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Clearing plum wine

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Gwenakinyi

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I have a 5 gal carboy of plum wine in secondary that is long overdue to be racked again. It's been stabilized in secondary for 4 months (recipe said to rack every two, oops) but never cleared. Totally cloudy. I did use pectinase in the primary. I think I need to add bentonite to help clear. When to do this? Should I add to the current secondary and stir? Should I add the bentonite to a clean 5 gal carboy, rack, and let it settle for another month or two? And do I add k meta or campden at the same time?
 

Scooter68

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When you say stabilized in 'secondary' what did you add to stabilize it?

With a normal fermentation when secondary fermentation completes (normally in 2 weeks or less), you then rack to a clean carboy and add the K-meta/campden tablets. You can add bentonite at that time to clear the lees.
At this point, assuming you added K-meta to stabilize I would still add it again as you rack and add the bentonite.

4 months is a long time to leave wine must on the lees that drop out during secondary fermentation. I'd rack it ASAP. Afterwards, with the bentonite in there you should see a marked improvement BUT plan on another racking in 2-4 weeks after the bentonite has pulled down everything it can.
 

Gwenakinyi

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Thanks. I hope I didn't ruin it. I got my timeline and recipe confused with a concurrent batch of cherry wine, it seems. I was supposed to rack at 4 weeks and I missed it by months. Re-checked my notes, and the SG was 1.016 when I racked from primary to secondary. I did not add K-meta, as I thought. So tonight I'll test SG, taste to see if it's terrible, and if not rack to clean secondary (tertiary), and add bentonite and K-meta.
 

GreginND

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Plum is notoriously difficult to clear. I don't think bentonite will help as that pulls out proteins. The haze in plum wine most likely stems from some waxy substances in the skins. At home I have come to just accept that my plum wine will not be completely clear and enjoy it that way. At the winery the only thing I can do is filter it multiple times to get it almost clear. It's never sparkling clear though.
 

Gwenakinyi

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Plum is notoriously difficult to clear. I don't think bentonite will help as that pulls out proteins. The haze in plum wine most likely stems from some waxy substances in the skins. At home I have come to just accept that my plum wine will not be completely clear and enjoy it that way. At the winery the only thing I can do is filter it multiple times to get it almost clear. It's never sparkling clear though.
I suspect you're right. The cherry wine I made at around the same time with a similar recipe is sparkling clear without any finings. I don't have a wine filter. I might try adding bentonite just in case, but I'm going to temper my expectations now.
 

Mismost

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I have cleared my plum wines using Sparkaloid....it will get crystal clear...then bottle....then three months later...you get dust in the bottle! I'm pretty much done with plum, but GreginND may have the right idea, it's not gonna clear, just relax and enjoy it!
 

Arne

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Try superkleer or whatever they call it now. I had plum wine sitting for months and it stayed cloudy. Hit it with the superkleer and you could read a paper thru it in less than a week. Have another batch still in the carboy that is 4 or 5 years old. Never did clear, going to try the superkleer on it. It smells good, just as cloudy as can be. This is the only wine I have tried the superkleer on. Used bentinite and sparkaloid on quite a few, but they didn't touch the plum for me. Mine are wild plums, not tame. Arne.
 

bkisel

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My peach wines have all needed to be hit a second time with pectin enzyme and SuperKleer in order to get them to fully clear and ready for bottling. Maybe Plum has clearing characteristics similar to Peach? [I don't bulk age whites and fruit wines more than 2 months. Peach might have cleared on its own had I been willing to wait.]
 

VinoKS

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Try superkleer or whatever they call it now. I had plum wine sitting for months and it stayed cloudy. Hit it with the superkleer and you could read a paper thru it in less than a week. Have another batch still in the carboy that is 4 or 5 years old. Never did clear, going to try the superkleer on it. It smells good, just as cloudy as can be. This is the only wine I have tried the superkleer on. Used bentinite and sparkaloid on quite a few, but they didn't touch the plum for me. Mine are wild plums, not tame. Arne.
I agree with Arne. I had the exact same experience with a wild plum wine. It stayed cloudy for months. I tried extra pectic, then later, bentonite, with no results. Finally I tried Superkleer (first time ever trying it) and it was bright and shiny within a week.
 

Old Philosopher

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Dropped in looking for info on fining agents. All I've tried on some chokecherry brandy is gelatin with strange results. No clearing after 24 hours, but now the test batch is yellowish compared to the control batch (no treatment).
This Superkleer sounds like something I need. I have 5 1/2 gal of plum wine from last fall that never wants to clear, even in the cold cellar.
Does anyone have any experience using gelatin? Can or will I get any clearing over time?
 
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