Filtering wine sediment

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Alan Eden
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Filtering wine sediment

#1 Post by Alan Eden » June 23rd, 2019, 3:33 pm

While drinking a 99 Rhone the other night i found the very fine sediment suspended in the wine to be distracting. I know its not affecting taste, i did filter through a stainless mesh but is there a better way to filter to a smaller particle level ?
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#2 Post by John Morris » June 23rd, 2019, 4:01 pm

Coffee filters or cheese cloth. A stainless steel mesh won't catch the fine stuff, and that sediment can most definitely effect taste. It can make a wine more astringent, and even unpleasant.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#3 Post by Alan Eden » June 23rd, 2019, 4:13 pm

John

Would that work on vintage port if it was not decanted ?
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#4 Post by John Morris » June 23rd, 2019, 4:17 pm

I don't see why not.

If the sediment is very fine and heavy, you may go through several filters for a bottle.

Handy tip: Make sure if you use a coffee filter that you don't use a filter holder that smells of coffee, as most of mine do. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#5 Post by Victor Hong » June 23rd, 2019, 4:41 pm

A full blender treatment will pulverize the sediment and provide aeration.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#6 Post by John Morris » June 23rd, 2019, 5:01 pm

Yes, highly recommended for Northern Rhones, in particular, to get rid of any reductive/sulfur scents.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#7 Post by Mattstolz » June 23rd, 2019, 7:12 pm

Alan Eden wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 4:13 pm
John

Would that work on vintage port if it was not decanted ?
FWIW, I tried using a coffee filter on a Beerenauslese last year (for cork, not sediment) and it just never even filtered. too thick and syrupy to really pass through. the filter smelled delicious after but that is about the best I can say about that experience.

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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#8 Post by John Morris » June 23rd, 2019, 8:32 pm

Ha! I can imagine that. For a Beerenauslese, a metal strainer would be fine, as the issue would be cork or tartrate crystals, not sediment.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#9 Post by GregT » June 23rd, 2019, 11:51 pm

Fine it with egg whites. The Romans did it long before there were filters fine enough. (Get it?)

Take a couple egg whites and stir them up with a little water and pour it into your wine. After a week or so, the tannins and cloudy elements will stick to the egg whites which will settle down. Then pour off the clear wine. It strips out less of the flavor elements than filtering does.

You use between 3 and 8 egg whites to fine a 225 L barrel, so a small egg will be more than enough.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#10 Post by Gerhard P. » June 24th, 2019, 12:39 am

I usually take a funnel and an odorfree paper handkerchief (pack of 100 pieces 0.40 $) ... works perfectly ...
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#11 Post by Victor Hong » June 24th, 2019, 4:20 am

GregT wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 11:51 pm
Fine it with egg whites. The Romans did it long before there were filters fine enough. (Get it?)

Take a couple egg whites and stir them up with a little water and pour it into your wine. After a week or so, the tannins and cloudy elements will stick to the egg whites which will settle down. Then pour off the clear wine. It strips out less of the flavor elements than filtering does.

You use between 3 and 8 egg whites to fine a 225 L barrel, so a small egg will be more than enough.
A free-range egg works best.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#12 Post by GregT » June 24th, 2019, 8:40 am

Yes. To get all the free radicals.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#13 Post by Victor Hong » June 24th, 2019, 9:13 am

GregT wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 8:40 am
Yes. To get all the free radicals.
Good way to lock 'em up.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#14 Post by Anton D » June 24th, 2019, 9:32 am

I will sometimes pour through a scentless paper towel.

I fold them up and place in the top of the decanter and pour through.

Similar to what Gerhard said! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#15 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am

I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#16 Post by larry schaffer » June 24th, 2019, 10:34 am

Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am
I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
+1 . . .
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#17 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 24th, 2019, 10:55 am

I rarely have this problem if I stand the bottle up for a couple of weeks before opening.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#18 Post by Victor Hong » June 24th, 2019, 11:12 am

Alan Eden wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 3:33 pm
While drinking a 99 Rhone the other night i found the very fine sediment suspended in the wine to be distracting. I know its not affecting taste, i did filter through a stainless mesh but is there a better way to filter to a smaller particle level ?
If you want to see lots of sediment, try older California reds.
Oh, wait, do not try them. They all suck, especially because of sediment. Stay away. Far away.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#19 Post by Alan Eden » June 24th, 2019, 11:35 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:55 am
I rarely have this problem if I stand the bottle up for a couple of weeks before opening.
Thats assuming you plan ahead that far, i just grab whatever i feel like that night
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#20 Post by Sh@n A » June 24th, 2019, 11:56 am

I use these. They capture a surprising amount of sediment. I have not conducted clinical trials, however.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#21 Post by Ron Slye » June 24th, 2019, 12:13 pm

Sh@n A wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 11:56 am
I use these. They capture a surprising amount of sediment. I have not conducted clinical trials, however.
Also what I use. Like some others I dont plan weeks in advance for most wines -- so would rather filter and not worry about getting a mouthful of sand at the end!

