1. Clean and sanitize anything that will come into contact with your wine: specifically, the insides of the filter plates, the black rubber stopper, and the hoses.
2. Place the filter pads in the red filter plates with the coarse sides facing up. With the pads inside the plates, pour water from the tap over the pads, soaking them thoroughly. They will expand inside the plates and form a good seal. Do not soak the pads before they are placed in the plates.
3. Place the center ring on top of one of the filter plates with the center ring valve facing directly opposite the red valve of the filter plate. Then place the other filter plate on top of the center ring so that the two red valves are facing the same direction, opposite the center ring valve.
4. Using the nuts and bolts provided, fasten the plates and center ring together evenly and tightly. Finger tight is good - do not use tools.
5. Remove the airlock and stopper from the carboy containing your wine. Ensure that your racking cane (J-tube) has a few feet of flexible tubing attached and that the sediment tip is firmly attached, and gently insert racking cane into the carboy, being careful not to disturb the sediment more than necessary. Attach the other end of the flexible hose to the center ring valve on the filter.
6. Place the provided black rubber stopper on an empty glass carboy and push it down securely to form a good seal. Ensure that the white valve on it is closed (horizontal position). One of the hoses leading from the black rubber stopper splits into two hoses; attach those to the red valves on the filter plates. Ensure that the two white hose clamps are open.
7. The other hose in the black rubber stopper can be attached to the white valve on the vacuum pump unit. You can now turn the pump on.
8. Your wine will start to pump through the filter and into the receiving carboy. You may not notice foaming as the wine is drawn in. This is normal. If the foam gets close to the top of the receiving carboy, there is a risk of wine being sucked into the pump. To avoid this, open the white relief valve on the black rubber stopper for a few seconds. You will notice the foam drop immediately. Close the relief valve and continue until all the way is filtered. You may have to open the relief valve several times or not at all depending on how much carbon dioxide is dissolved in your wine.
9. When the first carboy is empty, keep the pump running. Find the two white clamps on the split hoses and close them. Run the pump for another 5 minutes to drive off additional carbon dioxide from the wine.
10. You can now shut off the pump, open the relief valve on the black stopper and bottle your wine. Please clean the hoses and filter plates before returning them to the store.
Frequently Asked Questions
I've set everything up and turned on the pump, but the wine is not pumping through (or is pumping through very slowly).
Filtering should take 30-60 minutes. Sometimes you can tell right away that it will not be done in this time frame. This issue is usually caused by an air leak somewhere in the system. Ensure that the rubber stopper is secured well and that the relief valve is closed. If you wetted the filter pads before inserting them into the plates, replace them with new pads and follow the instructions above. You can sometimes also get the pump going by using gravity to your advantage - place the starting carboy up high and the receiving carboy on the floor.
How many filter pads do I need per wine?
We recommend using one set of two filter pads per 23L batch. If you have followed the clearing & stabilizing instructions, and have been sure to insert the racking tube gently, one set of pads is almost always sufficient to filter a wine.