Clarity of a red wine

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Mar 21, 2010
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I am working on a WE International Series Australian Shiraz, and I have completed step 3 (stabilizing and clearing). I am curious if I should be able to shine a flashlight through a red wine such as this. My only other experience was with a white zinfandel and that was possible.
I would say NO you should not be able to see thru the carboy. Let it sit a few weeks to really clear before racking.

Thank you for the response. The directions actually state to rack it at this time and wait an additional 14 days to check for clarity at that point. This is only my second kit and the process hasn't seemed to coincide with what was expected by the directions as well as the other kit. With the other kit, it was interesting to see it clear by shining a flashlight through it.

In winemaking there are the 3 "P's"
Waiting longer once you added the clearing agents will just improve your wine. Don'y be in a hurry to bottle. You will be surprised what TIME will do for the wine.
Good Luck !

Yes, you absolutely can shine a flashlight through it, in fact this has become one of my favorite hobbies!

At first, when you look through from the other side, you will just see a diffuse red glow or maybe nothing at all. Over time (say a week or so), the red glow will become brighter and more focused. Eventually you will be able to see the lens of the flashlight very clearly. It will be very dark red, but it should not look fuzzy once it's done clearing.

Start at the top of the carboy and then slide the flashlight and your head down, and you should see the wine gets darker/cloudier as you slide down. When it's nice a clear all the way from top to bottom, then it's done clearing.

I just bottled the Grenach/Shiraz/Mourvedra which is a very similar wine kit, and it took about two weeks longer than the instructions said. So I racked after 8 days as instructed, then it took about 24 more days to be nice and clear not the 14 days the instructions called for. I didn't do anything extra, I just gave it more time.

Good luck!
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It's so easy to get excited and bottle early just to fill your wine rack then eeks or months laer you'll notice stuff at the bottom of the bottles. Now do I uncork and rebottle without the sediment, do I leave it alone????

Just be patient. You will be proud and happy you did.
I can see a faint light when putting the flashlight behind the carboy. So, I will assume everything is going along just fine. Thank you for the replies and good luck on all of your projects.
Best way is to draw a full wine glass out and look. Looking thru a 6 gal carboy will not give you the true clairity of your wine.

I understand that completely. Initially, I was just curious if it should be able to see a flashlight through it because I was concerned that it was not progressing satisfactorily. I plan to be patient with it, but when your collection comprises exactly “0” bottles, it is hard to do so. I do plan to bottle my white zinfandel soon.

I have made heavy red you could never shine a light all the way though. This wine your making is a dark red so a glow may nbe all you ever get. Let it set, it can only help the wine
I have made heavy red you could never shine a light all the way though.

No offense but in the last year I've made the Wine Expert Luna Rosa, Estate Lodi Ranch Cab Sab, Estate Stag's Leap Merlot, Estate Italian Borolo, Selection Montepulciano, and Selection Grenach/Shiraz/Mourvedra. Also some island mist kits but those don't count they are so thin.

I can guarantee that his Shiraz is not as heavy as some of those listed, and you can shine a flashlight through every one of these. I use a 14.4 volt "deer finder" flashlight. It's just like I posted above. Maybe at first you won't be able to see much, but when the wine is clear you absolutely can see through the carboy and I find it's a really good way to observe the clearing process. It's also sort of fun, since when all your carboys are in the clearing stage there isn't a lot to do :h
My experience is that a red wine, which is not clear, when poured in a nice clear glass has a cloudy look to it, rather than its typical pure color. This is true for dark, dark reds, as well as lighter reds.
My reds have never had a cloudy appearence to them once they have cleared. I let them age in a carboy a year after clearing for 6 weeks.