FINING ( from fine. DEng. finen, to refine, from fine, pure. from OE, Fr. fin, from Lat. /ini tus, p.p. of fin ire, to end, from finis, end), or CLA 111F1 CAT I . The process by which turbid liquors such as beer or wine are clarified or 11111(1(1 clear. The simplest method of fitting is by pass ing a liquid through a porous substance, such as charcoal, a cloth, or filtering paper, which re tains the solids and allows the clear fluid to pass through, but this method can be used only with those liquids that contain matter that is me chanically suspended in them. Such liquids as contain mucilaginous or other gummy matter that readily clogs the tiller require special means of separation. The fact that the albumen of meat coagulates the mucilaginous material in soup has been taken advantage of for the purpose of fining.
In the tilling of syrups and such liquors as may he heated without injury, a soluble albumen such as the white of egg inay he used. To a small portion of the turbid liquid albumen is added, nil after thorough mixture the portion i-; poured into the rest of the liquor and agitated. On the application of heat the albumen coagu lates and contracts into scum that envelops and draws together the suspended !natter, which may then be readily removed. As albumen is coagulated by alcohol, it may be used for tilling wines and cordials without the application of heat. Alan liquors. on the other hand, are fined by means of gelatin, as isinglass. Thus one pound of isinglass may be soaked in three or four pints of water or sour beer to which, as the isinglass swells, more sour liquor is added, until it measures a gallon. The resulting jelly is then dissolved in seven or eight gallons of liquor to be fined, and this solution, called 'brewer's finings,' which has the consistency of syrup, is used in the proportion of a pint to a pint and a half to a barrel of ale or porter, or to a hogshead of wine.
The isinglass combines with the astringent mat ter of the liquor, forming an insoluble solid which sinks to the bottom and carries with it the suspended matter, where it is 'allowed to remain, as the flavor of malt liquors depends somewhat upon the astringents they contain. For the fining of spirits a proper proportion of alum is added to the liquor and then a solution of sodium carbonate, and after agitation in the presence of air, the spirit is allotted to rest for twenty-four hours, after which it will be found to be clarified. Frequently salts are used for fining; thus acetate of lead is sometimes added to the liquor, and then, after thorough agitation, a solution of potassium sulphate. In this case an insoluble lead sulphate is precipitated, which carries down with it the gummy material. This process is objeetionable, as lead salts are poison ous. Oxblood is sometimes used as a substitute for albumen. The best liquors need no arti ficial fining, as they clarify themselves, for the turbid matter sinks to the bottom soon after the fermentation is completed, and munch care must be exercised in the use of finings, espe cially in cases where the liquors require a cer tain amount of astringeney, briskness. and pi quancy, as these qualities are diminished and the liquor is likely to become that and vapid. Those liquors which fail to become clear when treated with finings in the usual manner are called 'stub born.' Consult Gardner. Brewer, Distiller, and Wine Ilanufacturer (London, 1883).