I have been making wine for over a year and lately have had no trouble clearing the wines. I started a 6 gallon batch of persimmon wine 1st Nov. According to our wine recipe it should be ready to bottle in the next week but it is still not clear. I have used several clearing agents. Will it clear if I just leave it for an extended period of time? I am going to rack it again. There is a lot of sediment in the bottom of the carboy. I have heard of people making persimmon wine so since I got the persimmons free I wanted to try it. Have you heard from anyone who has made persimmon wine.
Name: Sandra Fey
Thank you for the great question, and yes, I have heard of people making persimmon wine. I have never made it myself, but have partaken in it more than once.
There are a couple of things that could be going on with your wine. The first is that it may still be fermenting, only very slowly. It is not uncommon for a fermentation to drag on for extended periods of time when cooler weather comes upon us. Wine yeast are very sensitive to temperature. If your wine is in the 60’s, instead of the 70’s this could be your issue.
Fortunately, it is very easy to determine if temperature is the culprit. Simply take a hydrometer reading. If you are not getting a specific gravity reading of .998 or less, then the fermentation is not done. If you don’t have a gravity hydrometer, I would strongly urge you to get one. It is the most valuable tool you could have as a home winemaker.
If you discover that the temperature is the issue, the remedy is simple: warm the wine must up. You will see the fermentation become more active so that it can finish up and then clear up!
This second and more serious problem could be your wine has developed a pectin haze. Persimmons have a lot of pectin in them. Pectin is the gelatinous stuff that holds together the fruit fiber. It’s the stuff that allows you to make jellies and jams out of fruit. All good for toast but bad for making wine. If the pectin is not broken down during the fermentation your wine can develop a pectin haze.
This is why most wine recipes will call for pectic enzyme. This will help to break-down the pectin and eliminate the chance of a pectin haze. If you did not use pectic enzyme, or if the pectic enzyme you have is old, than this could definitely be your problem.
One way to test for this is to take a small sample of the wine and add teaspoon of pectic enzyme to it and let sit overnight. It the sample clears without causing any sediment, then a pectin haze is your problem. The only possible way to solve this problem would be with a double-dose of pectic enzyme and patience. Many times the wine will clear up with this treatment within a few weeks, but unfortunately, there are some wines that will never clear.
I hope this helps you out, Sandra,
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.