Clearing agents

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Feb 15, 2010
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Have successfully made a gallon of drinkable strawberry wine and currently have a gallon of Welch’s grape juice fermenting. However, both are cloudy and lack proper refinement. When I took the wine making class at the local community college, we made a batch using a kit and the kit included something that the instructor said would make the wine pretty...In other words, it would refine it before bottling. I am using benonite but he used something in addition to this. It was to be added after the second racking but before bottling. Can anyone advise what I should use? As soon as the muscadines are ready for picking, I’m going to stop playing around with gallon batches and make a 5 gallon batch or two. Sure would like for them to be pretty. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
First is to degas very well.
Next is to give it plenty of time to clear in secondary.
Then you can add isinglass or chitosan
Next time you make fresh fruit wine be sure to use pectic enzyme. This will reduce pectin haze.
You can also try freezing the wine then letting it thaw out slowly.
There are many fining agents available. If I really need to use one then I prefer SuperKleer which is actually 2 different kinds packaged together which work together very well as one ingredient attracts positive particles and the other negative. The 2 ingredients are Kiesol and Chitosan. I try not to use fining agents any more and instead use patience as more often then not it will clear on its own very well though there are sometimes occasions like Apple or Peach that can really be problem-some\. Another fining agent is Isinglass but this always seems to be very wispy and doesnt compact very good meaning that when you go to rack off the lees on the bottom it can be disturbed very easily and youll have to wait for it to settle again. Sparkaloid is another fining agent and works well but is more work if you ask me with boiling water and letting it cool down. The SuperKleer usually works almost overnight but I let it sit for about 2 weeks and that forms a nice hard layer on the bottom that stays there pretty good.
The Kiesol and Chitosan work really well together especially if you do it with a LOT of lees still in the carboy. When you mix them up in the proper order it almost looks like you are ruining your wine, it looks like a freakin' snow globe. But then the two chem's do their thing... one binding the negative particles together, the other binding the positive and they just fall to the bottom, often within a few hours.

But then, don't forget that time will take care of even more....don't be in a big rush. These things take patience.
Make sure you have all the chemicals before starting.
Meta, sorbate, clearing agent, HYDROMETER, glass carboy (5gal), and airlock just to name a few.
I used sparkalloid this weekend on my 5 month old candy cane wine that is still hazy. It started working almost immediately. I added it as I was racking it. Clumps of stuff started forming and floating around, which looks kinda gross and alarming, but those should fall out. The wine was already much clearer in just the time it took to clean up and carry it to the closet. I have high hopes. Wade is right in that it is more work since you have to boil it. But my instructions said to add it without cooling. Seemed like an odd thing to do but I followed them.
You boiled it and still clumps?
I never had that problem. I boil then add directly to must with no clumps. you sure the powder was didssolved?
Fairly sure, the mixture was a creamy tan color, I boiled it for 5 minutes per the instructions. The clumping didn't start immediately, it seemed like they started forming a few minutes after I was finished racking, while I was cleaning my equipment. I could be wrong, but I assumed that the clumps were the haze particles since the wine was becoming much clearer. I sure hope so, this wine has been a bear to clear, I have already tried gelatin finings.
Ive never used it but would never expect that you added while it was boiling! Id be afraid that it would cause temp problems with any glass contact so now Im really not liking that product. Ill stay safe with my SuperKleer!
Its less than a cup and creates no problem.
SuperKleer in every batch of wine. Works great every time. About 2 weeks before first racking, not counting the transfer to secondary. :)
Yeah - i use the super kleer as well - works great IMO.

But i agree with Wade - patience will clear the wine in time.

I have rushed mine before using super kleer - and i still ended up with a dusting at the bottom of my bottle.

So i have learned to wait longer - rack more - use super kleer a few days before filtering.
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Based on what everyone has said, I believe I have a case of pectin haze on the strawberry and a patience issue on my part. But the problem could also be attributed to how I processed the strawberries. I used a juicer. The mistake was when I threw the mush into the jug with the juice. Boy was that a mistake. I’ve had to rack and strain this stuff over and over to get all the particles out. I do intend to use the juicer with the muscadines, but do not intend to throw them in (not without securing them first in cheese cloth). Any thoughts on the use of a juicer? I’m thinking that you get the health benefits from the whole grape, so why not juice the whole grape to make the wine. Has anyone else tried this? Bad idea?
If its a pectin haze then the addition of some additional pectic enzyme should do the trick. As far as the muscadines go Im not sure what you mean about the whole grape and im no expert or maybe even qualified at all with this question as I dont use a juicer or have acess to muscadines which is a shame as i love them but the only thing I can think of is that the skins are very hard and thick on these and Scuppernongs that they might give you problems.
I use a crusher and ferment with the skins - i think that you get more tannins from the skins - which means your recipe doesn't need to add any additional tannins.

Just remove any stems and seeds.