7

I'm thinking of a device that will probably look something like the image in this answer, a tube with a valve at the bottom. Then we could let the bottom sediment out, then collect the clean wine, and stop collecting before the top powder. (I don't know what the device in the sketch there is called.)

Or perhaps with a valve on the side slightly higher than the tube's bottom so it's naturally over the bottom sediment.

So, does such a device exist? If so, what's its name? If not, what are some other ways of achieving this goal of separating the sediment from the wine?

4
  • 3
    You may also be interested in homebrew.stackexchange.com
    – Chris H
    Nov 21, 2023 at 21:39
  • @ChrisH Thanks. I wasn't aware there was such a site.
    – ispiro
    Nov 21, 2023 at 22:02
  • 1
    The term is "sediment" rather than "powder". If you use that term, your internet searches will turn up a lot more things.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 22, 2023 at 3:14
  • @FuzzyChef Thanks.
    – ispiro
    Nov 22, 2023 at 16:55

2 Answers 2

15

The conventional way to do this is Racking (Wikipedia) in which the wine is slowly syphoned from one vessel to another, leaving the sediment undisturbed.

This is better than trying to wash out the sediment with good wine.

In the case of wine, the sediment is called lees (Wikipedia again) , and it's mainly made up of dead yeast. In the early stages of making a batch of wine, there will be fruit residue in there too (I've just been making grape juice, and the fruit sediment looks a lot like lees).

The syphon has a spacer of some form at the bottom, to draw the wine off above the lees. enter image description here

Most of my brewing stuff is in the loft, but one syphon was accessible, so I mocked it up with glasses taking the place of your demijohns or brewing bucket

enter image description here

Commercially, racking is also done by drawing off the wine just above the sediment, which is shown in two pictures in the Wikipedia article I linked (the first picture might show racking by syphoning, but it's not clear)

It is possible, at the final racking, to pass the wine through a filter paper in a dedicated holder. This is one method of clarifying wine which can also use additives to encourage suspended particles to settle out.

2
  • Thank you very much. I appreciate the trouble you went into for this answer! I did in fact do in the past something similar to what you're showing, though more primitive, by simply pushing a plastic pipe (similar to the one you're using but without any valve etc.). However, even the careful insertion of the pipe into the wine disturbed the lees etc. (It was quite a small amount, which fit into one bottle.)
    – ispiro
    Nov 21, 2023 at 22:00
  • @ispiro my other syphon would be easier to copy with more basic materials. The tube has a stopper in the end, and a hole drilled across it about 2cm (1") up from the end. The valve is optional, but handy of you're filling bottles. Last time I used it was when I made a few bottles of red from home-grown grapes.
    – Chris H
    Nov 21, 2023 at 22:14
5

You are asking for a conical fermenter, e.g.,

[picture from Amazon]

They are available in plastic or stainless steel, in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are advertised for brewing beer. I have no idea how effective they are for wine; I use the regular siphoning racking procedure. Because of oak chips and fruit skins, etc., (to say nothing of trying to stir in sulphites and sorbates) I suspect they would clog easily, although plain lees should go through all right.

1
  • Thank you. This is the closest to what I was expecting.
    – ispiro
    Nov 22, 2023 at 16:53

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