View Full Version : Why wait?

09-17-2005, 12:53 PM
I treated a couple of meads that where not clearing, with Bentonite on the 8th & Sparkolloid on the 15th. Both are brilliantly clear, nothing floating or hanging in suspension.

My question; Why is it streessed to wait two weeksfrom the time Betonite / Sparkolloid are added to rack off the lees?

Is it a matter of particals in suspesion that can't be seen or what?


09-17-2005, 08:22 PM

They both need adequate time to completely settle out. There are small particles and suspensoids that you don't necessarily see with the naked eye in the fermentation vessel.



09-17-2005, 10:43 PM
I was wondering, what exactly is sparkalloid made of? I'm 98% vegan (bee products are the only animal product I touch) and I was a bit horrified to find out about isinglass and gelatin in brewing.

09-17-2005, 11:23 PM
Try typing "sparkalloid" into google and doing a search, I'm sure you'll find what you need.



09-17-2005, 11:34 PM
Heh, as a former teacher who was always handing her students the dictionary, you have shamed me, and rightly so. It's the skeletons of marine animals. So it's animal, but I can't seem to find how it was obtained. Anyway, I'll look into that.

09-18-2005, 09:46 AM

You may want to try using polyclar as it contains no animal products. Works well in mead, wine, or beer. Like the others, you will want to wait a couple of weeks before racking it off. I can tell you from personal experience that chewing some polyclar in your beverage, while safe, is hardly an enjoyable experience.


Dan McFeeley
09-18-2005, 11:03 AM
Well, sparkalloid is a little more complex in make up.

From this site covering fining agents:


Sparkolloid (proteins / metal ions)

AKA: Celite. Calcined diatomaceous earth. Kieselguhr. Siliceous rock.

Composition: Crystalline Silica, quartz aluminasilicate, cristobalite. It contains colloidal compounds which make it gel, and the silica is derived from the preserved skeletons of marine animals found in dry seabeds. Complex of various polysaccharides and diatomaceous earth. The diatom is a microscopic organism in colonial algae that has a silicified skeleton.

Methodology: attracts negatively charged particles and removes the surface charges which allow agglomeration of the colloidal particles then settling due to gravity.

Effects: Clarifies a broad spectrum of hazes. Good at removing hazes left from using other fining agents and in removing cations such as copper. Little effect on flavour or colour. Most wines are easier to filter. Noted for working when other fining agents have failed. Also provides a compact sediment bed, pressing down other fining agents and increasing yield. Used as a coating medium for filter pads, to decrease porosity.

Uses: Positively charged fining agent for beer and wine. To use, stir 25 g of Sparkolloid into 1 litre of briskly boiling water. (Use 40ml of water per gram of Sparkalloid.) Boil for three minutes, stirring well to completely dissolve. All of the translucent globules must be dissolved and the mixture should be smooth and creamy. Use 12.5 ml of the prepared solution for every litre of wine (about 300 ml for 23 litres). This equates to a dry solids basis of 0.13 to 0.4 grams / Litre. Stir thoroughly into wine, leave for 2 weeks, then rack off sediment. Store remaining solution in tightly sealed bottle. Will keep for 6 months or more. 5 ml (one teaspoon) = approximately 1.2 g. The solution is best added to the wine while hot.

Optimum Temperature: 10-25oC. Does better in the lower end of the range.

Contra-indications: Preparation for use is not straight forward. Should be filtered after use. In the U.S. the wine must be filtered to be sold as commercial wines after use of Sparkalloid. Cold mix Sparkalloid is not as effect as the hot mixed version. Do not use in conjunction with gelatin.

Storage: Keep dry, Seal tightly when not in use.

Hazard Classification: Low. Prolonged exposure to dust can cause lung irritation.

09-18-2005, 11:43 AM
Oh! Thank you, that's really helpful. It's not marine skeletons from, say, fish or other creatures that were harvested to kill. I'm not a fanatic, I just don't care to use slaughter products and this definitely doesn't qualify as that.