By Michael Douglas-Llyr

Pectin is a complex sugar found in the cell walls of all fruits. This substance is what causes jams and jellies to thicken and has many other uses in the culinary arts. When wines are made from fresh fruit, pectin plays a valuable role in making sure that optimal flavor is extracted. However, if the pectin in the beverage is not properly eliminated during fermentation, the wine can develop a hazy or cloudy appearance as a result of the excess pectin being held in suspension in the fermented liquid. Fortunately, this problem is relatively easy to resolve.

Impaired clarity caused by pectin in fruit wines can be remedied.

Identifying Pectin Haze

Step 1

Pour 1 ounce of the clouded wine into a small glass or jar.

Step 2

Add 4 ounces of methylated spirits to the wine in the jar and agitate it gently by swirling.

Step 3

If gelatinous clumps or strings form, pectin is the cause of the problem. If you don't see this, the haze is caused by something else.

Clearing Pectin Haze

Step 1

Remove 1 cup of clouded wine for each gallon of wine affected by pectin haze and place into a large, glass container.

Step 2

Add 1 tsp. of pectic enzyme to the container and stir thoroughly until dissolved.

Step 3

Place the glass container of treated wine in a place where a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained. Cover the container lightly with plastic wrap.

Step 4

Stir the treated solution once each hour for a total of four hours.

Step 5

Strain the treated solution through clean, unused muslin cloth back into the untreated, main wine container.

Step 6

Let the treated wine sit, undisturbed, at a temperature of 70 F for four to five days. The haziness should dissipate by the end of this time.