.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

Positively charged.  Attracts polyphenol compounds.


 

Gelatin

FN03 - 1 oz | FN01 - 1 lb

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

 

Red Wines with excess tannin.  Also used for beer fining.

When to Use

Post-fermentation up to 3 weeks before bottling.  Refrigeration will accelerate precipitation.  For beer under cold storage, 3-7 days of settling is adequate.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Dissolve in 10 oz. hot water, let sit for 10 minutes. Stir thoroughly into the wine.

Rate of Use

1/4 oz. 5 gallons.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

Positively charged. Attracts polyphenol compounds and yeast.


 

Polyclar VT™ PVPP (Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone)

FN22 - 1 oz | FN21 - 1 lb

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

 

White Wine and Rosé to remove oxidation browning and reduce bitterness.

When to Use

Before, during or after fermentation.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Thorough mixing is required. PVPP is fluffy and can be difficult to rack off cleanly.  PVPP fining is often followed with filtration.

Rate of Use

2.5 - 12.5 g per 5 gallons.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

No charge.  It is an inert synthetic compound that is effective at absorbing and precipitating polyphenols, responsible for browning in wines as well as excessive bitterness.


 

Hot Mix Sparkolloid NF®

FN06 - 1 oz | FN05 - 1 lb

 

Recommended for use in the following applications

  

All wines, for clarity.

When to Use

Post-fermentation up to 3 weeks before bottling.

Preparation & Use Instructions

Sparkolloid is used at the rate of 1 - 1.5 grams per gallon. To fine five gallons of wine, begin by measuring out 5 to 7.5 grams of dry Sparkolloid. Then take about 2 cups of water, stir in the Sparkolloid, and heat it on the stove in a saucepan.  Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Add the hot mixture into the wine. Stir gently, but thoroughly. Let stand three to four weeks and carefully rack away from the sediments of the Sparkolloid and the lees. It's a very fluffy sediment, so be prepared to lose an inch of wine.

Rate of Use

5 - 7.5 g per 5 gallons.

Molecular Charge and Molecular Targets

Positively charged. It is a proprietary blend including diatomaceous earth.  It neutralizes the repelling charge of particulate matter allowing aggregation and formation of compact lees. It does not remove desirable color constituents.