I recently made some apple wine. It is now in secondary fermentation, and still looks very “milky”. There seems to be a lot of tiny fruit particulate in suspension. Very little seems to be settling out. I will need to rack this wine next weekend, what should I do to clarify the wine?
The reason your wine is still milky or cloudy is because it is still fermenting. You will not see any signs of clearing until the fermentation has completed, or its activity has dramatically slowed down.
It would be best if you did not rack your wine at this time, regardless of what your homemade wine instructions say to do. Instead, you need to wait until the fermentation process has completed. You can determine this with a gravity hydrometer reading. Once you notice that the air-lock on your fermenter is no longer bubbling, take a reading with your gravity hydrometer to confirm that the fermentation has actually completed.
Once the fermentation has completed you will notice that it takes just a matter of a few days for the wine to clear up significantly. Using clear glass jugs as a secondary fermenter has an added advantage over opaque plastic fermenter in terms of being able to visually see the wine as it clears up.
If you would like to speed up the clearing of your wine, you can use bentonite as a fining agent. Our Speedy Bentonite comes in a jar with complete directions. Just remember to make sure the wine brewing is complete before adding it to the wine.
Happy Wine Making
Customer Service at E. C. Kraus
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.