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Bentonite at the beginning

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Ceegar

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I recently started a kit that had me add a Bentonite solution to the primary before adding the juice to it. I thought Bentonite was a clearing agent and is added after fermentation. Can we do this for all other wines or is it specific to certain kits?
 

cpfan

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There are numerous types of Bentonite. Some may perform better when added pre-fermentation, others when added post-fermentation.

My understanding is that when added pre-ferm, less bentonite is required and less stirring is required because the fermentation will cause the bentonite to circulate in the must/wine. Also bentonite assists the yeast to circulate (provides nucleation sites) and thus helps to create a quicker more complete fermentation.

BTW, bentonite attracts proteins thus reducing protein haze.

Steve
 

Wade E

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I use it in the beginning to make sure i dont get a protein haze and to help get some solids out of suspension so that when i rack to secondary there will be less of the lees that can spoil a wine if it sat there too long. Basically what cp said!
 

Sacalait

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I add it to the secondary while there is still fermentation taking place. As was said the fermentation helps to better distribute it throughout.
 

cpfan

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I add it to the secondary while there is still fermentation taking place. As was said the fermentation helps to better distribute it throughout.
Usually when my wine hits the carboy there isn't much fermentation happening. So this wouldn't work for me.

Steve
 

Sacalait

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My idea is to get it off the gross lees early (fruit wine) around S.G.1.015. There is still some action going on (4-5 days worth) and plenty enough to fill any void spaces with CO2. I've had some issues in the past where I'd waited a little too long before transferring on strawberry wine. It had a medicinal taste that I attributed to gross lees. If you think I'm wrong then set me straight, at this point I'm groping for answers.
 

Wade E

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There are fruits that spoil much faster like strawberries and especially melons. So you may be right there Sacalait. Kiwis also seem to go rancid faster.
 

Luc

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Sacalait the medicine flavor is a problem that occurs every now and then in winemaking.
Generally that problem occurs when a wine is made in a low acid environment.

I had once the same problem when I made a pineapple wine from canned pineapples. That one had low acid so the problem was clear for me in that particular case.

I do think strawberries have a very low acidity so that might be your problem.

Luc
 

Ceegar

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I do think strawberries have a very low acidity so that might be your problem.

Luc
I currently have a 1 gal strawberry batch going. I added 1.5 tsp of acid blend, which is a little more than the other fruit wines I've done. Do you think that was enough tp prevent that from happening to my batch?
 

applelover12

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bensonite

But bensonite is a clearing (fining) agent?!
When added its supposed to settle at the bottom with impurities AND yeast - am I right?


I use it in the beginning to make sure i dont get a protein haze and to help get some solids out of suspension so that when i rack to secondary there will be less of the lees that can spoil a wine if it sat there too long. Basically what cp said!
 

cpfan

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But bensonite is a clearing (fining) agent?!
When added its supposed to settle at the bottom with impurities AND yeast - am I right?
Yes, eventually it should settle to the bottom, but it needs to circulate in the wine to chemically attach to the proteins before settling to the bottom. Thats why it is good added pre-fermentation when the CO2 rising gives it a lift to circulate.

Also bentonite provides the yeast with nucleation sites to assist in a thorough fermentation.

Steve
 

applelover12

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Trying bentonite

It would be interesting Trying it pre fermentation.
Do I add less bentonite than if used after fermentation?
Will it strip flavour and color?
 

cmason1957

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I add some at the beginning of most of my ferments. I figure if kits always have you add some it isn't going to cause any problems. I don't measure, just enough to lightly cover the bottom of my fermenter than about a gallon of warm water, give it a good stir. From what I understand it will help prevent a protein haze and never makes it out of the primary.
 

JimmyT

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A lot of times when I do a search I find myself not even paying attention to the date of the post. Answering an old post could still be useful in the situation for someone searching for something.
 

Dhaynes

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Another reason that kits have you add bentonite up front is to shorten the time required for the wine to clear after you rack it to the secondary. The manufacturers want you to get the wine clear and bottled asap so you will start another kit. When you add the bentonite up front the CO2 bubbles pick it up and let it drop over and over which pulls a lot of the bits and pieces of stuff that cause cloudiness out before you rack to the secondary. This in turn causes to wine to clear faster in the secondary.
 

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