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Old 10-13-2012, 05:57 AM   #1
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Default Didn't mix bentonite well enough...

I just added bentonite to my batch, and evidently I didn't mix it well enough, because there are a number of clumps of gray clay at the bottom of my wine now.

What would you recommend I do? I could pass the wine through a cheesecloth to get separate the bentonite, I suppose... should I just leave it and see what happens? Add more without trying to remove the old? Or try and filter it out and then do it again but stirring better?

Thanks!

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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a) in the future, what I do is put the bentonite and water in a small food processor and whip it around until it's a uniform slurry. This aids in keeping the clumps from forming.

b) Just re-rack off the goop at the bottom. You may pick up a few of them, but the vast majority will be left behind. To help, you can tilt your carboy a little for a while. That way the stuff will settle in one corner and you can siphon from the other corner.

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
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I skip the bentonite in kit wines and do not add it to fresh grapes either. If I were in your circumstance I would not try to remove or re-apply the finning agent just let the wine go it will clear on its own. If you age the wine long enough gravity will clear it for you.

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloanfamilydsm View Post
I skip the bentonite in kit wines and do not add it to fresh grapes either. If I were in your circumstance I would not try to remove or re-apply the finning agent just let the wine go it will clear on its own. If you age the wine long enough gravity will clear it for you.
Don't have the patience for that :P

I tried re-bentoniting and seem to still be having a similar problem, despite mixing much better and giving it 24 hours to "soak"

This time, it's not "clumping" so much as it is... settling immediately. The particles are relatively fine (like coarse sugar), but they sink immediately and within a few minutes there's a half-inch layer of bentonite particles stacked up.

I don't remember having this problem at all the first time I used bentonite. Could it still be working if it isn't staying in suspension?
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trauts

Don't have the patience for that :P

I tried re-bentoniting and seem to still be having a similar problem, despite mixing much better and giving it 24 hours to "soak"

This time, it's not "clumping" so much as it is... settling immediately. The particles are relatively fine (like coarse sugar), but they sink immediately and within a few minutes there's a half-inch layer of bentonite particles stacked up.

I don't remember having this problem at all the first time I used bentonite. Could it still be working if it isn't staying in suspension?
Half an inch on the bottom? How much are you using?

Also do you mix it well? How did you mix it?

Did you mix into the wine well? Or just dump it in?
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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A few teaspoons, but it's not stacked densely on the bottom. Think of stacking a bunch of round things and how there'd be a lot of air in the gaps (except in this case, wine). My containers at the moment are 2 liter PET bottles, so 1/2 inch doesn't really mean as much as it would if they were in 5 gallon carboys.

I mixed it well with a whisk. It seemed homogenous and smooth. I whisked it at least 500 times over the past day.

I measured out the bentonite and put it in the top, then stirred well.

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Old 10-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trauts
A few teaspoons, but it's not stacked densely on the bottom. Think of stacking a bunch of round things and how there'd be a lot of air in the gaps (except in this case, wine). My containers at the moment are 2 liter PET bottles, so 1/2 inch doesn't really mean as much as it would if they were in 5 gallon carboys.

I mixed it well with a whisk. It seemed homogenous and smooth. I whisked it at least 500 times over the past day.

I measured out the bentonite and put it in the top, then stirred well.
A couple of things:

1. Dissolve your bentonite in 1/2 cup of warm water.
2. I think you are using too much. My package calls for two tsp for 5 gallons of wine.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novalou View Post
A couple of things:

1. Dissolve your bentonite in 1/2 cup of warm water.
2. I think you are using too much. My package calls for two tsp for 5 gallons of wine.
My package calls for the same (2tsp in 1/2 cup water for 5 gallons); I meant a few teaspoons of the mixture, not of straight bentonite.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trauts

My package calls for the same (2tsp in 1/2 cup water for 5 gallons); I meant a few teaspoons of the mixture, not of straight bentonite.
Just make sure your 1/2 cup of water is hot, maybe 100 deg F, seems to dissolve better.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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Best as I could tell, it was fully dissolved. I used HOT water this time (probably 150+). It was a consistent "stormcloud" grey without any lumps I could see. It still behaved this way. (Though, better than last time. smaller clumps, some of which look much more like "flakes" but still falls out of suspension after just a few minutes.)

Could it be that it just picked up particles really, really quickly?

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