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Can you use bentonite and Sparkaloid to clarify at the same time?

Can they be used in the primary fermentation bucket or must they be used after racking?

How long does each require to work?

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Can you use bentonite and Sparkolloid to clarify at the same time?

Bentonite first (if you aren't using pectinase) followed a week later by Sparkolloid. You would use one after the other in the same container but not both at the same time.

Can they be used in the primary fermentation bucket or must they be used after racking?

It can be used in the primary bucket but after fermentation is complete. Depending on the recipe (and assuming it follows sound practices) you may be racking to a second container and continuing fermentation there (in which case you wouldn't add clairifiers in the primary bucket).

There will always be a final racking after using clairifiers.

If you plan on aging your mead or wine and doing multiple rackings you can avoid the use of clairification agents. Mead should be aged for at least 6 months but some people age their mead for years. Purists avoid filtering and clairification, have the patience to wait, and have a prior batch to drink.

Use bentonite first to remove the bulk of the proteins and then use Sparkolloid to remove the last of the haze. Bentonite has a negative charge and uses electrostatic attraction and hydrogen bonding. Sparkolloid has a positive static charge which allows it to drag negatively charged particles to the bottom. Sparkolloid won't compact your finnings as well as bentonite.

Use pectic enzyme (pectinase) in meads that will be high in pectin (containing pears, citrus fruits, cranberries, currants, gooseberries, sour plums, and tart apples, or vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and parsnips etc.). It is especially important to use it with peaches or apricots as they turn to mush and tend to cloud more.

Because enzymes are proteins, they react with bentonite. For this reason, you should wait at least 24 hours after adding pectic enzymes before adding bentonite.

Ideally, pectinases should be added in temperatures of at least 80 °F (27 °C) to be most effective. It can be added at lower temperatures, but this will slow the time it takes to react. Temperatures too warm or too cold can inhibit enzymatic activity, as can too high of an alcohol content. It's best to add it during the crushing stage, prior to fermentation.

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Bentonite: Your wine will usually clear in 6 to 12 hours, however it is best to wait several days before bottling the wine to make sure all suspended particles have settled. Once the wine has cleared, siphon it off the sediment into a clean container. A product such as Bentolac S (soluble casein and bentonite) requires a full week for settling.

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Sparkolloid: Let it set for 2 to 4 weeks, or until it has cleared.

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  • Got it. So pectinase - hot (if needed) > fermentation > bentonite - 1 week > Sparkaloid - 2 weeks > racking. – Chloe Jun 30 '19 at 20:04
  • @Chloe Yes, but be prepared to increase those times; never plan to shorten them, though occasionally you may get lucky and it will clear quickly. If you have nothing to drink from a prior batch when you do a first racking you would want to stay away from the dregs while siphoning, but rather than waste the last couple of inches you can bottle that and carefully siphon it separately; the smaller diameter container allows greater seperation of the layers and finer ability to siphon the last drop. But keep that seperate from the main batch. Remember to check temperature and pH too. – Rob Jun 30 '19 at 21:16

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