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Other Skip Clearing Agents?

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RiverRat

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How many of you skip using clearing agents? What are the pros and cons of doing so? Wondering if this is a tweak I should make with the wines I have going, since I plan to bulk age, and would love to know your thoughts. :a1 Thanks!
 

jgmann67

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How many of you skip using clearing agents? What are the pros and cons of doing so? Wondering if this is a tweak I should make with the wines I have going, since I plan to bulk age, and would love to know your thoughts. :a1 Thanks!

I've read so much from members who skip the clearing agents. I'm going to try it with my next kit and see what happens after 6 months of bulk aging.

Definitely skipping them with my fresh wines this year.
 

bkisel

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I don't bulk age any longer than 3 months so have no intention of dispensing with clearing agents; whether with my kits or with my country wines.
 

Ajmassa

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Go for it. I like kits for learning and experimenting. Until kits I only knew old style from the old timers. Think of it as not adding a tweak, but removing their tweak.
And although I like seeing the before & after in the kits clearing, I haven't ever used em for seasonal except for Father Time.
 

salcoco

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clearing agents definitely will assure a clear wine. if not used you will require nature . I would follow this racking schedule, rack into secondary once fermentation is complete, rack in three days off of gross lees. rack again in three weeks of off fine lees, rack again in three months. use K meta 1/4 tsp/gallon each racking. I would eliminate sorbate before eliminating clearing agents.
 

sour_grapes

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I made a WE Eclipse Yakima Valley Pinot Gris last year. I skipped bentonite in primary, and then let it bulk age without the fining agents for about 14 months. It never cleared during that time, remaining as cloudy as fresh apple cider. I then relented and put in the chitosan (I think it was), and it cleared nearly immediately. Bottled ~1 month later, and it was crystal clear.
 

PandemoniumWines

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If it's a quick drinker, I use fining agents. But for something I plan on bulk aging, I let time do its thing.
 

Trick

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I would reduce dose of fining agent rather than completely eliminating it, since the commercial wining maker also cannot eliminate using it completely.
But I guess we might be able to remove degassing step if we can age the wine for a year or more since I don't think there is such step in commercial wine making process. Leaving the CO2 in the aging process might help reducing oxidation. I always feel risky to vigorously agitate the wine during degassing. (It is more like aeration than degassing). Only benefit for degassing is to shorten the whole process to achieve 4 week schedule. If I am not in rush to bottle the wine, I would skip the step (at least skip the agitation, may use vacuum only).
 

NorCal

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I don't like to add anything into my wine that isn't necessary. My wine sits for at least 11 months and have not had a wine not clear on its own. In other words, I'm not against using fining agents, but it would only be to fix a problem. The same thing can be said for all commercial wineries that I know.
 

pillswoj

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Just starting Bulk aging my Eclipse Noctural, this will be my first kit skipping the clearing agent completely. Part of my reasoning for trying this is that the eclipse line get close to 2" of lees when using the finings, I generally have to rack them down to 5 gallon carboys.

Not adding the finings there was less then 1" of lees and the wine looked reasonably clear. I will see how it looks in 3 month when I rack off of the oak.
 

Ajmassa

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Just starting Bulk aging my Eclipse Noctural, this will be my first kit skipping the clearing agent completely. Part of my reasoning for trying this is that the eclipse line get close to 2" of lees when using the finings, I generally have to rack them down to 5 gallon carboys.

Not adding the finings there was less then 1" of lees and the wine looked reasonably clear. I will see how it looks in 3 month when I rack off of the oak.

Just don't let @sour_grapes near it! If he breathes that cheese-filled Wisconsin air on it you'll be adding Chitosan in 14 months.
 

RiverRat

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Thank you for your insight. I had come across a few vintners' posts stating they skip this step, but now, from what I understand, skipping really does not do much to improve quality. Since I make dry wines, I have already started skipping the sorbate, but didn't know if I should skip the clearing agents since I plan to bulk age with three month racking intervals. I'm only one year into this hobby, but so far my wines have been fairly disappointing, until a few days ago when I opened an 11 mo CC Showcase Merlot. The wine was not great, but I was able to see a vast improvement from the previous bottles. Perhaps patients is the only other tweak I need to add.
 

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