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I've read the post...

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Dmntd

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Apr 18, 2005
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and followed the link's and searched out as much information as I can get, online, inforums and at the LHBS talking with people, I still have some questions.

I have a couple of meads I need to bottle in the next month or so. At the speed things are happening on there own this is not going to happen. I've looked into filtering and feel it would do more harm then good in this case, which leaves fining. From what I've read and been told this also effects the final product (though hopefully not as much as filtering) this is what makes me question the instructions for use.

Bentonite;

Mix 1 - 6 gr. per gallon of mead into 1 quart of boiling water until creamy, let sit 24 hours to hydrate, use the smallest amount needed. Add 1/2 cup of solution for every gallon.

Whats the smallest amount needed? and how is 3 gr. of bentonite in a quart of water ever getting creamy.

Bentonite leaves very fine lees which are hard to rack off of.

I've read sparkolloid forms compact lees and with compress other sediment. Does this make a case for using it after bentonite to make racking the clear mead less troublesome?

If so, would it be best to wait until the bentonite has settled out of suspension to cook and add the sparkolloid?

Will mixing sparkolloid in stir the bentonite back into suspension?

Anthony
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
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Dec 26, 2004
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The OC
Hey Anthony,

I've never used them together. I've found that bentonite does affect the flavor, but does clear nicely. Sparkaloid has always done a great job for me whenever I've used it and haven't had any consequences on flavor that I can detect.

There's also a cold sparkalloid available now from Scott Laboratories:

http://www.scottlaboratories.com/products/fermentation/generaltools.asp#finingtools

Hope that helps,

Oskaar
 

lostnbronx

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Dec 8, 2004
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I haven't used Sparkeloid, but I've been using bentonite for years. I like it, mostly because it's easy. Mix well and add. It is a little hit or miss with regards to clearing, however. (I think it's a positive-charge agent, while Sparkolloid is a negative charge -- or maybe it's the other way around). I've heard of people who use both, so as to cover the gammut of particulate matter in suspension. In this case, they usually use the bentonite, let it do its job and clear, and then the Sparkolloid. If you add the Sparkoloid too early, it will take out your clay before its had a chance to work.

Racking off the clay lees is a little difficult, as they are easily disturbed -- but if you're fining again, it doesn't really matter if you get some in the racking. There are actually different brands of bentonite, which have different dosage recommendations, but I've used 1/4 tsp. of dry clay in a pint bottle of water. After full rehydration and mixing, only a tablespoon or two of this solution per gallon did the trick.

I've heard that bentonite will strip some color and flavor from a wine, but I've never noticed the effect myself. The warnings on the package usually caution against over-use because of this. Oskaar's palate is pretty-darned refined, so I don't doubt he can tell the difference. Mine, on the other hand, is not, and I've generally been quite happy with the results.

-David
 

Dmntd

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Apr 18, 2005
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Thanks David,

I was thinking along the lines of a 1/2 cup for 3 gallons, 1 -2 tablespoons per gallon is even better.

Your right, if another fining agent is used it really doesn't matter if some of hte bentonite gets racked into the carboy.

Anthony
 

andrew_buhl

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Mar 27, 2005
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Re: I've read the post...Clearing Agents

Tried several... Yes the bentonite strips some flavor. I really prefer the Insta-klear. Does a better job. Less affect on flavor, faster, and easier.
 

JoeM

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Jan 9, 2004
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I've used both betonite and sparkaloid and in my experience i find that sparkaloid does a etter job of clearing but that it is much harder to rack off of. I've found that bentonite forms a more compact lees while sparkaloid tends to stay fluffy and easily disturbed.
 
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