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Do you have to use Chitosan or Kieselsol

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kuziwk

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Hi Guys I'm making two wine kits for a wedding, I was thinking it may not be wise to use the fining agents as it's possible some people could have a shellfish allergy. The wedding is in August, the red is done fermenting although I have not started the white yet. Can I get away with not using these?
 

LouisCKpasteur

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You can definitely skip them but clarity might suffer. You could use egg whites. Do one or both have bentonite in the kit?
 

crushday

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I think you have adequate answers to the clearing agents. However, on the wedding timeline side, I would start the white ASAP. You need a good 6-9 months for a white (premium kit) to begin to really shine. Depending on the red you chose for the wedding, have you considered aging in a barrel for 6-8 months and bottling 7-10 days before the wedding (bottle shock)? During the reception meal, all eyes are going to be on you and YOUR wine. I'm sure you want to make a lasting positive impression!
 

kuziwk

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I think you have adequate answers to the clearing agents. However, on the wedding timeline side, I would start the white ASAP. You need a good 6-9 months for a white (premium kit) to begin to really shine. Depending on the red you chose for the wedding, have you considered aging in a barrel for 6-8 months and bottling 7-10 days before the wedding (bottle shock)? During the reception meal, all eyes are going to be on you and YOUR wine. I'm sure you want to make a lasting positive impression!
The guests don't really drink and or know decent wine, they are entry to mid level kits consisting of 10l of concentrate. After some reading appearently Chitosan is safe for consumption even with shellfish allergies because the proteins are removed? I also filter my wines so its possible that leaving the wine for 3 months without fining agents than filtering with course filtration will help. Regrading the clay, yes I added in bentonite in the primary. The surprising part is there is a heavy yeast layer at the bottom of the carboy only afteraa day from racking from primaryp and I have not yet degassed or added and fining agents yet. I've done these kits before, it's the traditional vintage 10l...they are very good for the price (around $100) they take 3 months or so to balance out...not nearly as long as the kits with grape skins.
 

cmason1957

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Filtering does not really help with the clarity of a wine. It is only for already clear wines, it is to polish the shine, not get rid of much. As you stated Chitosan is perfectly fine for folks with shellfish allergies. One of the members of the wine club I am a member of drinks the homemade wine many of us have made from kits with Chitosan as the clearing agent, without a problem. Short time frames and good wine, pick one, you can't have both, even if it is lower end kits. I have had some very good lower end kits, where folks took their time. I have had some really not so good high end kits, where folks rushed. This may be your only chance to give some folks a taste of good homemade wine and it really can be just as good as commercial, but only with the proper time allowed.
 

kuziwk

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Filtering does not really help with the clarity of a wine. It is only for already clear wines, it is to polish the shine, not get rid of much. As you stated Chitosan is perfectly fine for folks with shellfish allergies. One of the members of the wine club I am a member of drinks the homemade wine many of us have made from kits with Chitosan as the clearing agent, without a problem. Short time frames and good wine, pick one, you can't have both, even if it is lower end kits. I have had some very good lower end kits, where folks took their time. I have had some really not so good high end kits, where folks rushed. This may be your only chance to give some folks a taste of good homemade wine and it really can be just as good as commercial, but only with the proper time allowed.
Yes that's a given regarding the time, my concern is it may not clear in the 6 months I have before the wedding. Im doing custom labels anyways, so likely I can just put on the back label that it may contain shellfish products..hopefully that's enough to prevent a lawsuit lol. I can also likely include an ingredients list with chitosin at the end.
 

Regmata

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I have been keeping the bentonite, chitosan and kiesolol out from my kits. No problems yet. If I end up with wine that is cloudy, I have a box of clearing agents I can use...from what I gather, using the clearing agents runs the risk of pulling some of the flavors out of the wine, leaving you with less depth of flavor.
 

dallase

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I wouldnt serve my friends and family 10L wine kits at a wedding, but thats just me.

A 10L kit is already thin in flavor and body. No way I would strip out more with fining. I use 16L or 18L kits only now and bentonite and extra pectic enzyme (if fruit added) in primary only. Time will do the job of clearing.

Pay the extra $50-$75 for 16L of juice, at least for the white. A higher end red kit probably needs more time than you have.
 

kuziwk

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I wouldnt serve my friends and family 10L wine kits at a wedding, but thats just me.

