Filtering Wine

We have everything you need for filtering wine at home!

There are two reasons to filter wine: aesthetics and microbial stability. On the aesthetic side, filtration can make a wine more polished both in the glass and in the mouth; often creating a rounding effect that softens the wine’s edges. If your wine is sound with no flaws, then you can decide if you want to further shape your wine by filtering it. However, if you have residual sugar or Malic acid left in the wine, or there was a problem with Acetobacter or Brettanomyces during the ageing/storage period, then filtration is no longer an artistic decision; it becomes the only way to guarantee microbial stability for the wine.

How Filtration Works:
Pore sizes of filters are measured in microns. Typical winemaking sizes are 5, 3, 2, 1, and .45 micron media. The smaller the holes, the “tighter” the filter is said to be. Filtration’s guarantee of microbial stability comes from the fact that the pore size of filters can be made smaller than the actual yeast and microbes themselves. As the wine passes through the filter the larger microbes become stuck and are removed from the wine. Note: 2-micron filters are used to remove yeast, and .45-microns are needed to remove bacteria.

"Absolute" & "Nominal":
Filters are rated as being “Nominal” or “Absolute”. A nominal filter will remove most particles that are equal or greater than the rated micron size. An absolute filter will remove all particles larger than the micron rating.

If you are filtering a small amount of wine we recommend our round plate wine filter.  If you are already using an enolmatic bottle filler to bottle your wine you might check out inline filter for that system that allows you to filter as you bottle.  For larger volumes of 30 plus gallons you will probably want to look at our higher volume plate filters for filtering your wine. 

How to size a Wine Filter

Sizing a wine filter for your winery is the first step on the road to enhanced stability and clarity in the wines you produce. The basic idea behind sizing a wine filter is to be able to filter the largest single lot of wine that you are likely to produce without clogging the filter media and having to stop the filtration process – this will always lead to the loss of whatever wine you have in the filter body and the hoses leading to and from the filter.

A good rule of thumb for 20x20cm filters is that you will be able to run between 10 and 15 gallons of wine per pad in the filter. So, a 10 plate wine filter will run between 100 and 150 gallons before clogging, provided that the wine is well settled and/or has been filtered already through a rougher pad. Again, this is a general rule and it is very important to understand that a wide range of factors can influence this. That said, this general rule of thumb tends to hold pretty true.
More information on fining and filtering wine can be found in our Red Winemaking and White Winemaking manuals.

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