Yeast sediment in wine cannot only make the wine cloudy, it can also affect the taste of the wine. A process known as racking separates wine from the yeast sediment during the aging or bottling process. This process is especially important for the home winemaker, as it allows you to produce flavorful, clear wine.
Things You'll Need
Wash and sanitize your second fermenting vessel or the appropriate number of wine bottles. This can be accomplished by rinsing the vessel or bottles with one gallon of water and a capful of bleach added to the water.
Insert one end of the siphon hose into the primary fermenting vessel, keeping the end of the hose above the sediment in the bottom by at least one inch.
Start the siphon and transfer the wine to the second vessel or into the bottles.
Discard the yeast sediment in the primary brewing vessel. Attach the lid and airlock to the secondary vessel to continue the wine fermentation if needed. Cap or cork wine bottles, if not doing a secondary fermentation.
Any food-grade plastic tubing can be used for a siphon to separate the wine from the sediment.
If using a secondary fermentation vessel, these steps will need to be repeated when bottling the wine.
For wine transferred straight from the primary fermentation vessel into bottles, you may have to decant the wine using a siphon into a carafe or other serving container.
References and Resources"The Foxfire Book of Wine Making", edited by Lori Gillespie, Kelly Shropshire and Allison Adams, 1987
"Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More", by Pattie Vargas, and Rich Gulling, 1999
Washington State University: Home Winemaking