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cuz

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I was just wondering - for those of you that are making wine from either grapes or fresh juice., do any of you add fining agents like Bentonite or Kieselsol & Chitosan? These come withe the Festa and Mosti Mondiale kits, respectively.
 

Johnd

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I was just wondering - for those of you that are making wine from either grapes or fresh juice., do any of you add fining agents like Bentonite or Kieselsol & Chitosan? These come withe the Festa and Mosti Mondiale kits, respectively.
When I make wine from grapes, and high end red kits as well, I don't use anything other than sulfite and time.
 

Johny99

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I use bentonite if I really need it with a white, but otherwise, time.
 

Ajmassa

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Only one time in all the juice batches did I use a clearing agent. (Hadn't done kits yet) The clearing agents intimidated me, thinking only people with genius level wine IQs used em. Google search was overwhelming. Eeny meeny miny mo'd bentonite. After slopping in the sludge bentonite was in my notes as a "never again".
Not opposed to the others at this point though.
 

Scooter68

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Just used Bentonite on a 3 gallon batch of Tart Cherry - Dropped the solids overnight. Color not affected.

Only problem with bentonite is that it's a royal pain to mix up. I used 1 tablespoon in about 6 oz of hot water. Still clumped on me but after reducing most of the clumps I left it over night as some recommended. That worked. The next day I shook the jar well and stirred it in. This is about my 3rd time using it and I always dread the mixing but the results have been great. I had 1/4" of lees with fermentation nearing the end. Put in Bentonite and literally overnight I had another inch of lees. I'm still waiting on fermentation to finish and hopefully the lees will compact a bit too.

Once you get past the mixing issues Bentonite is pretty easy to use. AND it hasn't affected the color of any of my wines including this one Tart Cherry, Peach, and Black Currant. Pulling color is something Bentonite hasn't done to me.
 

jburtner

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I use an immersion blender and hot water to mix bentonite. Makes quick work of it. I'll let it sit overnight next time too.

Thanks!
-johann
 

Ajmassa

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My first time with bentonite I used close to boiling water in a NutraBullet. Nasty hot sloppy bentonite water spraying all over the kitchen. (Bullet is like an upside down blender) Those seams do not handle Hot water well.
 

Boatboy24

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Always use the Bentonite and usually the clarifying agents, unless I see at the end of secondary that significant clearing has already taken place.
 

Floandgary

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I was just wondering - for those of you that are making wine from either grapes or fresh juice., do any of you add fining agents like Bentonite or Kieselsol & Chitosan? These come withe the Festa and Mosti Mondiale kits, respectively.
A lot of us here prefer the TIME method especially for reds as they benefit from aging as well. However I have had reds in a carboy for a year (with regular rackovers @3 months) still drop sediments after bottling.. Whites on the other hand do not need to age and are usually bottled in about 6 months. Most will clear by then, but most times the use of a clearing agent is quite evident on the +side!! Either way you want to try can only add to your fast growing storehouse of winemaking wherewithal !!! Plus, you are not likely to do the wine any harm. :db
 

BlueStimulator

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I use an immersion blender and hot water to mix bentonite. Makes quick work of it. I'll let it sit overnight next time too.
Never used but am contemplating in Viognier as it is a bit hazy, this is a great idea!!
 

Scooter68

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Remember that while we call Bentonite a clay - I'll bet that it can be abrasive too so don't be surprised if after a number of uses that blenders and containers used for the blending begin to show fine scratches. I would happy to be wrong about this but I just suspect that the majority of things like this that come from volcanoes are abrasive. Remember the Mt Saint Helens eruptions - a lot of planes landed with windows cloudy from the airborne ash. (The source of Bentonite).

Not saying don't use blenders but if you are borrowing your spouses blender.....

Now the PITA in me is satisfied. ::
 

cuz

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Thank you all for the advice. To summarize - if you are not apposed to adding chemicals to your wine the Bentonite works. However, the overall consensus of the experience on this forum seems to be just wait it out and the wine will clear. I agree the less we add the better the wine.

