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Clearing A Cloudy Wine...

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Ed Kraus There have been 14 comment(s)

Cloudy WineHi

What can I use to remove the cloudeness in my wine. Can you help? I've strained the wine 2 times and It is still cloudy.

Thanks John

Hello John,

What needs to be determined is, "why is the wine cloudy"? Is it from pectin cells in the fruit? Is it from suspended yeast cells? Is it from startches in the fruit? Or, is it because the wine simply needs more time to clear up? In any case, the problem needs to be solved, particularly if you plan on handing out your bottles of creation as wine making gifts.

The first thing that should be done is a reading should be taken with a gravity hydrometer. This will tell you if the wine has completed its fermentation. If the wine is still fermenting, even slightly, this would most likely be the cause of the cloudiness. In this case, just let the wine finish fermenting.

If the wine has completed its fermentation, you will want to see if the top half of the batch is more clear than the bottom half. If so, this would indicate that the wine just needs a few more days to clear up. After a wine has completed fermenting it usually needs a week or two to clear up. Most homemade wine instructions will indicate this time period.

Shop BentoniteIf you're sure it's been more than two weeks since the wine has completed fermenting, and it's still cloudy, then it may be time to start using wine making products such as fining or clearing agents.

Treating the wine with bentonite would be the first step I would suggest. It's an affective fining agent that most likely will solve your problem completely. But, if you see only marginal improvement, you should switch to Sparkolloid. In general, Sparkolloid will take out what bentonite doesn't and vice versa.

If the bentonite clears the wine almost completely, but there's still a slight murkiness, then you should switch to a polishing clarifier such as our Kitosol 40. You might want to check out the article, Using Finings To Improve Your Wine. It will give you more detail about fining agents and other wine making products you can use to clear your wine.

Happy Wine Making
Customer Service
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

This post was posted in Wine Making Blog

14 Responses to Clearing A Cloudy Wine...

  • tina
    tina says:

    I made a blueberry wine. waited for the fermentation to stop. which was 6 weeks. Racked it 4 times. added concentrated grape juice and wine conditioner before bottling. It was in the the bottles for 1week and started fermentation. I than opened all bottles into a bucket and added potassium sorbate and camppen tablets.Should i bottle now or wait until it stops working?

    Posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

  • Ed Kraus
    Ed Kraus says:

    It's important to make sure the wine has completed its fermentation. Just as important, the wine needs to be completely clear before bottling.

    Posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:25 am

  • Peter Dering
    Peter Dering says:

    My first batch of Chardonnay cleared nicely. To try to maintain that beautiful clarity I racked to another vessel for bottling. As you might guess a tiny bit of sediment got stirred up and made its way to the bottling bucket. Now there is a very slight haze to the wine. Next time I do this I want to rack the wine before bottling and then let it sit for another week to allow any transferred sediment to settle. Is this a good idea?


    Posted on March 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Peter, you have to be aware of the negative effects that too much air exposure can have on a wine at this stage of the process. If there is very little head space in the bottling bucket, then okay. But if there is air space in the bucket, I would be hesitant to keep the Chardonnay in there for any extended period of time.

    Posted on March 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

  • Con. Fex
    Con. Fex says:

    Love reading your tips & tricks,,, new at this, had great success at making beer, rather drink my beer than bought brands, Internet such a great tool... thanks again, 6months in & learning.

    Posted on April 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

  • mr geoff hey
    mr geoff hey says:

    i have pectrin haze in my sloe wine i,ve pectrolase to clear it but i,ts only made a slight differance could you please tell me what to do next.

    Posted on October 13, 2013 at 6:36 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Mr. Geoff Hey, if the wine truly does have a pectin haze problem, there is little more you can do other than add a pectic enzyme of some kind. Realize, that the pectolase you added will not work fast. It will require some time, so all you may need is a little more patience.

    Posted on October 14, 2013 at 6:40 am

  • Jerry Fallos
    Jerry Fallos says:

    I aged my Blackberry wine for 6 months used a pressure filter then bottled clear wine, now after 2 months tiny particles in bottom of bottle

    Posted on December 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Jerry, it sounds like your wine is experience acid precipitation. This is when there is more acid in the wine than the wine can hold, so it crystallizes and drops out. It is something that is created after filtration. There is a lot more information about this in the following article on our website:

    Maintaining Temperature Stability In Your Wines

    Posted on December 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

  • bev. major
    bev. major says:

    was making some huckleberry wine moved it to the carboy I added some camdon tablets thought I messed up because it quit fermenting so added more yeast n sugar its been 2 months quit burping so bottled it, but shook it a little 2 make sure it was finished fermenting now its cloudy n has a yeast smell should I start all over or what? beginner n OR

    Posted on December 28, 2013 at 11:49 am

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Bev, it sounds like the wine never finished fermenting, and now it is fermenting in the wine bottles. Be very, very careful. Your wine bottles could be building up pressure, to the point where they could start exploding or popping corks. Assuming this is the case, you need to put all the wine back into a fermenter and let it finish the fermentation. Having a hydrometer to take readings would tell you if the fermentation has finished or not. If you do not have one, I would suggest that you get one.

    Posted on December 30, 2013 at 6:40 am

  • Shirleann
    Shirleann says:

    My wine is from red grapes. my hydrometer reading is 1000.00 today. I started this wine on 9/28/13, it has been fermenting since then. I just syphoned it into a smaller carboy for less air space. I don't plan to bottle for at least 6 more mths. It is very cloudy, how can I clear this up? It also taste very strong, bitter like nail polish, any suggestions for sweetening?

    Posted on February 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service says:

    Shirleann, it is extremely likely that your wine is turning to vinegar. Alcohol fermentations are normally finished in a few days, not months, so any activity you've been seeing this year is probably not from the yeast, but rather, vinegar bacteria (acetobacter) turning the alcohol into vinegar. These fermentations can continue for months if not years. Another classic tell that your wine is turning to vinegar is the nail polish odor. This is precisely what a vinegar fermentation smells like. At this point there is nothing you can do. You can not reverse what has happened, and it is not likely that you would want to drink the wine. Vinegar fermentations can be avoided by using sulfites such as Campden tablets or potassium metabisulfite in the wine, and by sanitizing your equipment and containers with a sanitizer such as our Basic A.

    Campden Tablets

    Potassium Metabisulfite

    Basic A

    Posted on February 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

  • Kathy Lindahl
    Kathy Lindahl says:

    Thank you for the 'Clearing a Cloudy Wine' answer. It is just the question I was going to ask. Looks like need to be more patient.

    Posted on October 19, 2014 at 10:04 am