Is there a secret, or product, that will help the sediment settle more before racking? Is it usual to have a large amount of sediment; it seems such a waste of wine to discard it all.
Thank you very much. I enjoy your website and the email newsletter and am loving our attempts at winemaking!!!
Glad to hear you are having so much fun learning how to make your own wine. We try to help people out as much as we can with info and various wine making tips. Your question a is one we get quite often.
There are wine making products that will help to clear up the wine better and pack down the sediment more. They are called fining agents and are routinely used by wineries.
The particular fining agent I would recommend for your wine is call bentonite. We sell it as Speedy Bentonite. It will collect and drag out the particles suspended in the wine and pack it to the bottom. As the name implies, it does the job very quickly. Treating your wine a day or two before transferring it off the sediment [racking] will allow you to save more wine.
Here’s another one of my wine making tips that will save you a lot of wine as well: It is important to understand is that it is not necessary to eliminate all of the sediment with each racking of the wine. It is only important to leave most of the sediment behind. Always get as much of the wine as you can. Don’t leave any behind, even if some sediment is coming with it.
The only exception to this is the vary last racking, before bottling. This is the racking where you have to be more critical. But by the time you get to this racking there should only be a dusting of sediment, so little wine will be lost.
You may want to take a look at the article, Racking Your Wines: The When’s, Why’s and How’s, listed on our website. This will have better detail on the subject of racking your wine.
Thank you for such a great question. This is an area of wine making where many beginning winemakers have a problem.
Happy Wine Making
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.