My son gave me a book titled "the Homebuilt Winery" by Steve Hughes. In it he makes a wine filter from a whole house water filter. Has anyone tried this? What other filtering method have been tried?
 

Scooter68

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Thank you all for the advice. To summarize - if you are not apposed to adding chemicals to your wine the Bentonite works. However, the overall consensus of the experience on this forum seems to be just wait it out and the wine will clear. I agree the less we add the better the wine.

My son gave me a book titled "the Homebuilt Winery" by Steve Hughes. In it he makes a wine filter from a whole house water filter. Has anyone tried this? What other filtering method have been tried?
How much wine does he filter with that and how would you clean it after use? OR is he just disposing of the filter. Unless you can filter a lot of wine (Over 10 gallons) I would think that replacing a filter like that would be cost prohibitive. Most whole house water filter elements are not inexpensive items plus you have to have a housing to hold the filter element.
 

jburtner

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The housing is about $25 and the filters are in the $5 range. After use with wine I run water through them till clear then some so2 solution and more water. Same before use to sterelize them. Dry them on the bottle rack then store in a ziplock. Works great with the AI1. But you can use a transfer pump too. Or just don't filter. They are in fact so economical that I use a dedicated one to continually filter my SO2 solution for bottle and carboy washing on racking days and bottling days. Couple gallons of kmeta solution stays good and clear for many uses.

Or maybe just use time? I like both and use the filter to give the polishing finish but am also learning and experimenting.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Winemanic

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Used gelatin in my first ever red grape juice wine.... cleared wonderfully.

Used it on the next batch made from fresh strawberries... the result was a terribly cloudy wine. Had to add more sugars and ferment again to get it cleared.

Next I made wine from fresh red grapes. Was confident the gelatin would clear it up nicely due to high tannin content, but it clouded it too. This wine was made from yeast cultured from the grapes themselves. Didn't turn out to be a very good tasting wine. In the meantime, I got a supply of EC-1118 and pectinase, so added some more sugar and started a new fermentation with 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme and EC-1118. Finally ended up with a clear and great tasting wine! It took 7-8 months to get this wine drinkable.

I wonder why gelatin only worked the first time? Does it have to do with refrigeration of the opened packet of gelatin? The first time it was a newly opened packet, then I stored the rest in the fridge.

Never tried any other, coz none is available here
 
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cuz

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Winemanic - may have found your answer here:

Although tannin is not classified as a fining agent, clarification is often dependent on the presence of tannins, and requires to be added (in the form of oak bark powder, for example) for fining agents such as gelatin to be effective.

Maybe your wine had low tannin

4 years too late but better late than never.
 

winemaker81

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There is no clear-cut answer to clarifying wine -- every choice has ramifications, and each person needs to decide what is acceptable to them.

Time works most of the time, but some wines just won't clear on their own, or a clear wine may drop sediment in the bottle.

Clarification methods (and filtering is a clarification method) all have impacts on the wine. Color, taste, and smell are particles that can be stripped out. Before use, it's wise to research the effects of each and make an informed decision.

If using a fining agent, don't exceed the recommended dosage. I typically use 3/4 of the dosage or less.

Last fall I used bentonite on reds, post fermentation. The recommendation was 1 to 2 Tbsp per gallon. I used 5 tsp for 12 gallons, and the wines cleared very nicely. I had a bit of a dusting in the carboys 3 months later, but when I recently bottled, the carboys were all clear of sediment.

If things work out this fall, I'm going to experiment -- bentonite in 1 carboy, kieselsol/chitosan in another, and nothing in a 3rd.
 

sjjan

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I have been using bentonite for the rosé and white wines I am making. I just added a bit of water to a bucket, then added the bentonite and mixed it up. Left overnight a clear layer of water would form on top which I would pour away. The remaining clay substance I would then add to the juice pre-fermentation and after pressing.
 
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