Do You Have To Filter Homemade Wine?

MiniJet Wine Filter SystemI have been reading your blog for some time. My neighbor makes wine and said I should try it.  I have a question. He uses a wine filter to clear his wine. Do you have to filter homemade wine? He says it is not but I don’t see how if you don’t have something to clear it.

Hello Eric,

Let me start off by saying that you can make perfectly clear homemade wine without using a wine filter of any kind. You do not need to filter a homemade wine for it be clear. Let me explain why…

What causes a wine to be cloudy is mostly wine yeast. The yeast multiply themselves into a colony of incredibly huge numbers during the fermentation. This wine yeast is finer than flour and adds a milky look to the fermenting wine must. Even though the wine yeast cells are microscopically tiny and can easily be stirred-up by the fermentation. They will also settle out through gravity once the fermentation activity has stopped. The other stuff like the pulp and tannin from the fruit will fall out even before the yeast.

If you do absolutely nothing, the wine yeast cells will settle out on their own, usually within a matter of days. This is why you do not have to filter the wine. It will become surprisingly clear on its on if given a chance.

If you would like to speed up the process you can use something called a fining agent. A fining agent is something that you add directly to the wine must. It collects the particles together and drags them to the bottom more quickly than they would on their own. A particular fining agent routinely used by many wineries is Bentonite.

You may be asking yourself at this point, “if the wine yeast will settle out on their own and I can use fining agents to speed up the process, then why does my neighbor have a wine filter? And furthermore, why do wine filters even exist“?

Wine filters do have a purpose in wine making,
but it’s not to clear up a cloudy wine.

A wine filter is designed to make a clear wine look even clearer. A wine filter should only be used on a wine after it is already visually clear. It filters out wine yeast, even beyond what the human I can see. This level of filtering adds further polish or luster to the wine causing it to illuminate more brilliantly.shop_wine_filters

It is important to understand that a wine filter is not something that strains the wine. The wine is actually forced under pressure through extremely fine filter pads. It filters the wine so fine that it can make a white wine look like a solid piece of glass in the wine bottle. With this kind of filtering power, using it on a wine that seems even slightly murky will cause the filter pads to clog up quickly. The wine needs to look absolutely clear to the naked-eye before the use of a wine filter can even be considered.

My suggestion to you is to go ahead and make a batch of wine and don’t worry about using a wine filter for now. Most home winemakers do not filter their wines and are absolutely satisfied with the clarity. Once the wine is finished and had time to clear, take a look at it and see if you are happy with its clarity. If not, then you can revisit purchasing a wine filter system to filter that wine.

Just remember that if you do decide that you need to filter your homemade wine, we have several different models of wine filters in stock that can be shipped the same day your order.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed 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.

11 thoughts on “Do You Have To Filter Homemade Wine?

  1. We always rack our wine one final time the day we bottle. What is left at the bottom of the previous carbouy we give to our septic tank for its enjoyment.

  2. Thank you for the advice for wine clearing and it will clear of its own. For instance the wine that I see in store is so clear that you can see TRUE the bottle and I want mine Look just like that? But I see how it clear by itself. You dont need no filter it do all on its owned ….

  3. I think wine filtering changes not only the clarity, but also the taste. Getting that last bit of yeast, etc. makes a better taste and an awesome clarity. Try it, you’ll like it.

  4. I make Red Current/ Cranberry wine and Strawberry/Rhubarb wine and the pulp on these both is extremely fine and lots of it. And I have never needed anything more than time, Sparkaloid or Speedy Bentonite for crystal clear wine. Another thing I will do on the final racking is keeping the siphon tube a fair amount away from any sediment. After I have gotten the majority of the wine out I will switch and pull the last gallon or so off into a jug so I know the everything before that is clear. Also if you move the wine and stir up the Bentonite don’t worry it will settle out again.

  5. To finish my wines ,I use Kieselsol and Chitosen. It clears in a week and it is the bright gleam that you are looking for. Simply follow the directions and you will be pleased with the result. They package it together as Super-Kleer KC.

  6. I have been using a wine filter for 5 years. It does take some of the taste out of the wine but it gives it a smoother taste and I want my wine to be clear and not have any refermation after adding a little sugar. Thanks for the topic!!

    • Prasad, We would not recommend filtering wine with a water filter. It filters way too fine for wine. It would remove too much of the color, body and flavor from the wine.

  7. My question is, I plan to filter the wine and back sweeten. Should I add potassium sorbate before I filter it or after I filter it for bottling?

    • Jeff, you should filter the wine before adding the potassium sorbate. The filtering process could remove some of the potassium sorbate.

  8. Q: I made some homemade wine but it still have settlement at the bottom what to use to remove the settlement and preservatives I need to use to make it ready to be on the shelves. .

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