Other Started my new batch of Ricetta di Stefano

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Rocky

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Today I started a new batch of the wine we used to make at home many, many years ago (in another galaxy far, far away). I named this wine after my late father-in-law, Steve because it was his favorite and one that he perfected. The batch is a big one, 4 kits or about 24 gallons and is made up of 3 Zinfandels and 1 Muscat. I am fermenting them separately and will blend them once they are completed. I am using the Tavola series from Finer Wine Kits.

I have to say the Muscat requires a great leap of faith. Many of you are aware of the issues FWK had with their white varieties and the "dark color" that they exhibited. Well, the "fix" seems to be adding fine charcoal in primary. At present my Muscat is a rich black, looking much like a bucket of ink. The instructions assure that this is a temporary condition and it "will settle out with the bentonite." I have two issues with this, a. there is no bentonite in the kit and, b. there is nowhere in the instructions that instructs to add bentonite. Well, I'll have to jump off that bridge when I come to it.

I have the wine in three fermenters, the Zin in a 20-gallon Brute and a 7-gallon bucket. I took out 5 gallons of the wine from the 20-gallon Brute because there was no room at the top for fermentation after the skins bags had been added. Everything was mixed in the 20-gallon Brute, and I pulled on of the six skins bags for the small fermenter.

Here are some shots of my area:

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Ohio Bob

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Perhaps the bentonite was pre-mixed in with the charcoal? The kit producer might have been hedging bets that mistakes by the user could be avoided by pre-mixing those ingredients. It probably would be hard to distinguish sine since the charcoal would coat the grayish bentonite with black.
 

Rocky

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Perhaps the bentonite was pre-mixed in with the charcoal? The kit producer might have been hedging bets that mistakes by the user could be avoided by pre-mixing those ingredients. It probably would be hard to distinguish sine since the charcoal would coat the grayish bentonite with black.
Bob, I do not think that is the case. The charcoal is a very, very fine powder. If you are familiar with copier toner, it is about that consistency. I have never seen bentonite in a fine powder form, but I suppose it could exist. I have bentonite on hand if I need to use it, but it is as you say, a gray crumbly substance.
 

Ohio Bob

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Bentonite as I’m familiar with is exactly how you describe, kind of like light sand. I’d never heard of using charcoal, so either I’ve learned something new or your kit did indeed lack a packet of bentonite. I would consider adding more bentonite since it’s purpose is to capture and drop out particles, too much might not hurt anything.
 

Rocky

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Bentonite as I’m familiar with is exactly how you describe, kind of like light sand. I’d never heard of using charcoal, so either I’ve learned something new or your kit did indeed lack a packet of bentonite. I would consider adding more bentonite since it’s purpose is to capture and drop out particles, too much might not hurt anything.
Bob, I PM'ed Matteo and he told me the bentonite was in the starter pack. l should have paid greater attention when they taught reading.
 
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