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Old 03-03-2010, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default Clearing Grapefruit wine question

Hello all,
First post here and very new to wine making, but very addicted to it as well, especially the fruit wines.
Our second batch we tried the grapefruit wine, but it is not clearing like our apple cider wine did. It tasted bad when it was starting out, but after the last racking I really liked it. I am looking for some advice on helping it clear as it is still a cloudy pink- if we should have added pectic enzyme at the start, or if we should/can still can add it to help clear, or if we should be patient and keep racking every so often, or add sparkloid or bentonite and when.

I am a fan of the keep it simple method and have limited knowledge of winemaking so if you will bear with me this is our recipe and I look forward to your advice.

(per gallon- we made 6 gallons)


6 grapefruits
6 pints of warm water
2 1/4 lbs. sugar
1/4 teaspoon tannin
1 campden tablet
1 pkg. champaign yeast


starting SG: 1.085 12/19/09
added yeast 12/20/09
SG 1.085 12/21/09
SG 1.08 12/22/09
SG 1.065 12/23/09
SG 1.055 12/25/09
SG 1.04 12/26/09
Transfered to carboy 12/26/09
Racked 1/18/10
Racked 2/14/10

we forgot to write the last gravities down during the rackings but will be checking again next racking. It has been room temperature (70) the whole time.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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In general, using gelatin and a cold crash a few days pre-bottling clears most things considerably. Boil a pint of water and set it aside to cool slightly. Let the water drop to around 180 and add a tablespoon of clear, unscented, unflavored Knox gelatin (if you add while the water is still boiling, the binding effects of the gelatin are lost). Mix it well and then pour into your wine. Let it sit a week and you should notice a difference. The effects will be magnified if you can leave it in a cold environment (fridge or outside if you're up north).

Good luck!

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Old 03-03-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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I was hoping not to have to do the cold crash, it has only been 3 months since making the recipe, should i just bulk age it longer and see what happens?

too late to add pectic enzyme? bentonite or sparkaloid?

also we didn't top up with water (no similiar wine) and gave away the original extra gallon so it is a few (four inches) from the neck of 6 gallon carboy, this should be solved when we re rack into the 5 gallon carboy.

any more suggestions?

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Old 03-03-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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I'd keep it at room temperature, and go ahead and add the pectic enzyme. You can dissolve 1.5 teaspoons per gallon into some of the wine, and then add it back to the carboy. If that doesn't work, you can then go to finings. I like Sparkelloid.

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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What is it about the cold crash that you were hoping to avoid? Especially since you're up north, it shouldn't be a problem to place it in a garage. The pectic should definitely help. And the gelatin should help out on top of that.

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Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:19 PM   #6
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about the cold crash- I have limited knowledge about the process however, We do have a fridge available. I would like to add the pectic enzyme as we have this available and wont require another trip to the store, for roughly 5 gallons how much would you add? and would you add it during the next racking or take the airlock off and try it now?. It has been two and a half months since we started

I am a bit nervous about how much head space we have in the six gallon carboy - probably four - 5 inches from mouth of carboy- but we haven't stablized it yet so I may be ok?..

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Old 03-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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bump.. any more thoughts? We are going to rack it in a week and a half into a smaller carboy to eliminate the headspace... what do you think we should do, leave it and rack it a few more times like keller calls for? add gelatin and cold crash then stablize and bottle? try the pectic enzyme this late in the game? looking for any and all suggestions

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
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I still say 1.5 teaspoons of pectic enzyme per gallon, added in the same way I mentioned.

I think you have WAY too much headspace. For a 5 gallon batch, you really need a 5 gallon carboy. You'll probably have an oxidation issue if you don't rack to a smaller carboy. I would do that right away, and not wait any longer.

If the batch is only a couple months old, I'd do the pectic enzyme and then wait about 4-6 months before worrying about it.

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Old 04-21-2010, 02:36 PM   #9
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ok, I ended up campden tablet per gallon, pectic enzyme, racked to a five gallon a month ago. Still wasn't clearing and its been four months. So i got the urge to put it in a spare fridge to 'cold crash'. If it clears I am thinking reracking, then sorbate and campden again to finally be done with it. If it doesn't clear after a week or two in the fridge.. not sure

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Old 04-24-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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well its been almost a week in the fridge, and no clearing... dun dun dun... any suggestions? chitosan? bentonite? HELP.... I am on about my 6th batch now so i am understanding more of the lingo..

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