Clarifying the wine - does it affect the taste and body of the wine

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pkirtani

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Hi,

I have made a few fruit wines. All of them were “not so great”. I did learn from my mistakes..
Now, I am in the process of making reisling from a 6Gal kit. In addition to following instructions, I have racked the wine and its clear I have also tasted it and am quite happy with how it has turned out.
The next step is to add clarifiers ( kitosan and Kelseilsol ).
My question is: will adding clarifiers affect the taste, body or feel of the wine? – the 1st kit I made. Can I skip and bottle the wine?
If the wine is clear what other purpose does the clarifier serve? I read somewhere that the protein in the wine settles when clarifier is added. Does that not affect the taste?

Thanks in advance.
-Prasanna
 

Scooter68

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Before adding those clarifying agents you would be doing yourself a favor look up articles and forum threads about the various clarifying agents. Some have more affect on the wine than others and in some cases the type of wine matters as well. You could call clarifying agents a "shortcut" to a clear wine but sometimes that shortcut has a risk or price associated with it. (Not referring to cost either)

As with many choices in wine making there are varied opinions on clarifying agents, so I suggest reading all the articles and threads you can find and take a deep breath between reading. You may find it a little confusing and some differences of opinions but hopefully you can satisfy your curiosity and come to a decision about which way to go.

Finally - there are many 'older'- more experienced hands (Me = Older but not more experienced) who believe that time is the only safe and sure route to go. Personally, I tend to agree with that, although so far I have used Bentonite with success and no real negative affects other than the mess and additional time to do additional racking.
 

pkirtani

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Dear Scooter68, Thanks a lot for your reply. somehow the last wine I created left a nagging feeling in my mind that the clarifier I added ( Isinglass) kind of spoiled the wine... ( I had tasted the wine before clarifying it and it seemed good. but then.. I had made other mistakes .. lot of room in the carboy, mixing the clarifier agents in wrong order etc) .. the wine is pretty clear.. and I think I will ( after about 1 more month ) .. bottle it.. any suggestions ..
 

Scooter68

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Just remember any haze or cloudiness you see in the carboy will probably fall out of the wine sometime in the next 4-12 months (In the carboy or in your bottles.) If this wine is just for your personal consumption and a slight haze doesn't bother you, bottle it when ever. As annoying as a haze may be it takes second place to how the wine tastes.
 

Stressbaby

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But the perception of a wine's taste is affected by lots of things, including its provenance, it's price, and yes it's appearance. Don't bottle cloudy wine.

If you intend to bottle in a month, I don't think you are giving this wine enough time to clear on its own. I'm willing to bet your previous wine was ruined by oxidation, not the clarifies. Oxidation is a far more common problem with far greater (more perceptible) effects on the wine.
 

Scooter68

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Just remember that Time only improves a properly prepared wine.

On the other hand every chemical you add to a wine runs the risk of doing something unintended to the wine.

There are some chemicals you cannot avoid unless you drink your wine very quickly (K-Meta) or unless you don't back-sweeten it (Potassium Sorbate) Beyond those additions, everything else has some risk.

Time = A free clearing and flavor enhancing 'agent.'
 
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pkirtani

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Thanks all for the insights.
Agreed.. the best way to properly clarity wine is to age. I think that holds true for red wines more than white wines.
my reisling was a 28 day kit. I started in 9/25 and its 1 month already. I have not added k-meta yet but plan to do so today and rack it one last time, wait for a month and bottle it end of november ready in time for thanksgiving.
The wine is clear today I can read through my 6g carboy 1 inch from the bottom.
Will post how it goes
-Prasanna
 

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