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 How do I use Bentonite?

How do I use Bentonite?

First of all, you should never add bentonite to a wine that hasn’t been given six months and three rackings to clear. If the wine still has not cleared, a bentonite treatment may be in order.

Bentonite must be hydrated before being used- Measure out the 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite. Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water into a small bowl (for 1 teaspoon of bentonite, use 1-1/2 cups of boiling water) and add the bentonite. Use a small whisk and mix the bentonite-water into a slurry. Mix for at least two minutes, working out any lumps that form. You want a creamy consistency. Cover and set aside for 24 hours. Do NOT skip this step! The bentonite will settle, so grab the whisk and whip it into a slurry again.

The wine should be racked recently before adding bentonite, as you do not want a lees deposit present when you add the slurry.

  1. Sterilize a wooden dowel or glass rod.
  2. Remove the airlock from the wine.
  3. While slowly adding the bentonite, use the dowel or rod to stir the wine.
  4. The bentonite has to be thoroughly mixed with the wine to work, so stir well.
  5. Clean the mouth of the secondary to remove any bentonite that may have gotten on it and refit the airlock.
  6. Keep the wine at room temperature (moving it into a cold garage will cause some of the bentonite to go back into suspension).
  7. The bentonite will attract positively-charged particles as it settles out.
  8. When the wine is clear, give it another few days and carefully rack it off the bentonite deposits.
  9. A treatment should take no more than two weeks. Store Bentonite in a cool dry place.

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