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Paul’s Wine Tip: To Filter, or Not to Filter?

Should you filter your wine kit or not?  Half of our customers don’t filter their wine kits, but the other half do! The Home Vintner uses a filter system that is very gentle on your wine. To see if your wine is brilliantly clear, take a sample glass into a darkened room and shine a flashlight through it. Don’t look into the light, instead look into the glass from the side to see if the beam is still visible as it travels through the wine.  It could look something like a sunbeam travelling through a dusty room. If you can see the beam, the material in suspension may drop out later in the bottle. Or, it may change the appearance or aroma of the wine over time. In this case you should filter. If the wine is pushed through too quickly, and the clearing agents haven’t had time to work, really cloudy wine will plug up the filter system, override the filter pads, and sediment can pass through regardless.

There is a lot of talk whether filtering strips flavour and character from wine. The Home Vintner does not sell poor quality filter pads that can shed and leave a cardboard taste in your wine or that can cause any stripping of the wine.

Wine stored in the carboy at too cool a temperature ( below 18 degrees C ) can interfere with the clearing agent.  Dry, static air ( eg a Chinook ) can prolong the clearing process.  A lot of C02 gas in the wine can also be problematic in not allowing the clearing agent to work effectively. Use patience, and remember that filtering is meant to polish a wine and not to clear a very cloudy wine.

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