I am having fun making my second wine, a fresh fruit peach wine with
grape concentrate. I have racked from primary to a carboy, and then one
more time into a clean carboy. At the time of the last racking, it was
still fermenting, although slowing quite a bit. I think it has finished
fermenting, but I am letting it rest a little before racking again.
Two days ago, I noticed an interesting thing. With a back light on the
carboy, I could see two layers in the carboy above the sediment. There
was just a slight difference in opacity between the bottom layer and the
top, so I concluded that it was stuff settling out of the wine to the
bottom now that the fermentation is not stirring it up so much. I
marked the level on the bottle just to see if the level of more opacity
was going down (that is, clearing) or going up (yikes, do I have a
bacterial growth coming up from the bottom!). It definitely went down,
so I thought, great this is how it clears. The wine smells fine too, so
there is no evidence of spoilage.
Today I checked on it again, and now it has three total layers above the
sediment, each one progressively more opaque going toward the sediment
on the bottom. So I marked them again, and checked a few hours later,
and sure enough they are moving to the bottom.
I didn't notice this with my red wine (made from concentrate, so not as
much solids), maybe because of the color. When I have made beer before,
I only saw this kind of clearing after adding finings, and it was much
quicker and only in one step (not progressive). I still have yet to do
the fining step on this batch.
Anyway, other than thinking it was a cool thing to watch, I have a
couple of questions:
1. Is this normal, has anyone else noticed it?
2. Should I let this all go by itself for awhile before doing the
finings? My recipe has me adding finings as soon as the ferment is done...
Please excuse me if this has been asked before. I have done lots of
searches on Google on fining/clearing etc. and haven't found this
reported. However, it may just be so normal that no one talks about it,
and because I am a newbie, I just got overly e***d about it!