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MrTCS

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Started my first mead a little over two weeks ago. While continuing to read up I realized I should have added the bentonite when fermentation started. I've purchased some but it's at 1.003 now, could I just sprinkle some in and get a little benefit in primary, should I just wait until secondary, or just skip it all together for this one? I do have the ability to cold crash if that makes a difference.

1 Gallon Traditional mead started at 1.120, fermented with D47. SNA with Ferm-O.
 

Yooper

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Bentonite can't be sprinkled in. Well, technically I guess it can, but it's a bugger to dissolve. So dissolve it in a little HOT water (yes, really hot, and stir well), and then you can let that cool a bit and add it to the mead if you need to.

Bentonite has a negative charge, so it would help clear positively charged ions that cause haze like proteins.

However, if your haze is caused by a negatively charged ion like tannin or yeast, bentonite will make it worse.

How bad is the haze that you want to treat it before it's finished?
 

BoozeMedic

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Bentonite can't be sprinkled in. Well, technically I guess it can, but it's a bugger to dissolve. So dissolve it in a little HOT water (yes, really hot, and stir well), and then you can let that cool a bit and add it to the mead if you need to.

Bentonite has a negative charge, so it would help clear positively charged ions that cause haze like proteins.

However, if your haze is caused by a negatively charged ion like tannin or yeast, bentonite will make it worse.

How bad is the haze that you want to treat it before it's finished?
What is the benefit of adding bennonite prior or during fermentation? I always add it after full attenuation, usually right when I add potassium metabisulfute (then a week later I either filter or sparkalloid). Is there something I'm missing?

Either way, concur with Yooper. I put 1/2 tsp per gallon in 1/2 cup of hot, hot water and blend it up with an egg beater or hand mixer. Then I let it sit for about an hour or two to completely rehydrate, then pour it in and stir vigorously. Stuff works great.

Bennonite works on negatively charged particles, sparkalloid works on positive. I don't use them simultaneously because I'm told the sparkalloid neutralizes the bennonite.
 

bernardsmith

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Many wine kit manufacturers suggest adding bentonite to the primary. Not certain why but here's my thinking: you add the bentonite to the primary and the bentonite immediately begins to work to attach itself to any positively charged ions (particles) in solution. The weight of the bentonite plus those particles drag the particles to the bottom of your fermenter but then the CO2 produced by the yeast forces the bentonite back up towards the top where it latches on to more positively charged particles and this rising and falling movement happens throughout active fermentation. If you add bentonite in the secondary after almost all active fermentation has ceased the action of the bentonite is radically constrained. It'll still work but not perhaps as quickly or effectively as when the yeast is driving the clay back up through your wine or mead.
 

BoozeMedic

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Many wine kit manufacturers suggest adding bentonite to the primary. Not certain why but here's my thinking: you add the bentonite to the primary and the bentonite immediately begins to work to attach itself to any positively charged ions (particles) in solution. The weight of the bentonite plus those particles drag the particles to the bottom of your fermenter but then the CO2 produced by the yeast forces the bentonite back up towards the top where it latches on to more positively charged particles and this rising and falling movement happens throughout active fermentation. If you add bentonite in the secondary after almost all active fermentation has ceased the action of the bentonite is radically constrained. It'll still work but not perhaps as quickly or effectively as when the yeast is driving the clay back up through your wine or mead.
What you said makes sense. I just read a suggestion to stir "several times throughout the evening" after bennonite addition. The only concern would be oxidation for the average home brewer with standard carboy.
I wonder if you used a "rousing" technique? Essentially, blowing co2 through the bottom of the fermenter to push the bennonite back into suspension (if you have the means. i.e., a conical with bottom port)? I think the big commercial guys use a guth agitator, but a co2 rouse, in theory, would stir it up quite a bit. Might actually help with degassing-- a few seconds of high pressure co2 would probably push a lot of residual co2 out of suspension.
I dunno. Just a thought.
 
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What you said makes sense. I just read a suggestion to stir "several times throughout the evening" after bennonite addition. The only concern would be oxidation for the average home brewer with standard carboy.
I wonder if you used a "rousing" technique? Essentially, blowing co2 through the bottom of the fermenter to push the bennonite back into suspension (if you have the means. i.e., a conical with bottom port)? I think the big commercial guys use a guth agitator, but a co2 rouse, in theory, would stir it up quite a bit. Might actually help with degassing-- a few seconds of high pressure co2 would probably push a lot of residual co2 out of suspension.
I dunno. Just a thought.
 
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I tried Bentonite pre addition of yeast and I had no clearing even after fermentation was done and the carboy was set outside in cold temperatures. I figured it had something to do with the must temperature 75 degrees. Always had good luck using it post fermentation, cleared nicely, any ideas ?
 
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