Chitosan Dosage for White Grape Wine

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Johnd

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I clear all of my reds from grapes with Father Time, but tend to use some agents to help the whites along, and to make sure they are crystal clear. In the past, I've used bentonite in either primary AF or just after completion of AF, followed shortly by a dose of chitosan, it's always worked like a charm. The chitosan I used, was leftover single packs that I didn't use from kits, until now, as I don't have any more leftovers. According to my notes, those packs were 150 ml. The PG cleared in two days with the kit pack chitosan.

Now, using chitosan purchased from LD Carlson (1% Chitosan Finings), I find that the instructions call for 150-200 ml per 100 gallons, or 1.5-2.0 ml per gallon. This is far less than the kit provided chitosan, which is 150 ml for 6 gallons, or 25 ml per gallon. Some kits even provide two for clearing.

Working on my Chard, bentonite already on board, I dosed 1.5 ml/ gallon, didn't do anything other than some very light sediment, but still cloudy wine. Boosted later with another .5 ml per gallon, little more light sediment, but still cloudy. Sitting now at 2 ml per gallon and contemplating my next move.

Is the kit chitosan less concentrated? Do the kit makers just overdo the chitosan for extra insurance? Please share with me your thoughts / experiences......
 

heatherd

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@Johnd, I haven't seen any of my kits with single packs of chitosan, and I think the double packs in my kits are 2-part finings Superkleer KC. I have seen single packs of Isinglass.

In your place, I think I'd try the lower dose to see if it works, and if not, I'd follow with the balance of the higher dose.
 

jburtner

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@Johnd, I haven't seen any of my kits with single packs of chitosan, and I think the double packs in my kits are 2-part finings Superkleer KC. I have seen single packs of Isinglass.

In your place, I think I'd try the lower dose to see if it works, and if not, I'd follow with the balance of the higher dose.
I have a batch of kit Chardonnay that is having a hard time clearing. I have used a couple different fining agent packets. Latest being the superkleer two part kit. That helped but not as brilliant as other wines. I tested for gas (shake 1/4 bottle and listen for pop) and it's not fulky degassed yet.

Now warming it up sligjtly for a couple days of more intense whipping and vacuum treatment.

The foam that whipping makes is thick heady foam almost like on a Boddibgton's or a Guinness - almost but not quite.

Anyway, i didn't rack off the superkleer yet and mix it back into suspension with each whipping. Hoping a couple days of this helps significantly but have not seen such a thick "head" before.

Just wanted to say that it may yet be gassy and need a slight raise in temp to aid in degas?

Cheers!
-johann
 

Johnd

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I have a batch of kit Chardonnay that is having a hard time clearing. I have used a couple different fining agent packets. Latest being the superkleer two part kit. That helped but not as brilliant as other wines. I tested for gas (shake 1/4 bottle and listen for pop) and it's not fulky degassed yet.

Now warming it up sligjtly for a couple days of more intense whipping and vacuum treatment.

The foam that whipping makes is thick heady foam almost like on a Boddibgton's or a Guinness - almost but not quite.

Anyway, i didn't rack off the superkleer yet and mix it back into suspension with each whipping. Hoping a couple days of this helps significantly but have not seen such a thick "head" before.

Just wanted to say that it may yet be gassy and need a slight raise in temp to aid in degas?

Cheers!
-johann
All very good points. My process so far has been to complete MLF on the chard and degas with my vacuum pump at 75F, and then added bentonite, mixed well, and moved into the wine room at 57F for a few days. Bentonite was stirred back into solution daily for a few days. 1.5 ml/gal chitosan stirred in with little effect, added another .5 ml/gallon a few days ago, also with little effect.

The pinot gris followed the exact same protocol (not MLF) except for the use of the 150 ml kit pack of chitosan, and it cleared crystal clear in 2 days.

I'm going to slowly increase the dosage of chitosan until I get the proper clearing and take note of the final quantity required. It's just a little difficult to exceed the recommended dosage by a factor of 10 without asking the question..........
 

jburtner

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Interesting - Is this the Brehm Chardonnay that I saw you had going? I have the same one from a couple months earlier and it's just been sitting - not as clear yet as some others I have done yet but I was waiting to see how clear it gets before using finings... It's def lighter in color and I think it should clear nicely without any issue. The one I am having issue with now is a WE Select Chardonnay that I added dried apricot to - The apricot was slightly oxidised and I expect that this is the source of the problem (I also used pectic enzyme initially and also followed up with more PE to aid in clearing)...

I have probably exceeded the dosage at this point simply by treating a couple times already... Interested in any methods for "clearing trouble'd batches"...

Cheers!
-johann
 

Johnd

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Interesting - Is this the Brehm Chardonnay that I saw you had going? I have the same one from a couple months earlier and it's just been sitting - not as clear yet as some others I have done yet but I was waiting to see how clear it gets before using finings... It's def lighter in color and I think it should clear nicely without any issue. The one I am having issue with now is a WE Select Chardonnay that I added dried apricot to - The apricot was slightly oxidised and I expect that this is the source of the problem (I also used pectic enzyme initially and also followed up with more PE to aid in clearing)...

I have probably exceeded the dosage at this point simply by treating a couple times already... Interested in any methods for "clearing trouble'd batches"...

Cheers!
-johann
OK, I've figured it out, here's the gig:

See the attached photo of the product from LD Carlson, and note the dosage recommended is : "20 - 25 fl. oz. (150 - 200 ml) per 100 gallons of wine". I'm using mostly metric measurements in winemaking, as so much of the equipment and chemicals use that convention.

Well folks, 20 - 25 fl. oz. is NOT equal to 150 - 200 ml. In fact, the conversion rate is 1 fluid ounce = 29.5735 ml. Properly converting fl. oz. to ml, it's more like 590 - 740 ml per 100 gallons, or 5.9 - 7.4 ml per gallon of wine. A bad conversion from US units to metric units.

I'm currently sitting at 2 ml / gallon, 1/3 of the recommended minimum dose, and will be boosting that to 6 ml per gallon when I get home tonight. I'm betting that will do the trick............

chitosan.jpg
 

Johnd

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Just a little update on this topic. When all was said and done, the dosage was finally increased to 150 ml per 6 gallons, or 25 ml / gal. This is the same dosage as the individual packs which are made for treating 6 gallon batches. Once I boosted the dosage in all of the vessels up to that level, the wine cleared nearly overnight.
 

Redbird1

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Go math!

I can't imagine you're the first person to identify the problem, but it probably wouldn't hurt to let them know. I'm surprised it made it out the door like that, especially since underdosing using the metric values can make it appear that the product isn't effective.
 

Johnd

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Go math!

I can't imagine you're the first person to identify the problem, but it probably wouldn't hurt to let them know. I'm surprised it made it out the door like that, especially since underdosing using the metric values can make it appear that the product isn't effective.
I sent them an email to alert them to the problem, I've not heard back, but feel my duty was done.
 

Redbird1

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I sent them an email to alert them to the problem, I've not heard back, but feel my duty was done.
Yeah. I imagine they have a stack of those emails in their inbox.

From their perspective, I doubt there is much they could do about the bottles that are out in the wild, but a follow up email would be a step in acknowledging the mistake. Doesn't take much on their end, and a little bit of good customer service goes a long way in my book.
 

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