Port won't clear

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drainsurgeon

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I started a Raspberry Choc port back in May (about 6 1/2 months ago). I started with a 96 oz can of vinters wiine base and added 15# of frozen raspberries to make a 6 gallon batch. There is also 6 cans of Welchs grape juice and 24 oz of Dutch cocoa powder. EC-1118 yeast, acid blend to 3.4, nutrient and tannin per Jack Keller's recipe. Step fed the must up to 19% ABV and added brandy to 22%. 4 rackings and topping off with another raspberry merlot and brandy. In August it was showing no signs of clearing so I added a second dose of bentonite and chitosan. I just did a final racking (I am heading south for 5 months) before I leave. I gave the batch a double dose of kmeta and put a waterless bung on for the long winter nap. It is still clowdy and I'm wondering if I maybe have pectic haze going on or maybe I just haven't waited it out long enough. I've never had a batch of wine take this long to clear before. Any ideas?
 

dralarms

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Sounds like pectin haze, dose it with pectic enzyme and cold crash it if you can.
 

salcoco

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I believe you still have chocolate floating around. I would sue Super Kleer also sold as Durafine. make sure wine is at least 70degF. alternate leave it alone for your 5 month sabbatical and maybe it will clear by itself.
 

fivebk

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I would wait five months that you’re gone and then if it still is not clear I would try super kleer (durafine)

BOB
 

Johnd

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I’m with @dralarms , you added fruit, which contains pectin, with no pectic enzyme in your recipe. No sense adding another dose of bentonite, chitosan, or any other agents that may strip your wine, without first trying the pectic enzyme.
 

drainsurgeon

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The pectic enzyme was my thought also. It cant hurt so I'm going to add 3 tsp of pectic enzyme tonight and will hope for some clearing when I return in late April. I also gave the chocolate some thought but thought 6 months would be long enough to settle a fair amount of that out. The second dose of bentonite and chitosan did produce a fair amount of lees, but still very cloudy. It will be fairly cold (around 45 or so) over the winter so that may help also. Thanks for the ideas guys.
 
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dralarms

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The pectic enzyme was my thought also. It cant hurt so I'm going to add 3 tsp of pectic enzyme tonight and will hope for some clearing when I return in late April. I also gave the chocolate some thought but thought 6 months would be long enough to settle a fair amount of that out. The second dose of bentonite and chitosan did produce a fair amount of lees, but still very cloudy. Thanks for the ideas guys.

You can add 3 tablespoons. It won't hurt it.
 

pillswoj

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With the alcohol that high you will need much more then 1/2 tsp per gallon, I would do go with dralarms 3 tablespoons ...
 

drainsurgeon

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OK, fast forward 5 months. I hit it with pectic enzyme before leaving for the winter. Came home, racked, kmeta, more pectic enzyme 3 weeks ago.....still cloudy. I have now done 2 doses each of chitosan, bentonite and pectic enzyme. It also sat in a cold (45 degrees) dark basement over the winter. It has been sitting for close to a year now and is still cloudy. The taste is fantastic! It is gradually getting better, but not as clear as the Black Forest dessert wine that I started 4 weeks ago! I know patience is sometime the name of the game, but is it time to try the super kleer or wait another 6 months. Thinking about filtering also. Ideas?
 

salcoco

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go with super kleer. filtering won't work if it as cloudy as you say. filers will plug up.
 

Arne

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Before I did anything else, I would let it warm up first. Like getting it cold, warming can clear it out. Thinking 75 degrees or so. Arne.
 

drainsurgeon

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I'll try bringing it upstairs for a month and see what happens. If still not better I'll try the super kleer. Thanks.
 

