When to add bentonite ?

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oldwest

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Do I add the bentonite along with the fruit I first put in the initial fermenting crock ? Or is it added after I do the first racking ?? I don't see directions on here ,but I did a search .. This is my first day on here .. Any advise will be great .. !
 

oldwest

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hmm - never, unless you don't have time to settle & rack more than once. If you use it, it goes in at the very beginning.
Thank's ,I noticed after transferring it into bottles .the sediment lands on the bottom and leaves the top very clear.. When "racking " do you always pour the wine into bottles ,or do you use a large container /. is it still fermenting after the first racking ?
 

ratflinger

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Well, when racking, one never 'pours'. You want to rack with a siphon or a pump. Your racking cane will have a cap on the bottom to help keep the lees out. If you are following the directions (and as a new winemaker you should) then yes, your 1st racking will be your secondary fermentation. If you rack into bottles you will never escape the lees. You go from primary to secondary to tertiary, and all should be at least 6 gal. You can bottle after tertiary, and if you have waited the specified time between rackings, then your bottles will be reasonably sediment free.

No one with any experience follows the directions anymore, but we all did at the start. Something about walking before running.

Let us know what equipment you now have and it will be easier to make suggestions.
 
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Welcome to WMT! It is hard to help without knowing what you are making. Sometimes pectic enzyme is a better choice than bentonite. To answer your other question, yes it is still fermenting after primary and is still filled with CO2. Bottling at this stage is dangerous, but then again we really don't have enough information to really help.
 

Scooter68

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I never have used bentonite right off during ferment for the following reason - Since it is a clay and likely to cling to and drop out all manner of pulp and fruit matter, that matter then gets buried in the sediment. Even with stirring the coating is still on the fruit pulp and may keep some of the color, flavor and sugars from being fully released into the wine.

Now, I'm still a relative newbie as I've only been doing hobby level wine making since June 2015 and about 50 batches So my thoughts on this may be way off but again, I'm just looking at what Bentonite is and how it coats things. If I were adding it to a batch of fruit wine with a bunch of pulp, I would expect it to coat all of the pulp and potentially interfere with the breakdown and release of all the 'good stuff' in that pulp.

Since Bentonite is used to clear particles causing haze in the wine, I prefer to wait to see if I will really need it and then use it in one of my later racking / aging periods.

Having done a little bit of reading on this it appears that adding it at the start is the more favored method of use. The rationale for it is that fermentation release of CO2 and that bubbling effect will keep it moving throughout the wine. Despite this as you can see when you prepare it, it pretty much coats everything it comes in contact with, hence the reason I prefer to keep it out of the initial fermentation of my wine. Perhaps adding it towards the end of the ferment 3-4 days or when the SG is below 1.030 might work as there would still be active release of CO2 but the fruit should be well broken down by then but, that's just one of many ideas that are out there I guess.
 

oldwest

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Thanks for all the good advise .I put 2 pounds of strawberrys in a blender ,then into a container with yeast, sugar and water .. I put a fish aeroator in for 6 hours ,then sealed it except for an air lock.. Three days later I opened the lid and with a funnel and 2 cup measuring cup, I filled 2 gallon plastic fruit juice containers to 3 inches from the top and put air locks on.. I filled a wine bottle with what was left .. It's all fermenting now.. I can see lots of sediment on the bottom.. I got a multi purpose liquid pump today and some clear plastic tubing .. I put a piece of stiff wire on the bottom of the tubing so it protrudes a few inches past the end on the tubing .. I attached it with cable ties and can re adjust it as needed .. I think I'll wait until the air locks stop bubbling ,then transfer it into wine bottles . I'll keep an eye on the bottles incase they are still building gas .. If something I mentioned is not correct ,please correct me .. BTW ,I also have an alcohol testing device a friend gave me .. Once the airlock shows the fermentaion has stopped ,and there an alcohol content . If I drank some , in say 8 days after first mixing the yeast ,sugar , water, and strawberrys , should I get a buzz ? Is there a reason say to wait 30 days or so ?
 

Scooter68

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From the description you just posted there is still a lot of important missing information like a more detailed recipe/list of ingredients and amounts used.

Additionally from what you did post it looks like two (2) pounds of fruit for about 2 gallons of wine? That's not much fruit (most fruit wines require between 5 to 10 lbs m per gallon) so yeah, you might get an intoxicating beverage from it but I'm not sure I'd call it wine.

Finally from your last few sentences, it sounds like you are in a rush to "enjoy" this but it's doubtful that it's going to become a very rewarding experience.
IF you decide to try again, I would suggest you follow a proven recipe and the processes to produce a truly enjoyable wine. Wine making is not incredibly hard but it does require following some basic processes to obtain something more than a drink that contains alcohol. There are only so many 'shortcuts' you can use to end up with wine that can be enjoyed and shared.
 

Rice_Guy

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# strawberry has enough pectin to make a jam so it is likely to look cloudy unless you add pectic enzyme. That noted I have bottled year old apple which had enzyme an still was cloudy. It tastes good, just doesn’t look clear.
# yes you could drink it at 8 days or at 30, this is probably what our 10,000 year ago relatives did, and yes it does have alcohol. We do racking the clear top stuff with a siphon tube into smaller containers and I sure save/ drink anything left over. In this day and age kits are designed for ninety days of age but add sorbate to slow down the yeast, experienced fruit wine makers may cycle/ empty out carboys when it is time to pick the new strawberries since it looks cleaner and fermentation is done/ no sorbate. If you want to bottle soon I would keep it in the fridge, this is mainly because fruit wines tend to taste better with a little sugar and there are enough stories about bottles which still have yeast producing explosions. Another taste point is CO2 gas has bitter notes so we hide that under sugar like a soda or let it bubble through the air lock.
One argument for drinking young is if you don’t have metabisulphite which is an oxidation preservative. Alcohol likes to combine with oxygen. Alcohol also likes to ferment to the next molecule which is vinegar.
# you started with blender berries. Consider filtering. Today fine mesh nylon bags (like paint strainer bags) are used/ efficient since you can squeeze a bit more wine out, mom would filter in an old cotton flour sack, and for gallon sizes batches you could get seeds/ pulp with a metal sieve. ,,,,Filtered wine will still look cloudy and for this we get back to 90 days to a year age.
I put 2 pounds of strawberrys in a blender , , ,
. If I drank some , in say 8 days after first mixing the yeast ,sugar , water, and strawberrys , should I get a buzz ? Is there a reason say to wait 30 days or so ?
Good luck, it sounds confusing and there are a lot of this is best but 100 years ago they would methods,,, and I have the advantage of stories about grandpa/ mom doing wine
 

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