Racking wine's with small seeds/pulp

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Jul 21, 2022
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I've been fermenting ~1 gallon of blackberry/wineberry wine for the past week and have set to rack it for secondary fermentation. My siphon has an inner diameter of 3/16in, which seems to be just the size for seeds from the primary fermenter to get stuck in. I've only been able to siphon off 3 quarts because of this, but there is still a lot left. Does anyone have any advice on how to siphon the rest of the wine out? I figured I could us thinner tubing, but then seeds could just as easily get stuck on the end. A wider tubing would stop blockages, but at the same time draw must/seeds into the wine (although it would still separate most of the must out). Any ideas?
If I understand your issue properly, you have the wine in a 1-gallon sized container or slightly larger. If I were going from primary to secondary with something like blackberry wine, I would pour the wine through a large sieve set inside a large funnel into the secondary fermenter. I would let the "dregs" drain in the sieve into the funnel until all or most of the liquid has passed. I would likely have to clean out the sieve from time to time.


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As requested, here's my high-tech racking jig. I wrap it in a fine grain nylon straining bag, secure it with a rubber band, plunge the unit into the must, and put the racking cane inside.

The jig is 3" or 4" PVC, about 2' long. I used a 1/4" drill bit (I think) and simply drilled a bunch of holes in it.

Before grape season I will drill a few more holes, clean up the holes with a rat-tail file, and sand the bottom smooth.

I've been trying to find a tall, narrow straining bag, but no luck so far.

racking jig.jpg
My primary answer is the reverse of @winemaker81 i have PVC tubes with holes. A six inch tube gives a snug fit on some straining bags, otherwise I hang the bag inside and spring clip a larger bag over the rim. A carboy of Wine is carefully bailed into the bag and pulp in side the bag gets squeezed to express liquid.

With smaller (lees) quantities I will take a plastic reusable coffee filter hanging on top of a food container or this stainless coffee filter on a canning jar. I will not use iron kitchen sieves. This sat in the fridge over night and will top off the carboy today.
If you’re willing to spend $24 plus shipping/tax, I’ve had great results with this stainless steel siphon filter: Auto Siphon Filter
The mesh size is 300 microns, which filters out a LOT of stuff. Does it get "gummed up" during usage? How large are the batches you've used it on?
For straining my grape must I use a large mesh laundry bag in the press
I was taught to line the press with cheese cloth, but discovered that rather few chunks come through. I have a large straining bag that fits in a 6 gallon primary fermenter, so I line the receiving bucket with the bag, as it's easier to deal with.
The mesh size is 300 microns, which filters out a LOT of stuff. Does it get "gummed up" during usage? How large are the batches you've used it on?

I've used it on 2-6gal batches where I use fruit, skins, etc in primary. I also use a transfer pump (1 gal per min diaphragm pump, Anti-Gravity Transfer Pump Kit) + 3/8" racking cane, so bought the filter to to make sure that seeds/etc didn't end up stuck in the pump's diaphragm. Haven't tried using the filter with an auto-siphon.

Haven't had issues with gumming up (so far!), but the mesh can be annoying to clean depending on how much dretis ends up stuck in the openings.
I actually do have some old cheesecloth I had used for another thing, which I can use as a mesh. I had never figured on securing it around the tube as a filter, so thanks everyone for all the advice and tips!