A 10L kit is already thin in flavor and body. No way I would strip out more with fining. I use 16L or 18L kits only now and bentonite and extra pectic enzyme (if fruit added) in primary only. Time will do the job of clearing.

Pay the extra $50-$75 for 16L of juice, at least for the white. A higher end red kit probably needs more time than you have.
Yeah I know about the age time of higher end kits which is why I chose cheaper kits, it's one of my co-workers wedding so I will likely not know anyone there. The wedding is basically at a farm and most of the guests don't even know me. I think $250 is plenty to spend for a co-workers wedding, I simply didn't want to spend more. Additionally they not wine drinkers really and they don't like potent reds, they need something easy drinking. Do you really think that flavor is being stripped away by fining agents? It the first I heard of this as I use the fining agents in all my wines. I have some 18l kits coming in the next few months, planning on bulk aging them so maybe I should skip the fining on those?
 

dallase

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If you have an overly tannic wine, fining agents can be used to strip tannins. If you have a thin 10L kit, and you fine it, it will pull on those tannins. Thats part of what makes them early drinkers. Fining and will pull color and tannins, effecting the look and the mouthfeel. Maybe it doesnt impact flavor so much, but you see what I mean.

I dont fine. If it leaves me with excees tannins, that just means more time aging. I would never fine a 18L kit. Give it 2-3 years. You can always fine years down the road if you feel the tannins have not softened enough.
 

kuziwk

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If you have an overly tannic wine, fining agents can be used to strip tannins. If you have a thin 10L kit, and you fine it, it will pull on those tannins. Thats part of what makes them early drinkers. Fining and will pull color and tannins, effecting the look and the mouthfeel. Maybe it doesnt impact flavor so much, but you see what I mean.

I dont fine. If it leaves me with excees tannins, that just means more time aging. I would never fine a 18L kit. Give it 2-3 years. You can always fine years down the road if you feel the tannins have not softened enough.
Have you ever compared the two of the same wine, one with and without fining compounds? I'm not sure waiting 2-3 years will work for meh though either way. I just bottled a 18l Rosso fortisimo which I fined and did a course filtration...mostly to speed aging and get the last little bit of wine on the bottom. It's fruit forward and needs a good year in the bottle to balance out. Its been bulk aging for about 4 months but I needed the carboy and wanted to speed aging which bottling helps with. Even with all the fining and filtering I'm probably still looking at almost 2 years to age...without these I could be looking at double the time.

The other element...and I could be talking out of my rear but i can't stand a yeasty beer taste in wine and I feel that without fining agents perhaps I will make this taste more evident the longer the yeast is suspended in the wine.
 

Regmata

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4 years aging because you didn't use fining agents? I am fairly new to this and haven't been using the fining agents provided by the last 5 kits I have done. All are still aging. However, I was only planning on a year or so of bulk aging prior to aging in the bottle. Am I going to find that 4 re-racks in a year is not enough time to clear my wines?
 

kuziwk

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4 years aging because you didn't use fining agents? I am fairly new to this and haven't been using the fining agents provided by the last 5 kits I have done. All are still aging. However, I was only planning on a year or so of bulk aging prior to aging in the bottle. Am I going to find that 4 re-racks in a year is not enough time to clear my wines?
Not nessisararily, it also depends on the wine/grape. I would venture to guess that without fining agents you would have to rack more which means losing more wine. I always use fining agents and usually run it through the course pads on the mini jet for minor polishing. Once you add the fining agents most of the sediment drops within the first month, after that it's usually just a dusting on the bottom. The Rosso I bottled I would describe as very young and some wines need more aging than others even from the same premium kit. I can tell by the taste that the Rosso needs a long time still even with fining and filtering, it has a flavor I would describe as candy cherry and very fruit forward...my wife describes it as funk which at first I thought was Brett's but its very slowly aging out. I also re used the grape skins for a cheap kit, which is tasting pretty good right now so I know there was no Brett infection. The main reason why I and likely most people filter is to bottle sooner as there is a less likely chance of dropping sediment, if I keep it in the carboy I end up tasting it far too often. Once bottled it's easier for me to leave it alone, it also fits nicely in my wine cellar racks away from heat and light.
 

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