- Feb 25, 2017
- Reaction score
- Centerville, Northern Virginia
@winemaker81 Alot of good information here...I truly appreciate your input. I will have to order some Kieselsol & chitosan and add to my wine. I noticed that Chitosan contains shellfish products how does that apply to those who are allergic to shellfish?Strictly speaking, NO fining agents are necessary.
Kieselsol & chitosan are used in conjunction as one is a negative ion and the other is a positive ion, and together they are amazingly effective. They certainly can be used separately, but it's like Abbott and Costello -- they work very effectively as a team.
IMO kit vendors are the cutting edge in wine research. They have a highly vested interest in researching new effective winemaking techniques. The use of degassing and fining agents has advanced greatly in the era of kits. Kit vendors want their customers to produce a pleasing wine and get it in the bottle ASAP -- since it will get drunk and the customers will buy more kits. I understand their POV.
Some folks on this forum don't like that, and I appreciate that as well -- faster is not better when producing quality wine.
My POV is in the middle -- I use techniques such as degassing and fining to accomplish MY goals, one of which is to get the gross lees out sooner than later, without impacting wine quality. But regardless of that, my wines will bulk age for 6 to 12 months as it produces a better end result.
I'm feeling very philosophical this morning and you are the recipient ...
The use of fungal chitosan, a derivative of chitin has shown great potential in the control of those spoilage microbes. Chitin is the second most common bio-polymer in nature after cellulose. Chitosan is already used as an effective bio-pesticide as well as been shown to be effective against numerous pathogens from Salmonella to E.coli. It is non-allergenic, non-GMO and 100% biodegradable.
I just did this for a kit coming off of primary and into a 6g glass carboy. I have a new scale (first time using a scale for this kind of thing) and weighted the 1/2 tsp at 3.17 grams. I did not weight it 4 times but I like that idea.I just weighed 1/4 tsp of K-meta. took 4 readings and it averages about 2.3 grams. Using Fermalc with a 6 gallon carboy that is about 60 ppm. 60 ppm is the recommended amount at bottling 3.8 pH wine. As a reference with a 3.5 pH wine the recommended amount is 30 ppm. Some gets bound immediately and some within the 3 month period. In a properly topped up carboy the level of free SO2 doesn't drop all that fast. If it drops 30 ppm in 3 months, which I think is an exaggeration, at the third racking, 9 months, you will be left with 150 ppm free. Now if you use a half tsp it will be 390 ppm. This is for glass, barrels are another story.
About kieselsol/chitosan. When I first started with kits I used both these items because they were included. I guess they were supposed to clear the wine quickly. Since I began buying buckets of juice, I skip the kieselsol and chitosan and leave the wine in bulk storage for 10-12 months. My wines are crystal clear.@winemaker81 I totally get the open container when first pitching the yeast during primary fermentation. You are correct, things can get confusing given that there is so much information out on the web. It's hard to decipher what is the right way and what is the wrong way. My concern is that I don't want to lose a carboy due to a step I did that that could have been done different.
As for Kieselsol/chitosan, since I"ve degassed already in the carboy, is it safe to add this now? or should I wait till the next racking ( in 3 months)?
@wineview I haven't used Kieselsol. The only thing I've used is Bentonite which for me has done wonders in clearing my wines.About kieselsol/chitosan. When I first started with kits I used both these items because they were included. I guess they were supposed to clear the wine quickly. Since I began buying buckets of juice, I skip the kieselsol and chitosan and leave the wine in bulk storage for 10-12 months. My wines are crystal clear.