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Bentonite

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RoBBo71

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Hi All,

I'd like some advice please regarding clearing mead before bottling.

This is my first batch and so far I'm really happy with it.
Primary and secondary fermentations both went to plan and now I'm ready to bottle and lay it down to condition for a few months.

It was still quite cloudy before the weekend, so I decided to add some bentonite before bottling. This is how it went . . .

Mixed 2.5g / 1 level tsp of bentonite with a small amount of warm water.
Added this mix to my demijohn (1 UK gal / 5 litres) and waited.

Well as of 5 minutes ago I have to conclude that it's half worked.
My mead has lost a lot of it's colour and is somewhat clearer than before but not as clear as I want it.

So my questions are as follows . . .

1. What is the correct dosage in grams of bentonite to litres of mead?

2. Can I add more bentonite until the clarity is as I desire or will I end up with a bentonite smoothy?

3. Can I add the bentonite dry or do I need to add the water as before?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
 

FNQ Bunyip

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sorry I can't help with the Mead but I've only ever heard of using Bentonite seal leaking farm dams , lol ..

hope you get the answers your after and your mead turns out great ...

cheers
 

MHB

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Patience its cheap and effective and one thing a mead maker needs above all else is patience, might help if you put the demijohn in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Mark
 

Bribie G

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Bentonite is the major component of colon cleansing packs and is added to cattle feed to provide bulk. It's widely used in wine making as the granules have a large surface area which seeks out and binds proteins in the wines. However as with all finings it needs time to drop.

Being on a curry diet at the moment, the last thing I'd need is bentonite personally :lol:
 

The_Duck

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I used Bentonite in a 5litre demijohn to clarify my mead.

It was roughly the same amount of Bentonite as you used but in a cup of water. Not sure what your "small amount" was.

I left it on top of the cupboard in the kitchen for a couple of days, after which time I could read a book through it.

It will knock some of the colour out of it due to removing particles in suspension but what is left is well worth the slight loss of colour.

Maybe give it a swirl to mix it better ? I think I saw a couple of YouTube clips demonstarting the use of Bentonite on Mead. Might be worth a search.


Duck
 

RoBBo71

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Cheers All,

I'll stop worrying and give it a little more time.

RoB.
 

kelbygreen

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use it for drilling to fill fractures in the ground and concreting lol I wouldnt want it in my beer.
 

Muggus

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So ok, i'll go with advice above for clearing meads....just wait!

Failing that a small about of Bentonite will help remove protein haze (which there should not be a great deal of) out of mead. I'm talking 50-100mg/L tops.

Problem is with Benonite, not only will you lose some volume...due to the fact CLAY is in your fermenter....but it tends to strip flavour quite readily....and with mead, being VERY subtle, you'll lose alot of the very little aromatic quality you have.
Works well in high protein grape musts with high aromatic content, like Gewurtztraminer, but in mead, i'd let time to the honours for your...or if you're in a hurry chill it to settle any sediment ASAP.
 

willanth

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Bentonite sounds interesting, I've heard about using it as a filter-bed for beers. Then again, I've considered diatomacious earth several times for the same purpose.

Have you considered some Polyclar VT? I have had very good successes with it, as it is designed to fine without pressure filtration. I have found that if used properly, it is quite effective. It's not that expensive, and the pouches of it that I bought from Craft Brewer have lasted quite a few batches (60-120L batches for me commonly).

I'm doing a dry mead this weekend, I will most likely use Polyclar VT in the middle of the primary, and worst case again in the secondary. I can advise you how it turns out if you drop me a message to remind me?

Cheers,
Will
 

nathan_madness

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There are several different forms of Bentonite just Google it and there is tons of info.

P.S. Don't use kitty litter to clear your wine.
 

mwd

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Also used in the oil and gas industries in Drilling Muds to weight up the liquid density.
 

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