My finished wine is cloudy and won't clear?
A haze or cloudiness in wine could be due to different causes. There might even be a combination of factors causing the problem.
Kit wines are usually easier to clear than wines made from fresh ingredients where there are more ‘specific’ factors, which influence the clearing.
All wines will clear naturally given time and it is important that we do give them time. However, for a wine to clear the following conditions must apply:
- The wine must have stopped fermenting.
- The wine must be free from bacterial contamination.
- The wine must be in the right environment.
The addition of fermentation stopper / stabiliser should ensure that the wine is not fermenting. Tasting and smelling the wine will detect signs of ‘off’ flavours and smells. Putting the wine in a COOL environment where the temperature remains fairly constant should allow it to clear.
The addition of a ‘fining’ agent will usually help speed up the clearing process. Sometimes extra finings might be needed, however, it is important not to over fine as this could lead to a permanent haze.
De-gassing a wine at the end of fermentation helps. The more residual gas that you can get out of suspension the better. You will end up with a cleaner, crisper end product.
‘Racking’ wine from one container to another is also helpful.
Sometimes when you cannot get the wine to clear all that is needed is a change of location. Experience shows that in a good percentage of cases the wine is simply being stored in an environment not suitable for clearing.