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Wine Clarification

The primary filtration step in the winemaking process

Improved Quality & Reduced Costs

What is Wine Clarification?

 

Wine is a complex product constantly evolving from the moment the fermentation is complete right up to the time the cork is pulled. This complexity enables winemakers to deliver the individual appeal of each wine, however, this evolution can also lead to the formation of sediments and hazes that are not desirable in the finished product. 

 

Winemakers use wine clarification and stabilization techniques to improve the visual appearance and shelf stability of their wines.

 

During the winemaking process, wine sediment and haze formation most often occur:

 

  1. Immediately post fermentation - Composed mostly of dead yeast cells (lees), bacteria, grape skins, grape seeds and tartrate crystals.
  2. During ageing - Proteins, phenolics, tannins and polysaccharides combine in various ways depending on the nature of the wine, leading to amorphous hazes and/or deposits. 
  3. At low temperature - Bitartrate instability at low temperatures, can lead to significant deposits of tartrate crystals, which are harmless but can have an appearance similar to glass in white wines.

 

 

 

Increasing Yields and Reducing Waste

 

Common wine clarification techniques are:

 

  1. Flat sheet filtration
  2. Lenticular filtration
  3. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filtration
  4. Crossflow filtration
  5. Centrifugation
  6. Settling by gravity

 

Sheet filters have been used for wine clarification for over 130 years and continue to be used in smaller wineries throughout the world. 

 

For smaller wineries that need the flexibility to produce a variety of small batches, sheet filtration in plate and frame format can demonstrate advantages from both an economic and operational standpoint.

 

Lenticular modules, a modern adaptation of sheet filters assembled in an enclosed housing, avoid drip losses and provide additional flexibility, hygiene and ease of use.

 

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filtration, also known as Kieselguhr filtration, was once the most common method for wine clarification on the larger scale. More recently DE has commonly been replaced by crossflow filtration equipment in all of the world’s winemaking regions.

 

Crossflow membrane systems enable cost savings by reducing wine loss, consumables and labor typically associated with filter aid based technologies. Furthermore, with a DE - free process and no solid waste for landfill, both environmental and operator safety are improved. 

 

Wine clarification using centrifugation is typically used at the larger wineries and is generally followed by a crossflow filtration system in order to achieve the clarity needed prior to bottling.

 

Settling by gravity combined with the addition of fining agents may also used but requires a significant amount of time that many modern wineries do not consider to be efficient.

wine-clarification-chart

Seitz® K Series Sheets

Developed to meet the entire range of removal requirements in the food and beverage industry. Available in multiple grades suitable for microbial reduction and applications requiring fine, clarifying and coarse filtration.

K Series SUPRAdisc™ II Lenticular Modules

The SUPRAdisc II modules are a design optimization of the traditional "Single Cell" modules which were originally launched on the market in the 1980s. 

SUPRApak™ Plus

SUPRApak Plus is the second generation of our SUPRApak filter series that uses advanced sealing technology to seal unfiltrate to filtrate channels. 

Oenoflow™ XL Crossflow Systems

The Oenoflow system is a membrane based system that allows wineries to clarify their wines in a single step without the need for any pre-treatment, filter aid or centrifugation.

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