Do you have to filter wine before bottling it?
Filtering a wine before bottling is not necessary. A wine will clear on its own so long as the fermentation did not go afoul, and acid and pH are in good balance.
Fining agents can even be added to the wine to help the settling process to happen more quickly and thoroughly. For example, if you are making wine from a wine juice kit, normally it will come with bentonite. This will aid in clearing process. The wine will look very clear!
So if this is the case, why do wine filters even exist?
The one thing that needs to be understood about filtering wine with a wine filter is that it is not designed to take the visual cloudiness out of the wine. The filter pads are much too fine for this. They will clog up – usually within the first gallon. Time, gravity and fining agents will take care of the cloudiness. Filtering wine before bottling is done to add a polish to the wine – to add luster and brilliance. It is done to make the wine more beautiful, not less cloudy.
When you filter a wine before bottling you also are taking the last bit of wine yeast out of the wine. This amount of yeast is completely invisible to the naked eye. Doing this helps the wine to be more stable. If the wine is filtered with the finest filter (1/2 micron), it will be considered fermentation stable. By the way, a micron is very small. There’s about 400 of them across a period you find at the end of a sentence in a typical newspaper.
If you are on the fence as to whether or not to filter your wine before bottling, I would suggest comparing your wine side-by-side with a commercially made wine of a similar color. Almost all commercially made wines are filtered. See for yourself the difference then decide if filtering is something you would like to do to your wines.
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.
I started filtering my wine about 3 years ago. It vastly improved the look of the wine. I wouldn’t bottle unfiltered wine anymore.
I don’t consider filtering as optional…
I have never filtered a wine since 1970. Have never had more than a very small dropout on even my ten plus year aged wines. Use bentonite, keirosol/chitosan or other such fining agents. Have thought about filtering to obtain excellence but.
I used fresh fruit pears juse, I loved the way turnout, but one week later is not sweet anymore, a my missing something
Joe, it is normal that when the fermentation completes the wine will be dry. The yeast consumes all of the sugar and converts it to alcohol. The article posted below will tell you how to back-sweeten the wine to your taste at bottling time.
Making Sweet Wine
I filter the wine because I have been using the same 1.5 liter for 14 years . I make 80 plus cases a year and washing bottles without filtering is a real hassle.
If I filter, how long should I let the wine sit, or settle before bottling?
Mike, after the wine has cleared and you have filtered the wine, you can bottle immediately.
Thanks Ed, I Thought so, I had someone told me, to wait 2 days.
I will be purchasing a filtering system soon. My fruit wines and Rose style wine will look much more “polished,” plus there won’t be any waste when I have to
discard lees from the bottom of my bottles.
I always filter my wine, normally every 7 – 10 days, 3-4 times. Started off with just coffee filters (1 then 2 combined). Now I also use filter bags (5 then 1 micron). I do risk introducing oxygen by running thru improvised filters and a funnel but have no poor results after 5 years of practice. To eliminate more sediment I now also use a fining agent (keirosol/chitosan).
I would like to make wine from your wine kit like Merlo. My cellar in winter is about 45 degrees. Doi need a heating belt or make the wine in the summer when my cellar isabout60 degrees ?
Robert, because wine yeast likes to ferment at 70-75 degrees, anything cooler than that can cause a stuck or sluggish fermentation. For more information, please see the article posted below.
I have heard it will strip flavors from the wine is this true?
If you back sweeten your wine and add sorbate. Will filtering it to .5 micron before bottling it mess the sorbates ability to prohibit it from refermenting in the bottle since it was back sweetened?
Ronald, you will want to filter your wine before adding the potassium sorbate and before filtering the wine. You could possible filter out some of the sorbate. If you try to filter a wine with sugar in it, you will just cause the filter pads to clog and the filter to leak.