Enzymes Can Make Filtration Easier

Last updated:11/2021

Applies to: Winemakers and producers of any fruit-based beverages looking to avoid and troubleshoot problematic filtrations.

Enzymes are often thought of as winemaking options to achieve stylistic goals; however, at almost every stage of winemaking, proper enzyme use can make processing easier and improve quality. This is perhaps most apparent when it comes to filtration, where enzymes can:

Improve Overall Filtration Efficiency

Wine and fruit-based beverages may contain pectin and pectin-related structures that lead to filtration problems. These compounds collect in depth filter media over time and decrease throughput. Treating prior to filtration with broad spectrum enzymes can break down some of these structures and lessen their impact during filtration.

Broad spectrum enzymes have many activities including pectinase, cellulase, hemicellulase, etc... This makes them especially useful for targeting a wide variety of pectin and pectin-related structures.

Remedy Issues Caused by Botrytis

Beta-glucans, are a specific class of polysaccharides that can be present in wine as a result of Botrytis infection. They are formed when Botrytis infection breaks down grape pectins1. They are known for causing immense filtration issues.

In the presence of alcohol, these high molecular weight chains become less soluble and aggregate together2. This causes filter media fouling as they form a thick gelatinous aggregate on the surface of the media3. Enzymes with Beta-glucanase activities breakdown glucans eliminating both their protective colloid properties and filter-plugging actions.

Help Maintain Cartridge and Crossflow Membranes

As mentioned above, pectins and pectin-related structures will collect on filter media over time, clogging the surface. This is especially problematic in membrane filter systems as membranes are not replaced with the frequency of other filtration medias and are instead cleaned and re-used extensively.

Even if the filter is diligently cleaned after each use, some of these compounds can’t be removed by standard chemical cleaners. Hot water sanitization can make things even worse by baking these compounds into the membrane matrix such that no future cleaning efforts can remove them. Performing regular cleanings with broad spectrum enzymes will remove them.

Learn More

See the buying guide below for assistance in selecting Scott Labs enzymes to make filtration easier.

Improve Overall Filtration Efficiency


Add these enzymes post-fermentation. SCOTTZYME KS works well at fermentation temperature but add after MLF. We do not recommend adding SCOTTZYME SPECTRUM during fermentation, it is strong and may remove yeast.
Remedy Issues Caused By BotrytisLALLZYME MMX™

MMX contains β-glucanase derived from Trichoderma harzianum which is listed in 27 CFR 24.250.
In order to maximize the benefit of these enzymes, 6-8 weeks of contact time is recommended prior to filtration.
Clean and Maintain Membrane FiltersSCOTTZYME® SPECTRUMThis enzyme can be used either during filtration if problems arise, or afterward as preventative maintenance. There is a detailed protocol of how to do this on our website


  1. Jin, Y.-L., Speers, R. A., Paulson, A. T., & Stewart, R. J. (2004). Effect of β-glucans and process conditions on the membrane filtration performance of beer. Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, 62(3), 117–124.
  2. Ribéreau-Gayon Pascal, Dubordieu, D., Donèche Bernard, Glories, Y., Maujean, A., & Lonvaud, A. (2006). Handbook of Enology: The Chemistry of Wine Stabilization and Treatments, Volume 2 (2nd ed., Vol. 2). John Wiley.
  3. Zoecklein, B. W., Fuselgang, K. C., Gump, B. H., & Nury, F. S. (1995). Wine Analysis and production. Springer.