Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wine Clarification -- Bentonite

BentoniteBentonite is an effective wine clarifier for all grape wines but it is especially useful in white wines because it helps prevent haze caused by proteins present in white wines. Bentonite provides poor lees compactness (see blog article from December 8, 2007).

Bentonite is most effective if added prior to the start of fermentation. When I use bentonite I typically dissolve the clay in hot water and put this solution in the primary fermenter prior to any of the other ingredients, including the juice itself. It can also be added to wine which is fermenting after the first or even the second racking.

Use bentonite in a range from 1 to 4 grams per gallon of wine must. Add bentonite to warm water at the rate of 1 gram of bentonite per 12.5ml of water. Heat the water on the range and stir until the bentonite is completely dissolved. Then pour the bentonite into the primary fermenter and continue the addition of the other wine ingredients. If adding bentonite at any time other than pre-fermentation you should use one half of the above recommendation. Wines treated with bentonite should be kept within a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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