Clearing wine

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Dark_Ale

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I have been out of the wine making seen for a few years and brewing allot of beer. I want to brew a 5 gallon batch of wine. I remember when I made a batch with Welches grape juice and it come out pretty good. I let it sit in the carboy for a while 3 or 4 months I cant remember and it was very clear so I bottled. I few months later it had sediment in the bottles. After that I filtered with no more problems, but I would rent the filter from the homebrew shop and it was kinda of pain.
So I was wondering has anyone bottled there wine without filtering with no sediment in the bottle after ageing. I have been out of wine making for a while so What steps can I take to make sure I dont have any sediment in the bottles at bottling time.
 

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I've never filtered and have no problems with sediment.

I think patience is the key- I have only bottled wine that is clear and stabilized then bulk aged a bit and not throwing any lees at all. If the wine hasn't cleared on its own, I've used sparkelloid. Then still let it bulk age a long while before bottling.

I have some dandelion wine in secondary that still hasn't cleared. I'll give it a couple of more months before using finings. I have an apple wine that is perfectly clear sitting next to it. Aside from racking when there are lees, it's ok to leave it where it is. Really, there is no rush. Eventually, all the sediment settles out. I personally think it ages well in a carboy anyway, and it keeps my hands off of it!
 
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Dark_Ale

Dark_Ale

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I am used to trying to get my beer off the yeast cake when I can......
So after its cleared and I add the fining agents do I transfer and then add it or add it to the secondary. Its ok to rack wine 3 or 4 times right?
 

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Boy, I rack my wines every 30-45 days if there are lees. I guess that some are only racked 3 or 4 times, some way more.

I'm not sure I understand your question about finings- I know that some people use bentonite in the primary but I've never done that and can't tell you about it.

What I do with all my wines (I'm not talking about grape wines here, just "others") is this: Put in primary loosely covered for 3-5 days stirring every day to break up the cap and give plenty of oxygen. When s.g. reaches 1.020 (more or less), rack to secondary. Thereafter, I rack every 30 to 45 days as long as it's throwing lees. Sometimes it's a lot longer than that if there isn't much sediment. I use campden every other racking, as well as at the beginning of the ferment.

When I'm thinking about bottling, I see if the wines are clear. If they are not clear, I add finings. After the finings do their work, I rack. If after a few more weeks, it's still clear and not throwing sediment, I stablize it. I wait a couple of more weeks. Then, I either bulk age it or sweeten it. Then, bottle after that.

I'm no expert, so I'm sure there are many other ways to do this! Jack Keller has an awesome website: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp Scroll all the way to the bottom, and there are tabs to click on. He goes into great detail about stabilizing, racking, etc and that would be way more helpful than I could ever be!
 
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