Bentonite’s Role in Wine Production

Bentonite’s Role in Wine Production

Bentonite’s Role in Wine Production.

Winemakers often employ bentonite clay as a clarifying agent in white wines, but it is also utilized in red wines. It effectively eliminates any protein haze and may also be used to refine the fragrances of foods that have an ‘off’ smell to them.

What is Bentonite, and how does it benefit the production of fine wines?

Before the fermentation process can begin, bentonite is generally added to white wines to aid in the extraction of the color. Before you can add bentonite to wine, you must first prepare a slurry out of flour and water, just as you would make a slurry out of flour and water before you can add it to any sauce in the kitchen to thicken it.

Although we are not attempting to thicken the wine in this instance, It is made out of impure clay that has been weathered from volcanic ash and is used in pottery.

As a result of the material’s high absorbency, it binds and adheres to any floating particles that may induce haziness or cloudiness in the finished product. Following its attachment to these particles, it will ultimately fall out of the wine, aiding in the improvement of its general clarity and transparency.

Bentonite is available in two varieties: natural and synthetic.

Sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite are the two forms of bentonite that are used for fine.

It is likely that the minerals included in each of them will be indicated on the packaging. None of these minerals, on the other hand, will be ‘added’ to the wine of any kind. It is the goal of adding a fining agent to have it attach to the clouding proteins in the wine and finally precipitate out of the wine and into the bottom of your fermentation vessel.

Easily removed by racking the wine and siphoning the wine from the surface with care to leave the solids behind, they can be found in any wine.

While it is true that you may use sodium bentonite by mixing it with water and then gradually adding it to the wine, after it has been blended into a solution, sodium in the form of salts is left behind. Calcium bentonite, on the other hand, leaves a calcium carbonate residue behind.

As opposed to salt, this is recommended since it is less likely to cause tartrate instabilities (other solids that precipitate out of wine as salt) later on. However, the majority of tartrate instabilities are innocuous.

How to Use Bentonite Correctly in Four Steps.

Bentonite must be used correctly or it will not be effective in clarifying the wine. You should follow these steps:

Rehydrating the bentonite powder involves aggressively mixing every 2 teaspoons every 12 cup of water at a temperature of 140°F ( 6°C) or higher. It will clump and sink to the bottom of the container if the water is not heated enough. Long-term mixing is necessary until you can dip your palm into it and everything looks and feels smooth, with nothing remaining to be added or removed.

It is sufficient to use a standard kitchen whisk for small amounts of batter. To properly mix the material in bigger operations, they actually utilize a long pole linked to a drill bit with a propeller, which they insert in the container while the drill is operating to ensure that the material is well mixed.

You may be advised to let it rest for 24 hours before using it to ensure that it is completely hydrated, but this is not essential.
In a ratio of one to two teaspoons per gallon of wine, add your slurry to make a slurry. It comes in two varieties: one for light haze and another for deeper haze.

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Stir the mixture carefully into the wine, taking care not to introduce too much air at the same time as you are doing this.

This is much easier if you are connected to a gas line.
In order to get clarity, you need to let your juice or wine rest for around 4 days or more. From this point on, you may separate your juice/wine from the sediments and go on to the next phase in the procedure as needed.