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Old 06-20-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
DougBrown
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Default need opinion on pectic enzyme

A very experienced winemaker friend of mine says that if I put 3/4 tsp. of pectic enzyme into my wine when I transferring it from the primary to the secondary it will clear faster and better. Hmmm... I'm a pretty experienced winemaker too and it doesn't make sense to me. Pectic enzyme does its work when added to the must before fermentation, not after -- yes/no? I've tried what he says and I don't notice any difference but he's pretty insistent. Comments?

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Old 06-20-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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I guess it depends on the fruit used. Some fruits need that extra break down of the polysaccharides that seem to cause a lingering haze. Peaches are renowned for absolutely needing pectic enzyme to fully clear. When using pectic enzyme befor fermentation the number one property is to help extract the flavorful juice. If you did not add that at the beginning or the enzymes died out early in the fermentation is when it may be good to use the enzyme in secondary for clearing. Personally I think with proper use befor fermentation it is unneccesary to put it in the secondary.

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
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Yes, the best time to use pectic enzyme is before pitching. You only need to use it with fruits that have lots of pectin, like peaches (and their cousins) and apples.

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
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Do you need to add pectic enzyme when using cherries? or just cherry juice?

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:56 AM   #5
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I should have mentioned this when I submitted my message but I'm using wine kits, not fresh fruit. I've been making wine kits from RJSpagnols (their 6 week Cellar Classic and Cru Select wines) for many years and have been having filtering problems recently. My friend suggested the pectic enzyme as a remedy. I make lots of fruit wines too and have no problems with them.

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Old 06-21-2012, 05:45 AM   #6
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use pectic enzyme 1 hour prior to pitching, the alcohol will destroy it if you use it later...

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Old 06-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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You can add pectin post fermentation to help with clarity issues. I use scott labs pec5L. It can be used at grape crush and at juice (not at all points). Use about .05ml per gallon.
I am a commercial winemaker for a US university.

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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You can use PE with the transfer from primary to secondary/airlock. I do this when working with a particular fruit or juice that is known to have higher pectin levels OR if I happened to not have any in stock when I started the wine. You can also invest in different enzymes, not just your standard "pectic enzyme".

As far as working with kits, I use what is supplied. You mention you are having trouble filtering...are you saying your wine is not clear? Have you contacted RJS for troubleshooting?

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:04 AM   #9
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yes, I have been in touch with RJS several times about this. They deny it's their product at fault. Sigh...

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougBrown View Post
A very experienced winemaker friend of mine says that if I put 3/4 tsp. of pectic enzyme into my wine when I transferring it from the primary to the secondary it will clear faster and better. Hmmm... I'm a pretty experienced winemaker too and it doesn't make sense to me. Pectic enzyme does its work when added to the must before fermentation, not after -- yes/no? I've tried what he says and I don't notice any difference but he's pretty insistent. Comments?
The improvement in clearing/fining from using pectic enzyme, as you mentioned, occurs because positively charged grape solids are coated by negatively charged pectin molecules ... this makes them harder to get them to bind-up and to fall out of suspension. Pectic enzymes break down that “coating” and allow some the particles to expose their positive charges ... which then allows them to bind with other negative coated particles ... and they coalesce and more readily fall out of suspension and clear.

Pectic enzyme is actually a group of enzymes and most pectinase you purchase ... is actually a combination of those enzymes.

Pectic enzyme is used for multiple reasons and affects the must/wine at different times during maceration, fermentation and fining.

so back to your question ... yes, it does help to clear.
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