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bentonite problems

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I stirred a correct dose by weight of granulated bentonite into some red wine juices without first dissolving them in warm/hot water. The resulting wine is still thoroughly cloudy four months later; tastes great, but a joke to look at. Anyone have any ideas about solving this problem with finings? Really reluctant to filter. Thanks in advance!
 

ceeaton

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Assuming the bentonite was added at the beginning of your ferment.

I'd add another clarifier, I typically use something like this: https://www.scotzinbros.com/lq-super-kleer when I'm having clearing issues. Just realize, adding bentonite and any other clarifiers do require a bit more aging to make sure they don't drop out as a powder in the bottom of your bottled wines. I usually wait a year minimum before bottling, unless you want to filter, which it sounds like you want to avoid. Hope that helps.
 

Scooter68

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The bentonite used without proper preparation probably was not effective at all AND it doesn't clear everything any way. It has a negative charge so it attracts positively charged material and drops out of your wine. Unfortunately you say that you didn't dissolve it and that pretty much prevented it from even working on what it can pull out of your wine.

You could re-treat with Bentonite or move on to some other chemical fining products. I don't use anything but bentonite so far and therefore I can't tell you what would be best to use next.

Don't give up on Bentonite - it does work when properly prepared. Most times the best approach is to prepare a day ahead in a small container that you can leave overnight and then shake well before adding to your wine.
 

mainshipfred

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I'm really surprised you were able to dissolve it without using warm water. I'm with Scooter it probably didn't dissolve correctly or completely and was ineffective. I would think by now it would have precipitated to the bottom of the carboy.
 
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Assuming the bentonite was added at the beginning of your ferment.

I'd add another clarifier, I typically use something like this: https://www.scotzinbros.com/lq-super-kleer when I'm having clearing issues. Just realize, adding bentonite and any other clarifiers do require a bit more aging to make sure they don't drop out as a powder in the bottom of your bottled wines. I usually wait a year minimum before bottling, unless you want to filter, which it sounds like you want to avoid. Hope that helps.
Thanks for the note. How to say this? Been making wine for forty-three years. So well into geezerdom here. Have made a couple of thousand gallons over that time (didn't quite drink all that - don"t worry). This is the result of ignorance, and it took me a while to figure out what these four batches (23l each) had in common, namely the bentonite addition incorrectly added. BTW am making this for the next September wedding of our youngest. As to adding another clarifier - wait for this - I actually did add some for one batch: kieselsol followed by chitosan. No improvement.
Mulling over the problem, I'm thinking that in these juices there simply wasn't enough body for the bentonite to take down. As it happens I have 46l of Zinfandel on the go as well as 23l of Syrah. These juices came with some crushed grapes enclosed. Did NOT add bentonite to these, obviously. But when I rack them in a week or two I will use the lees to try to pick up the excess bentonite in a couple of the other batches; i.e., stir those lees into the cloudy wine.
Unorthodox. But trust me, over my winemaking years I've had one or two surprises.
Will let you know what happens.
 

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