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  1. Default Bentonite is gross

    New mazer here. Decided to try Bentonite to help clarify some mead. Got it in, mixed it per directions, and I am looking at this gray sludge thinking "how can anyone put this in their mead?!"

    Am I being punked, or is this a real thing?

  2. #2

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    it's clay, that's the normal look

    that gray sludge will bind stuff that makes mead cloudy and sink to the bottom; you'll want to rack after 1-2 days to get rid of it, because the bottom deposit will also contain yeast pulled from the solution and it will bubble and prevent the rest from settling; after a few more days it should be crystal clear and ready for racking again, then stabilizing / bulk aging, etc.

  3. #3

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    No. You don't want to rack in a few days. Why even use it if you don't leave it in long enough to work. You need to turn the mud into a slurry. And then add it and stir the hell out of when you add and then again in 12-24 hours. Then wait till it's clear
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    No. You don't want to rack in a few days. Why even use it if you don't leave it in long enough to work. You need to turn the mud into a slurry. And then add it and stir the hell out of when you add and then again in 12-24 hours. Then wait till it's clear
    What's the limit on how long I should leave it in for? If it clears up crystal, then great. But as a first timer, so I'll definitely be guessing at when it's done as much as it can if it doesn't completely clear.

  5. #5

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    Well at some point. If it doesn't seem like it will ever get any clearer. Then it's time. That would be an indication that you didn't stir it enough the first few times you stirred it. Or you didn't use enough. Or you need another finning agent to capture the other fractions of the haze. I general add it to the ferement at pitch. 1 tablespoon per gallon. Toss it in dry once your yeast have started working.

    Kieselsol after it's been stabilized and cold crashed seems to get it most of the time. If that doesn't get it all then Chitosan next. Make sure to use Pectinase up front prior to pitch if you're using things with pectin in it.

    I do bench trial to find what will work. And I do then to determine how much to use.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6

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    I assumed the "make it a slurry and stir well" was in the instructions on the package

    The reason I rack after most of it has settled is to get rid of the yeast that it pulled down: usually it's nearly crystal clear, but from time to time there are bubbles coming out of the mud on the bottom and they leave streaks of dirt as they go up; I guess if I leave it long enough that will stop, but racking and letting the rest settle at its own pace (which takes a week or more) and then racking again seems to work for me.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    ... I general add it to the ferement at pitch. 1 tablespoon per gallon. Toss it in dry once your yeast have started working.
    Thanks Squatchy. I'm on episode 3 of your modern mead series, great stuff. I haven't heard anything about this... For my traditional mead batches, I would just always add this to the must, a couple days into fermentation? And just throw it in dry, just sprinkle it on top?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AudioDaddio View Post
    Thanks Squatchy. I'm on episode 3 of your modern mead series, great stuff. I haven't heard anything about this... For my traditional mead batches, I would just always add this to the must, a couple days into fermentation? And just throw it in dry, just sprinkle it on top?
    Yes, sir. That's what I do
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0n5t3r View Post
    I assumed the "make it a slurry and stir well" was in the instructions on the package

    The reason I rack after most of it has settled is to get rid of the yeast that it pulled down: usually it's nearly crystal clear, but from time to time there are bubbles coming out of the mud on the bottom, and they leave streaks of dirt as they go up; I guess if I leave it long enough that will stop, but racking and letting the rest settle at its own pace (which takes a week or more) and then racking again seems to work for me.
    I misunderstood your first post. Sounds like you doing fine. Pardon the pun If you're adding pre-fermentation. Just add it dry if you're adding it post fermentation. You need it to be a slurry. Mud on the bottom won't help much. When I used to use it as a surry. I would add it to hot water a little bit at a time and stir it as I was pouring it real slow. I added it in a mason jar and then shook the hell out of it. Waited a few hours, or overnight. Then shook it again. And then when I add it, I stir the hell out of several times in a few hours and then let it rest.
    Last edited by Squatchy; 01-09-2019 at 01:45 PM.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. Default

    Ok so making my batch of mead, everything going along nicely. Day 3 I add the bentonite and it has changed the composition of the mead a lot. Before, it was honey colored and had that frothy stuff on top. When I stirred it, it frothed up like crazy and I had to go slow and be patient while the bubbles slowly receded. Now with the bentonite, there's no froth. It sits and bubbles like champagne the color of dirty water. When I stir, any bubbles just die instantly on the surface, like there's no surface tension to make any actual bubbles.

    This is normal?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AudioDaddio View Post
    Ok so making my batch of mead, everything going along nicely. Day 3 I add the bentonite and it has changed the composition of the mead a lot. Before, it was honey colored and had that frothy stuff on top. When I stirred it, it frothed up like crazy and I had to go slow and be patient while the bubbles slowly receded. Now with the bentonite, there's no froth. It sits and bubbles like champagne the color of dirty water. When I stir, any bubbles just die instantly on the surface, like there's no surface tension to make any actual bubbles.

    This is normal?
    Yes. Don't worry, you are fine. It foamed up when you added it because of nucleation. Look it up. Sand or salt or any granular medium would have done the same thing.

    And now. The bentonite catches the CO2 as it's being made. It then causes the bentonite to float to the top. Once it gets there the bubble pops. The bentonite falls to the bottom. Repeat. So that is how the bentonite gets moved around in the batch. That is also why your not seeing tones of foam. Which will have slowed way down anyway as the ferment commences.

    The color will be fine at the end of the day.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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