Home Wine Industry Spotlights In Pursuit of Clarity: The Benefits of Flotation for Juice Clarification

In Pursuit of Clarity: The Benefits of Flotation for Juice Clarification

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Juice clarification is a critical step in the process of crafting a quality white or rosé grape wine. This step reduces the amount of suspended solids in the juice before fermentation. If the juice contains high levels of suspended solids, it can lead to harmful effects on wine quality.

Reduction of suspended solids prior to fermentation should typically occur quickly while trying to minimize the amount of juice lost during the process. Traditionally, winemakers chill tanks to allow cold-settling of the juice and simply rack the clear juice off the solids. This process is time-consuming and requires high levels of energy.

On the other hand, the Juclas Flotation technology (reverse settling) provides an alternative option for winemakers to speed up the settling and clarification process while also providing many added benefits. It is a proven technique in other liquid processing industries such as apple, cranberry and orange juice.

The successful flotation process for juice clarification in winemaking relies on the intricate interplay of technology, adjuvants, and various factors. High-quality adjuvants, including enzymes, bentonite, and proteinaceous fining agents, are essential. They work harmoniously to aggregate and eliminate suspended solids from the juice, a crucial step towards achieving clarity.

Ensuring the juice is free from pectin before flotation is also imperative. Pectin is a natural component found in fruits that can induce haze or cloudiness in wine.

Logan Fleming, Technical Sales Manager at Juclas USA, explains, “It’s all about positive and negative charges at the molecular level. However, these charges aren’t always evenly balanced, and flotation works best when they are. Enzyme selection is critical in cutting pectin chains to gain a balanced charge in the juice medium.”

Experience-driven recommendations underscore using specific technology and products like FLOTTOZIMA PLUS during the juice stage. This inclusion amplifies the efficacy of the flotation process, encapsulating the experience and know-how of Juclas’ Flotation Technology and Vason’s Adjuvants.

Precise timing and temperature control facilitate the seamless separation of solids from the juice, and selecting the best adjuvant, MASTERVIN COMPACT is vital. Bentonite and protein-based fining agents are incorporated into the tank, necessitating adept distribution.

Whether introduced in-line or through the flotation system’s saturation chamber, gas injection creates bubbles that delicately lift the solids. The variables of pressure and gas quantity become conduits of optimization. Their meticulous adjustment and control refine the orchestration of the flotation process, unveiling its full potential.

The most significant advantages of using flotation for juice clarification are energy and time savings. Fleming points out, “With flotation, you can clarify up to 25,000 gallons of unchilled juice in an hour, compared to the 24-48 hours needed for static sedimentation. This means you’re ready to do a juice panel and inoculate 3-4 hours after the press cycle ends, all while reducing losses by more than 50%.”

Flotation time is directly correlated to the speed of the Juclas EASYFLOAT pump, which dictates the formation of flocs and their ascent to the top of the tank. The turbidity is periodically measured during batch flotation to ensure the highest clarity and minimal juice loss. When executed correctly, juice loss is only around 1% compared to the 10% seen with static sedimentation and can remove up to 85% of the grape’s natural yeast and its associated microbial risk.

At the end of the flotation process, and as desired clarity is achieved, the clarified juice is gently transferred, also known as reversed racking.

These facets intricately weave together, influencing the success of the flotation process. Each factor contributes to the art of juice clarification in winemaking, a process guided by experience, technological know-how, and high-quality adjuvants.

Juclas USA provides experienced support readily available during the harvest season to guide winemakers in their quest for clarity and quality. To learn more about juice clarification, Juclas’ Flotation Technology and Vason’s Adjuvants, contact Logan Fleming at 707-400-3911 or logan.fleming@vason.it. Visit our website JUCLAS USA Inc.

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1 COMMENT

  1. We use a Junclas pump, with some of their “collage” products specially designed for flottation in the south of france (13,000 hl selling at some of the highest prices in our bracket). A combination of their pumps, products, and following their protocols leads to perfect results even with bad grapes!

    I can heartily agree the process is brilliant and Junclas in one of the best in the business. The consultancy with the company is great too.

    Attention, sometime too clean on racking. This is a good thing for us (suits our profile) and can be correctly easily.

    You will learn to be obsessed with pectins though!

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