Chitosan is a commonly used fining agent, generally used in conjunction with Kieselsol.
Chitosan is positively charged and Kieselsol is negatively charged. They are used in combination to avoid over
stripping the wine. Leftover Chitosan particles bond with the Kieselsol and sink to the
bottom of the fermenter as sediment.
Chitosan is derived from shellfish, so it is important to consider during the labeling process of wine,
since there are people with shellfish allergies. Chitosan has also been reported to control Brettanomyces in the barrel.
Kieselsol is added first to the wine, and after an hour the Chitosan
is added. This combination is especially effective on white wines.
The fining porocess works by creating both strong negative and strong positive charges in the wine, which allow for larger yeast clumping and faster clearing.
Directions: Rack wine off existing sediment. Add kieselsol to carboy and gently stir. Wait one hour. Dissolve chitosan in 1 fluid oz/30mL of warm water. Add and stir gently. Clears wine in 12-48 hours. May not clear pectin haze or products made with hard water.