Using bentonite badly

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Shayne Edwards

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Has anyone mixed bentonite before it was needed?

I have pushed cling wrap on to the surface to seal out air and put it in the fridge. Can I still use it after I mix some wine into it from and ready for the batch.
 

Johnd

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Has anyone mixed bentonite before it was needed?

I have pushed cling wrap on to the surface to seal out air and put it in the fridge. Can I still use it after I mix some wine into it from and ready for the batch.

I’ve never done it, but it’s just clay, keep it from drying out and it should be easy to mix back up when you’re ready for it. After sitting in the fridge, I’d give it a spray of sulfite before using.
 

Ajmassa

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I’ve got PTSD from the one and only time I used bentonite. Was before I found this forum and needed to clean some wine up.
Bought “speedy” bentonite. All the in laws stopped by unexpectedly-mother, brother, sister-while I was figuring out this process. Instructions called to use boiling water and a blender. Used the NutriBullet. If not familiar the bullet is like an upside blender. Boiling hot water compromises the seal I learned.
After spraying the walls with boiling hot clay I had to finish manually. Then had to get the sludge into the demijohn. I got it in- as well as all over the outside, the floor and myself too.
I didn’t have a long enough spoon to reach the demi bottom. McGuyver’d a rubber spatchela and plastic broom handle. I gained a few skeptics that day.

Btw- I kept he extra in a sealed Tupperware container not refrigerated. It kept for a while.
 

Shayne Edwards

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My lord that was funny, thankfully my hugs and kisses would kill me if I ever tried to use her NutriBullet like that otherwise that could well have been me dodging boiling clay. Thanks for sharing.
 

Scooter68

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Bentonite is such "Fun" to prepare. Always look forward to that like trip to the dentist. I found out that I had misread the instructions once wasn't using near enough water after that things have gone a lot better, but still ugly to mix.
 

Norton

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I had a similar first experience. Now I just sprinkle it in after seeing the instructions in my first wine kit. I don’t see the value in blending it.
 

Sramic

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I find to get the most benefit from bentonite is to put a table spoon of it in an empty glass wide mouth juice bottle 500ml (I apologize for my Canadian measurements)(sterilized of course)and fill 3/4 with water (or must) and shake for about 15 minutes. I treat it like a workout. And I usually read or watch tv while I’m shaking so I don’t realize the work I am doing. Once there is nothing stuck to the sides of the bottle I know the clay is hydrated and ready to work it magic. It’s a pain but shaking for a long time gets it into the right state. I also add it slowly as I stir the must.
 

Shayne Edwards

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Thanks for being so gentle with me, it is my first time using the stuff and quite frankly there us nothing else available in my local stores. One store said they only keep this clearing agent because it is vegan friendly.

I would kill for something like sparkaloid
 

Scooter68

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Yeah but sparkaloid and some of the others have a habit of stripping out colors and other characteristics - as reported by users there of. I have used Chitosan once and was not impressed and it did take some color. Bentonite for me has worked well AFTER you get it prepared.

I actually have bottle of sparkaloid and haven't used it in the year since I got it.
 

Trick

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It was a pain to deal with the clay until I bought an handhold mini mixer from Amazon. I will keep the hot water mixed while slowly pouring the powder into the swirl. Works great! I use it for Tannin as well.

By the way, bentonite is negatively charged and good to remove protein. I use it in whites and fruit wines prior to bottling since they don't have enough tannin to remove protein and can produce unpleasant haze in bottle. A lesson learned in hard way.

For reds, I tend to skip it (unless when I want to bottle in 40 days). The tannin can take care of protein during long aging period especially for big reds.

Chitosan and sparkaloid are positively charged to remove tannin. Different target.
 

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