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Cundog
03-15-2010, 01:07 PM
I've recently tried to clear two 1 gallon batches of Orange Melomel(JAO?). I followed the directions for adding the bentonite and one cleared nicely. I ended up with a delay in adding to the other gallon and the bentonite stayed in a mason jar for a few days. it doesn't look like that is doing much of anything. does the bentonite change with age or sitting?
Lastly, How long should you let the mead sit on bentonite before you rack off of it?
Thanks.
Jeff C.
Cundog

wayneb
03-15-2010, 02:19 PM
Bentonite is inert, so leaving your mead "on bentonite" for an extended period won't hurt it. However the misc. proteins and yeast bits that tend to get bound to bentonite can make for a nice nutrient-rich environment for spoilage organisms, so I tend to rack off of any bentonite lees after a few weeks' time, max, unless I'm specifically planning on a "sur-lie" protocol.

Medsen Fey
03-15-2010, 05:52 PM
I ended up with a delay in adding to the other gallon and the Bentonite stayed in a mason jar for a few days. it doesn't look like that is doing much of anything. does the Bentonite change with age or sitting?
Lastly, How long should you let the mead sit on Bentonite before you rack off of it?


Welcome to GotMead!!!

Bentonite that has been mixed with water swells and becomes more absorbent - ideally it should be mixed up at least 24 hours before use. Keeping it for several days in a container will do it no harm. It will just sit there like a lump of clay (which it is). :)

If you use Bentonite in the primary fermentation it is a good idea to rack of the lees early as it may increase the tendency of the lees to become stinky with sulfur odors.

If you add the Bentonite for fining after fermentation, there is no hurry to rack off it. There is some theoretical risk that aluminum might leach out if you kept it around for an extended period, but frankly I doubt that even if it did that it would cause any problems.

After saying all that, if you did make Joe's Ancient Orange per the recipe, there is no need to fine it. It will clear on its own if you wait.

Medsen

Cundog
03-15-2010, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the help. I'm glad I found this forum! I started this batch in January and read the bentonite would clear it and move things along. I have to admit, I'm ready to drink this stuff!! LOL. All frementation is complete and one has cleared well while the other hasn't. I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm confused why one would clear and the other not. I'm going to rack off the bentonite and let things clear from there. I'm ready to bottle! :)