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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > sparkalloid vs super kleer
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
bengerman
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Default sparkalloid vs super kleer

so, i'm working on my first batch of skeeter pee. the instructions call for sparkalloid for clearing, and that's what i've seen for most other wines or meads that use a clearing agent rather than time/racking/cold crashes.
i was looking at mountain homebrew's website at wine stuff, and saw super kleer which promises 2 days for clearing. i've looked at a few posts about it, and it sounds like it really works.

so my question is, why aren't more people using it or suggesting it? does it have some negative effect that has been glossed over?

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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going on 50 views with no replies? let me reword: is there a reason i shouldn't use super kleer for the batch of skeeter pee i have going? it sounds like it works really fast and really well? but nobody here seems to suggest using it.

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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I can't answer, but I'm in the same boat. I've got my first batch of skeeter pee in the secondary. None of the stores around me had sparkalloid, but I picked up a pack of isinglass. I've been hesitant to throw that in there, but I imagine any of them would work.

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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Can't answer either. What I do know is that it's a combination of Kieselsol and Chitosan.
Descriptions of the activities of these fining agents seem to indicate that they're used for lighter wines, as one doesn't need tannins to clear, and the Kieselsol seems to work with gelatin/chitosan instead of tannin.

From what I've been reading, it would seem this means that you would want to use this combination more for wines you don't want to have interact with tannin (whites and some reds), and use other fining agents for reds where it uses the tannin to work. (Been digging things up on tannin interactions and fining agents for other reasons).

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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I've never used sparkalloid – but I have used Super-Kleer, and I intend to use it for a batch of “lemon wine” I have going (only very loosely based on skeeter pee).

Don't believe the “2-day” time on the super-kleer. Maybe it will work that way on some batches, but I had a crystal clear cyser that I decided to use it on... and it took 6 days for it get as clear as it was before I added it. It did cause quite a bit of gunk to come out of solution, so I'm glad I used it.

My opinion is – use the super-kleer, but don't get concerned if it takes a week or so to clear.

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Old 05-14-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCerebralSamurai View Post
I've never used sparkalloid – but I have used Super-Kleer, and I intend to use it for a batch of “lemon wine” I have going (only very loosely based on skeeter pee).

Don't believe the “2-day” time on the super-kleer. Maybe it will work that way on some batches, but I had a crystal clear cyser that I decided to use it on... and it took 6 days for it get as clear as it was before I added it. It did cause quite a bit of gunk to come out of solution, so I'm glad I used it.

My opinion is – use the super-kleer, but don't get concerned if it takes a week or so to clear.
so you didn't experience any negative effects? no loss of good flavors, no addition of funky ones?
with your 6 day time-frame, it sounds like it is potentially faster than sparkalloid, but it's kinda apples and oranges since that was an already decently clear cyser and this is a rather coudly skeeter pee...

and, question number b...
on the skeeter pee website, it says
Quote:
Add 1/2 tsp Kmeta, 2 1/2 tsp sorbate, and Sparkolliod (follow directions on the package).
the way i read this, i'm doing this all at once. same for super kleer, i assume? the SK isn't going to pull the Kmeta and sorbate out of suspension?
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:06 AM   #7
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for others following this thread (if there are any....)

i did find one answer here

Quote:
Chitosan (positive charge): As the name implies, it is composed of chitin, which is the structural element of the exoskeletons of crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimp and other shell fish. Chitosan is especially popular in clearing white wines, since it does not require the aid of tannins to clear, as do some fining agents like gelatine. When used with negatively-charged Kieselsol it is an effective remover of most suspended proteins and solids.

Chitosan and Kieselsol are often sold as a set, in sealed liquid envelopes as fining A (negatively charged Kieselsol) which is added to the wine first, and then fining B (positively charged chitosan) added about a day afterwards. Chitosan has a reputation for being fairly gentle on the character of finished wine...
Kieselsol (negative charge): Also known as silicon dioxide. Kieselsol works well with gelatine as a clearing agent, since it acts as a tannin substitute and works well to remove bitterness from white wines. When used with gelatine, the gelatine is added to the wine first, and then 24 to 48 hours later, a very small amount of Kieselsol is added, and should be racked off within 2 weeks. Kieselsol also works with chitosan (see the section on chitosan earlier).

sounds like a reasonable way to go, so i'll probably give it a shot, once this stuff finishes fermenting
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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If anything, I would expect a clarifier to work faster on a “clear” batch than on a cloudy one, since it has less work to do. I understand that it's not quite that simple, and that there are other variations based on the exact brew, but I think that's a valid generalization.

As for potentially negative effects – they jury is still out on that one. There definitely aren't any additional “funky” flavors, but it tastes sweeter (FG=1.015) and somewhat less complex to me now. It's a cinnamon cyser, and the super-kleer seems to have stripped out most of the cinnamon. Swmbo still likes it and says it tastes “crisper” now.

Anyway, I'd say just use whatever clarifier is easier for you.

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Old 05-15-2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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Never made skeeter pee, but I have used super kleer on a couple of batches, a wine and a mead that both just refused to clear. SK cleared them both in less than 48 hrs. I could see floc forming within a few minutes after putting in the second component. I could detect no off flavors or odors, and they were some of the clearest wines I have ever made.

I used to work in water treatment, and ironically, "almost clear" liquids are sometimes harder to clear completely. Flocculants such as SK need some small particulates around which to build larger floc particles. That's essentially what sparkolloid does; it adds some additional solids which bind to the cloudiness in the wine and add weight so that gravity can overcome the natural Brownian motion which works to keep particles suspended.

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Old 05-16-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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I just made my first batch of pee. I tried using Super Kleer as I could not find Sparkolloid, after a couple of days it didn't appear to have cleared at all. I then went and found some Sparkolloid, used that and it started clearing instantly, I bottled the next day and it is crystal clear and delicious!

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