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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#22 Post by Gerhard P. » June 24th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am
I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
Maybe they don´t "sound" better ... but they taste better!
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:55 am
I rarely have this problem if I stand the bottle up for a couple of weeks before opening.
If you have to serve 16 glasses for a high-class tasting you will think differently ... not amusing to have cloudy wine to taste ...
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#23 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 24th, 2019, 2:36 pm

Gerhard P. wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:34 pm
Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am
I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
Maybe they don´t "sound" better ... but they taste better!
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:55 am
I rarely have this problem if I stand the bottle up for a couple of weeks before opening.
If you have to serve 16 glasses for a high-class tasting you will think differently ... not amusing to have cloudy wine to taste ...
Maybe I wasn't clear: if you stand the bottles up ahead of time you won't end up with cloudy wine
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#24 Post by Gerhard P. » June 24th, 2019, 2:48 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:36 pm
Gerhard P. wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:34 pm
Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am
I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
Maybe they don´t "sound" better ... but they taste better!
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:55 am
I rarely have this problem if I stand the bottle up for a couple of weeks before opening.
If you have to serve 16 glasses for a high-class tasting you will think differently ... not amusing to have cloudy wine to taste ...
Maybe I wasn't clear: if you stand the bottles up ahead of time you won't end up with cloudy wine
On one hand it depends on the type of wine and it´s age, on the other hand it´s nearly impossible to serve the last 5-10% without sediment if you don´t apply any method of filtering (and my bottles usually are standing up for several weeks).

That´s maybe no big issue for 2-5 people, but definitely a waste for a group of 15-16 tasters ...
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#25 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 25th, 2019, 6:51 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:48 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:36 pm
Gerhard P. wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 2:34 pm


Maybe they don´t "sound" better ... but they taste better!



If you have to serve 16 glasses for a high-class tasting you will think differently ... not amusing to have cloudy wine to taste ...
Maybe I wasn't clear: if you stand the bottles up ahead of time you won't end up with cloudy wine
On one hand it depends on the type of wine and it´s age, on the other hand it´s nearly impossible to serve the last 5-10% without sediment if you don´t apply any method of filtering (and my bottles usually are standing up for several weeks).

That´s maybe no big issue for 2-5 people, but definitely a waste for a group of 15-16 tasters ...
I arrange tastings with 13-15 tasters all the time and I never would think of filtering a wine through anything, except maybe for a fine metal mesh sieve in the off chance a cork crumbles. Letting the bottles stand up and decanting them with a steady hand has always been more than enough for me - and I definitely don't serve cloudy wines (unless it's a natural wine tasting!).

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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#26 Post by John Morris » June 25th, 2019, 8:37 am

larry schaffer wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:34 am
Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:27 am
I don't think any of these home filtering techniques sound better than just drinking a slightly cloudy wine. Paper coffee filters, paper towels? I'd just drink the wine.
+1 . . .
There are big differences depending on grape type. (Ever notice how syrah or Port sediment crusts on the side of a bottle? I rarely see that in any other kind of wine.)

What are you guys typically drinking, and at what age?

I'm usually not bothered by a bit of sediment in mature cabernet/Bordeaux or syrah/Northern Rhone, but I've had the misfortune of being served old Burgundies that people have carted to events without decanting, and the cloudy sediment has made them unpleasantly astringent.

Nebbiolo is the worst. You absolutely do not want any cloudiness in Barolo or Barbaresco, because that sediment is nasty. I can't imagine anyone saying they'd be happy to drink nebbiolo cloudy with sediment.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#27 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » June 25th, 2019, 10:57 am

It's a more complicated issue than what filter to use. (I use the non-bleach white coffee filters; the unbleached have a woody aftertaste sometimes.)

All sediment is not the same; some are pieces of skin left in on purpose. Others can be from tannins precipitating out with age. (They are undesirable , as they are , IMO, distracting.)

Standing a bottle up works....as long as your hand is perfectly steady and all pouring is done in one fell swoop..ie, one motion for the whole bottle. Otherwise , the sediment gets reincorporated, negating the weeks/days of using gravity to create a clean wine.

To avoid these risks, I take a non-chemically bleached white coffee filter and use a stainless steel funnel. Looking at the sediment in the used filter gives me comfort that I've done a reasonable job of "cleaning" the wine...and don't have to leave a portion in the bottom....assuming that my handling leaves the sediment there, as opposed to reincorporated.

FWIW

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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#28 Post by John Danza » June 25th, 2019, 12:21 pm

I always stand the wine up for at least a couple of days, and then decant using cheesecloth sitting in a fine mesh strainer, sitting in a funnel. Then decant back into the bottle if traveling with it, only using the funnel.

I've never had any type of coffee filter work because the wine takes forever to get through the filter.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#29 Post by Gerhard P. » June 25th, 2019, 12:30 pm

John Danza wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 12:21 pm
...

I've never had any type of coffee filter work because the wine takes forever to get through the filter.
If the bottle stood up for several days the wine is usually 90+% clear - so there is only need to filter the last 10-5 % .... through whatever, that takes no more than a minute.

It´s funny: we have given and read a couple of well though methods for serving a clean wine.
Most of us drink enough wine to be able to simply try it out ... what works best ... can be different for different persons.

But still there are some postings ... "no need to ... " - "I´ve never ..." "I don´t bother ..." "It´s complicated ..." etc.
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Re: Filtering wine sediment

#30 Post by John Danza » June 25th, 2019, 2:25 pm

Gerhard P. wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 12:30 pm
John Danza wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 12:21 pm
...

I've never had any type of coffee filter work because the wine takes forever to get through the filter.
If the bottle stood up for several days the wine is usually 90+% clear - so there is only need to filter the last 10-5 % .... through whatever, that takes no more than a minute.

It´s funny: we have given and read a couple of well though methods for serving a clean wine.
Most of us drink enough wine to be able to simply try it out ... what works best ... can be different for different persons.

But still there are some postings ... "no need to ... " - "I´ve never ..." "I don´t bother ..." "It´s complicated ..." etc.
[swoon.gif]

(take it or leave it)
I still filter with cheesecloth to make sure I don't let anything through as I get near the bottom of the bottle when decanting. As I'm sure you've experienced, table wine's sediment generally is pretty fine. Port on the other hand is big and chunky, so if the bottle has stood up for a while, it's pretty easy to decant without getting any sediment accidentally flowing down the neck.
John Danza

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