UnkleBead

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I'll try bringing it upstairs for a month and see what happens. If still not better I'll try the super kleer. Thanks.
hey @drainsurgeon I was wondering if you ended up ever having any luck with your port clearing? I'm in a similar boat, as I started a similar port from the JK website, mine was the dark chocolate orange port. Smell's fantastic, i can pick up both the orange and chocolate, however it's been racked numerous times over the course of the last year with little clearing. i've tried adding slightly more bentonite, didn't work. then super kleer twice. both times, i got some sediment, racked it off, but still cloudy. . not quite sure what else to try here. maybe cold crashing?

i was hoping you found something that worked
 

drainsurgeon

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hey @drainsurgeon I was wondering if you ended up ever having any luck with your port clearing? I'm in a similar boat, as I started a similar port from the JK website, mine was the dark chocolate orange port. Smell's fantastic, i can pick up both the orange and chocolate, however it's been racked numerous times over the course of the last year with little clearing. i've tried adding slightly more bentonite, didn't work. then super kleer twice. both times, i got some sediment, racked it off, but still cloudy. . not quite sure what else to try here. maybe cold crashing?

i was hoping you found something that worked
It never did clear like other wines I've made. After a year and two shots of Superkleer it finally dropped quite a bit of sediment but not perfectly clear. I also used bentonite and pectic enzyme when starting the batch. I used Dutched chocolate and I speculate that the chocolate powder would just not settle out. It's such a dark red that it really doesn't matter but when you get down to the last sip you can see that it's still a bit cloudy. Mine has gone through 2 winters in my wine cellar at low 40's temps and it hasn't helped. Let me know if your cold crash works. I'm running out and want to start another batch this summer. It's a fantastic port!
 

stickman

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I've never used Dutched chocolate in wine, but just from a chemistry viewpoint, the haze you have might be from the fat content of the coco powder. I looked at some typical values from online sources, and based on your addition of 24oz of powder, that's equivalent to about 100 grams of fat to the total volume of wine. I'm not sure how much of the fat will be extracted from the powder, but it probably wouldn't take much to cause a haze. If the temperature is dropped to below the mid 50's most of the fats will become solid and may float to the top, though the fats have some solubility in ethanol therefore the separation may not be complete. I haven't tried this so a sample bench trial in the refrigerator would be best.
 

UnkleBead

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Very interesting thought with the fats. I never thought about that. I managed to clear out my beer cooler and threw the carboy into there. I guess I’ll see how that works for a couple days/weeks. This will be my first ever cold crash. I kept the airlock on, I’m assuming that’s what I’m supposed to do. I’ll report back with my findings.
 

montanarick

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My go to is kielselsol. I use that whenever I need to clear white wine quickly after adding potassium cassienate to remove any browning - works like a charm
 

drainsurgeon

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I just opened a bottle of the port that has been sitting in the fridge for about 2 weeks. First one in about 6 months. It was actually very clear holding it up to a light, even when getting down to the last couple of sips. When i get down to the bottom of the bottle, I will let you know how much (if any) sediment I find. Maybe the cold crashing does work.

Interesting idea on the fat in the Dutched Chocolate. I never noticed anything like that floating while racking that batch. That idea reminds me of the first time I made Skittle wine. The wax in the candy was a nightmare to get rid of. It took several rackings. After that I always chilled the pot of water with the melted Skittles and removed the wax from the top before starting the wine.

When I said Superkleer, Chitosan and Kienesol was what I meant. That almost always works to clear a batch!
 

UnkleBead

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So when my chocolate orange was fermenting in the primary, there was quite a bit of chocolate ‘puff’ that appeared on the top of the primary. It was a dry-ish consistency that I punched back down into the must. I’m almost wondering that could have been the fat that was coming to the top. Perhaps I should have scooped it out instead of stirring it back in?
If you’ve ever boiled stewing beef, there is a scum that comes to the top of the pot. I believe that is the fat as well? Maybe that is the issue and now it’s suspended in the wine.
 

drainsurgeon

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I had the largest foam cap I had ever seen when brewing my Choc Raspberry Port. I actually had to move part of the must into a gallon jug to finish primary fermentation. The chocolate foam reminded me of a root beer float. It was literally foaming over the top of the primary. I'm still not sure about your fat theory but who knows. I'll be ready for that foam cap next time by allowing a little more room in the primary.
 
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