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How filtered are your dry, aged reds at bottling?

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How filtered are your barrel-aged dry reds?

  • K300 / coarse filtered

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • K100 / fine filtered

    Votes: 5 35.7%
  • EK / sterile filtered

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Membrane / absolute

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Unfiltered

    Votes: 7 50.0%

  • Total voters
    14
  • Poll closed .

jgmillr1

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I realize there are different schools of thought on this, so I wanted to try a poll to see what the most common practice is currently employed these days.

An article earlier this year in Wine business monthly tangentially touched on dry red wine processing and it was nearly uniform that the wine was membrane filtered during bottling. However I recall years back that there was a minimalist movement to barely filter the wine in order to preserve characteristics that were believed lost during filtering.
 

cmason1957

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I didn't vote, since I have a question and I'm not sure what to select. I generally filter my reds with a 5 micron filter. Not sure which choice that is in your choices. I know it isn't sterile or membrane, I doubt many home winemakers can do either of those.
 

jgmillr1

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I have a filter capable of Coarse, Polish, and Sterile filtration, but do not filter any of my dry, barrel aged reds. I choose Option 5 - Time Filtered
Thanks. I just added that poll option.
 

jsbeckton

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Using app so don’t see a poll but +1 for time. I bulk age for at least a year and have not noticed a single spec of sediment in my first ~200 bottles of red (some 3.5 years old at this point).

I’ve only made one white which was bottled 2.5 years ago now and is still crystal clear.

So I guess I’m not seeing any need/advantage of filtering so far.
 

CDrew

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I've not filtered, but I can see it being useful for the odd bit of sediment stirred up in winery operations. But by the time you're on you're 4th rack for bottling, there is basically no sediment left. So I see why some call it a "polish" filter, but so far, I don't see the necessity in wine made at home.

My last rack is in early Feb and it isn't racked again until bottling in September. It's pretty clear and nice looking then.

I could see the usefulness in a white wine though.

Anyway, I voted "unfiltered"
 

GreenEnvy22

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Usually none or maybe 5 micron. If I back sweeten, which is rare for my reds, then 1 micron ( and still some sorbate as 1 micron isnt sterile)
 

stickman

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I have done red wine with filtration and without, in the case of filtration it was a cartridge at .45 or .2 micron nominal not absolute. I couldn't tell much difference in taste between the filtered or unfiltered, visually the filtered wine had slightly better clarity which may go unnoticed, but using a flashlight the difference was obvious. Microbial stability is not normally an issue for unfiltered home made dry wines that have been properly bulk aged, bottled, and cellared at home.

There are many reasons for a winery to filter reds. Wines produced with less than two years of bulk aging and without filtration or some other form of stabilization, are subject to potential bottle variation due to microbial activity during transportation and storage at less than ideal temperatures. Another issue is that a large portion of the mass produced "dry" red wine in the US market contains residual sugar, so membrane filtration is generally the choice for bottle stability.
 

jgmillr1

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Another issue is that a large portion of the mass produced "dry" red wine in the US market contains residual sugar, so membrane filtration is generally the choice for bottle stability
That is a VERY insightful (and potentially dangerously explosive) comment. Honestly, I've noticed over the last 10 years how "dry" wines out of California or that kangaroo brand from Oz have become so sweet that I can't stand them even as a token glass at a party. I'm either careful about buying Cali wine or I just buy European wine, when I'm not drinking my own of course. @stickman, I think you have hammered the nail right through the purpose of this question.

I've always run my barrel-aged dry wines through only K100 (fine) filters just to remove any potential yeast sediment prior to bottling. But when you are working with wines having ~0g/L fermentable sugars, there is no concern with any refermentation. So any further filtering is potentially unnecessary. However, I have noticed that my sweet wines that do get the sorbate and membrane filter treatment seem to last much longer once the bottle is opened. After, say 2 days of a half full bottle, the dry fine-filtered wine is off its mark for freshness (maybe at 50% or less) but the sweet, membrane filtered wine is still running at maybe 75%, in terms of comparison of fruit, aroma, and complexity to a newly opened bottle.

While this isn't an issue for a consumer or home winemaker that will down that bottle during the evening, a commercial winery with 20+ wines open at any given time to sample for customers needs to be aware of which wines don't last as long as others and to understand why some wines do not stay as fresh. The last TTB officer that came by asked about why we went through so much wine for tasting. (TTB form 5120.17 section B.11 allows you to deduct wine used as tasting for excise tax purposes)
 

hounddawg

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I didn't vote, since I have a question and I'm not sure what to select. I generally filter my reds with a 5 micron filter. Not sure which choice that is in your choices. I know it isn't sterile or membrane, I doubt many home winemakers can do either of those.
A .25 micron will filter your yeast out removing any danger of referment,
 
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