Wine Crush: How Diatomaceous Earth Plays a Role in Wine Making


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After nearly a year of patiently tending to their crop, the time has finally come for vineyards to pick the grapes that will be used to make wine. This process is a run, not a walk because one bad day of weather could cut their yield significantly. This time of year is called Wine Crush.

The wine-making process is extensive with many steps, but toward the end, something particularly important happens: the wine goes through a filter to remove gelatinous or deformable materials that you don’t want to see in your glass. Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite and DE, is one of the filtration methods used for wine.

Diatomaceous Earth’s Properties

Diatomaceous earth is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms—single-celled aquatic algae. It is a near-pure sedimentary deposit consisting almost entirely of silica. If viewed under a microscope, you would see diatoms have a wide variety of shapes and a honeycomb-like structure, making it an ideal filtration medium.

Also, the packing of the small diatoms is irregular and creates a complex matrix with a very high porosity. This allows the filter media to both remove very small particles and extend the flow rate of the material being filtered.

Diatomaceous Earth for the Wine Crush

Wine is best-enjoyed when free of questionable particles floating around in the bottle or cup. The vast majority of particles in wine and juice are gelatinous or deformable materials, including yeast, bacterial cells, and many colloids.

The pores within and between the cell walls of diatomaceous earth are so small, they trap bacteria, clay particles, some viruses, and other suspended solids from liquids. This leaves the wine cleaner and with drastically reduced solids and contaminant levels. Diatomaceous earth filters can be used alone or as the second step in the filtering process. Screens or pre-filters can be employed first to eliminate larger particles before reaching the diatomaceous earth filter.

For Brilliant Clarity…

Polishing filtration is an integral part of the winemaking craft. Leading vintners everywhere rely on Dicalite filter aids. In both rough and polish filtrations, cellulose, diatomaceous earth, and perlite filter aids can fit your most rigid requirements.

Could Diatomaceous Earth Be Your Filtration Solution?

Discover the many benefits this type of filtration can offer you by contacting the diatomaceous earth experts at Dicalite Management Group today. Our sales team works closely with our technical services team to ensure your product is perfect for your application, whether you’re using diatomaceous earth for wine, syrup, juice, or even pool water. Call us at 610-660-8820.