My Redneck Wine Filter

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May 18, 2014
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So I have wanted to try filtering my wine for a while now, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune on equipment. I seriously thought about buying the vinibrite system, but it seems like a glorified coffee filter set up to me. Plus the filters are a little pricey and it takes like 45 minutes to filter a gallon of wine. Since I only make 1 gallon batches I just can’t justify spending $4 or more on a single use filter pad. I liked the idea of the vacuum pump/whole house filter set up, but again this set up is not cheap. The set up I came up with is very simple and it filters the wine using gravity. It also it filters the wine pretty quickly. This said, my set up is not perfect and I am sure there are some people who may take issue with it, but this is what I came up with and it cost practically nothing and best of all it seems to work.

What you will need is:

1 twin pack of 5 micron Whirlpool (WHKF-GD05) whole house filters - $9

1 #9 rubber stopper with hole

1 #9 stopper

1 3/8" nipple or tube

2 stainless steel hose clamps

A siphon device

3/8” tubing for racking

A fermenting bucket

To start with I took 1 of the filters and cut a 3” (plus or minus) section out of it using a cleaned fresh hack saw blade. Be careful when cutting the filter since they are actually built pretty stout. Cut slow and make sure to really clean and rinse the cut section of the filter of any loose fibers or you may get some in your wine.

Next using a twisting motion insert the stoppers into each end of the filter as far as they will go in being careful not to damage the filter. Then take the hose clamps (clean them first) and put them on either end of the filter. Then tighten down the clamps on the filter so that the stoppers are fairly snug and won’t easily come out. Don’t get to crazy tightening or you may just force the stoppers out since they are tapered.

Next take the stopper with the hole and insert the nipple. Make sure it’s snug enough so it won't pop out. Attach this to the racking hose.

Now the filter should be ready to use after you have sanitized it.

To sanitize it I dissolved two Campden tablets in a gallon of hot water and racked through the filter set-up into a 2 gallon fermentation bucket. Just make sure to empty the filter by removing the bottom stopper or you’ll get some residual water in your wine when you use it.

To filter the wine I simply rack the wine through the filter into my primary bucket leaving the filter on the bottom so I don’t induce a lot of air into the wine.

Next I either rack the wine into bottles or into a carboy for storage.

A few notes:

Always dissolve one campden tablet per gallon of wine after filtering to guard against oxidation.

You can reuse the same filter a couple of times as long as you flush it out before using it on another batch. I always rinse the outside and the inside of the filter.

A very small amount of wine stays in the filter - just discard it.

I would only use this setup on a wine that is fairly clear or the filter could plug up.

If you are filtering 5 gallons of wine I suppose you could just use the whole filter instead of cutting it up into smaller sections, but IMO the smaller section would probably work just fine if the wine is pretty clear.

I have had no problems with the filter plugging up even when racking off of some sparkalloid.

This is probably not a good method for using on a very fine wine since the wine is exposed to air.

Storage: So far I only use the filter when I have at least two gallons to filter. So far I have just tossed the filter after I have used it Two gallons of wine seems to get the filters pretty dirty looking. I could probably freeze it and try to reuse it, but I gave not tried that yet.

Good luck.