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Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

Dissolving bentonite



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2005, 06:57 AM
Adam Preble
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Default Dissolving bentonite

I've been experimenting with using bentonite to clarify. I've been
trying to add it with the must before pitching the yeast. Adding it as
it's packaged causes it just to settle to the bottom right away, so I've
been dissolving it. I will take, say, half a liter of must and mix with
the bentonite in a 1 liter bottle. I'll shake it until I can't see any
solids, and nothing quickly settles out between shakes. This will then
get mixed into the must at large. The problem is it settles out within
hours.

I've tried various quantities, from 3 teaspoons for a 6 gallon batch to
3 tablespoons for a 6 gallon batch, and I've run into this every time.
Is that just the lay of the land? I figured the bentonite would settle
with the yeast quiet down. I can't imagine it clarifying appropriately
in primary fermentation.

It could also be possible the tip I got for adding it in primary
fermentation is crock, and that I should do it in secondary, or at the
end of primary. Am I using it at the wrong time?

Granted, I shouldn't need bentonite if I age long enough, but I don't
think I'll be aging appropriately until I have a few closets full of
wine bottles. Until then, I need faster gratification.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2005, 01:19 PM
Joe Sallustio
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Default

Adam,
You hydrate bentonite into a 5% slurry; for example 5 grams and 95 cc
water. Boiling water and a blender or mixer are easier than shaking,
you let it sit at least a day before use. It's a good fining agent,
you just got bad directions for use. It's just clay, but it has to be
properly prepared to use. You can use it in primary but I don't.

Joe

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2005, 04:58 AM
A. J. Rawls
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Default

All Bentonite is not equal... I notice that kits come with a finely
ground form of bentonite called "Quick Bentonite" and it almost
dissolves. I made kit wines (Winexpert and Brewery Lane) using the
bentonite in primary and the wine cleared brilliantly... I skipped
the bentonite in a couple of batches and they did not clear until I
used another fining agent (Super Kleer) on them.

Finely ground Bentonite stirred into primary works very well if you
stir it like mad.



On Tue, 11 Oct 2005 05:57:47 GMT, Adam Preble
wrote:

I've been experimenting with using bentonite to clarify. I've been
trying to add it with the must before pitching the yeast. Adding it as
it's packaged causes it just to settle to the bottom right away, so I've
been dissolving it. I will take, say, half a liter of must and mix with
the bentonite in a 1 liter bottle. I'll shake it until I can't see any
solids, and nothing quickly settles out between shakes. This will then
get mixed into the must at large. The problem is it settles out within
hours.

I've tried various quantities, from 3 teaspoons for a 6 gallon batch to
3 tablespoons for a 6 gallon batch, and I've run into this every time.
Is that just the lay of the land? I figured the bentonite would settle
with the yeast quiet down. I can't imagine it clarifying appropriately
in primary fermentation.

It could also be possible the tip I got for adding it in primary
fermentation is crock, and that I should do it in secondary, or at the
end of primary. Am I using it at the wrong time?

Granted, I shouldn't need bentonite if I age long enough, but I don't
think I'll be aging appropriately until I have a few closets full of
wine bottles. Until then, I need faster gratification.

  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2005, 02:45 PM
Tom S
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Adam Preble" wrote in message
...
I've been experimenting with using bentonite to clarify. I've been trying
to add it with the must before pitching the yeast. Adding it as it's
packaged causes it just to settle to the bottom right away, so I've been
dissolving it.


Bentonite doesn't actually "dissolve". It's a type of clay. It works by
adsorbing proteinaceous materials onto its surface. The trick is to expose
as much of its surface to the wine as possible, and the way to do that is to
thoroughly hydrate it before use.

Hydration is best accomplished by mixing the bentonite into hot water in a
blender (Osterizer). Mix ~50 grams into a liter of boiling hot water and
blenderize until smooth. Let stand for a day or more, shake to suspend the
solids and use immediately.

Tom S


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2005, 09:48 PM
Roy Boy
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Default

As being new to making wine I have to ask this question, why would you want
to try to clarify before you start your fermentation? In the four batches I
have found that the wine I have made (from grapes and watermelon) are clear
by the 3rd racking.


"Adam Preble" wrote in message
...
I've been experimenting with using bentonite to clarify. I've been trying
to add it with the must before pitching the yeast. Adding it as it's
packaged causes it just to settle to the bottom right away, so I've been
dissolving it. I will take, say, half a liter of must and mix with the
bentonite in a 1 liter bottle. I'll shake it until I can't see any
solids, and nothing quickly settles out between shakes. This will then
get mixed into the must at large. The problem is it settles out within
hours.

I've tried various quantities, from 3 teaspoons for a 6 gallon batch to 3
tablespoons for a 6 gallon batch, and I've run into this every time. Is
that just the lay of the land? I figured the bentonite would settle with
the yeast quiet down. I can't imagine it clarifying appropriately in
primary fermentation.

It could also be possible the tip I got for adding it in primary
fermentation is crock, and that I should do it in secondary, or at the end
of primary. Am I using it at the wrong time?

Granted, I shouldn't need bentonite if I age long enough, but I don't
think I'll be aging appropriately until I have a few closets full of wine
bottles. Until then, I need faster gratification.



  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2005, 11:00 PM
pp
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Posts: n/a
Default


Roy Boy wrote:
As being new to making wine I have to ask this question, why would you want
to try to clarify before you start your fermentation? In the four batches I
have found that the wine I have made (from grapes and watermelon) are clear
by the 3rd racking.


Bentonite takes proteins out of wine. These can precipitate in the
bottle, even if the wine looks completely clear during bottling.

Bentonite added before fermentation is also supposed to help the
fermentation along by giving the yeasts something to attach to so they
stay longer in suspension. So it's not just about clarification in this
case.

Pp

  #7 (permalink)  
Old 13-10-2005, 05:18 AM
Steve Waller
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Default

As I understand it, there are numerous grades/types of bentonite. For
me, each type of bentonite seems to require different handling.

As someone already said bentonite gets rid of proteins that can cause
a haze in your wine.

It is often used in the primary for two reasons....

1) it provides 'nucleation' sites for the yeast. No I'm not a chemist
and I got that word off the internet somewhere. Basically it helps
the yeast to circulate in the must/wine.

2) When used in the primary, less bentonite (and less stirring) is
used to produce the same effect. Because the 'lift' provided by the
yeast causes the bentonite to circulate, less stirring is required.

When making a kit, the bentonite usually settles out failrly quickly
(less than an hour?). Then when the yeast starts up, the bentonite
can be seen throughout the wine. This is much more visible in white
wines, of course.

Steve
 




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