Gelatin as a clarifying aid

Gelatin possesses qualities to help remove haze causing precipitates from wine, fruit juices and beer. People have come to associate good clarity with better taste and purity in such products.

Gelatin has certain advantages:

  • It is a food product
  • Has little or no effect on the flavor
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Works well in those products that are acidic or slightly acidic in nature.

In an acidic solution, gelatin molecules have a positive charge. Wine, fruit juices, and vinegar are natural media for the settling effect of Type B Gelatin, because the haze causing materials, such as yeast particles, tannins and resins have a negative charge. These haze causing materials have the tendency to stay in suspension. The addition of gelatin can help speed up precipitation and settling. The positively charged gelatin and the negatively charged haze are attracted and combine to form an agglomerate that settles to the bottom of the tank.

To get t he most effective use from the gelatin, it is important to use great care in its preparation and use. Gelatin is used at a level at about one-half to one pound of gelatin to one thousand gallons of wine or fruit juice. One gallon of water (or juice or wine) is used for each pound of gelatin. Allow gelatin to soak in cold water for fifteen minutes. Indirect heat is used to raise the temperature to about 60°C. The gelatin solution must be thoroughly dispersed in the wine or juice to assure the maximum effect of agglomeration of the gelatin with suspended haze particles. Settling should start immediately, but may take four or five days to complete settling. After settling has been completed, the supernatant liquid is drawn off and put through filters and the processing is continued. The precipitate can be saved and used for feed. It is best for the character of the wine or juice to be natural. There is considerable improvement obtained from the standpoint of clarity, sparkle and an appealing appearance as well s stability when gelatin colloids are used to clarify.