Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Sugar wash info and questions

Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby hillzabilly » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:03 am

On a side note have used betonite clay for improveing soils in the landscapeing area,comes in variouse forms and pretty easily available even at bunnings ,the wine industry uses a shit load makes the wine clearer and more stable and more drinkable sooner also reduces off flavours and oxidation and post bottleing sediment and I have found it good for wash clearing on occasion,but have only got it from the HBS for that use at about $14 a kilo.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Teddysad » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:31 am

Short answer Yes I have used it and have a supply on hand.

The key is to rehydrate it over 12 to 24 hours before use.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:42 am

Teddysad wrote:Short answer Yes I have used it and have a supply on hand.

The key is to rehydrate it over 12 to 24 hours before use.


Thanks Teddy, just to be clear, is that the HBS/Chemist/Food safe version or the Civil Engineering Grade?
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:19 pm

FYI
Reply from supplier:

Thanks for your enquiry re Bentonite, from my understanding Alkaline Bentonites are used in brewing/wine industry however we do not currently sell into these markets/industries (at least locally) as our Trugel 100 is a sodium activated Bentonite normally used in civil applications, so I would suggest not suitable, I have attached tech data sheets for two products that are not Sodium activated but we cannot confirm or guarantee suitability for use in brewing/winery requirements or if food safe as we do not sell into these markets.


I would suggest that this was a "protecting our backsides" response as the MSDS certainly implies it would be suitable, however my experiment indicates it is only marginally effective (100 gms of Bentonite with ~1 litre boiling water left to hydrate for 18 hours or so):

IMG_20180106_093722.jpg


IMG_20180106_093730.jpg


IMG_20180106_093911.jpg


IMG_20180107_113900[1].jpg


I expected the bentonite to settle out of the water but as you can see it remained in suspension.

I have no idea if I was doing things correctly though.

Later I poured off the cleared part of the wash and placed it into the fridge, it continued to clear and the bentonite "goobies" settled out even more but I find the merest of disturbances causes them to rise again and I have no reason to think this wouldn't happen at full scale as well.

Certainly, this experiment indicates that this particular bentonite is less effective than refrigerating - alas my refrigerator is not large enough for full scale use.

Back to the drawing board.

PS: the wash shown in the photos had already been left to settle in the fermenter for a week, then racked, then left for a further week - it still has loads of yeast in it.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Teddysad » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:01 am

Bundaboy wrote:
Teddysad wrote:Short answer Yes I have used it and have a supply on hand.

The key is to rehydrate it over 12 to 24 hours before use.


Thanks Teddy, just to be clear, is that the HBS/Chemist/Food safe version or the Civil Engineering Grade?



There seem to be two types - Sodium and Calcium The calcium appears to have seawater in it originally while the calcium had freshwater. Both come from volcanic ash.
I have only used calcium bentonite (also known as Fullers Earth).
Firstly was sourced from winemakers suppliers and subsequently from a potterymakers supplier at much lower cost.

Both worked well - if, as previously said, re-hydrated.

My FFV clears sufficiently to not use it although I use it on some other experimental washes as required
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:51 am

Thanks Teddy, interestingly the bentonite sold in at least one pottery store I know of is the exact same bentonite (TRUGEL 100) I mention above. It is used to make a glaze in pottery. I assume it matters little in that application if it's calcium or sodium. I have also researched that aspect for wine clearing and they use both types so I don't think that is an issue.

Yes the rehydrating is important, and as I mention above I gave it 18 hours - there is some possibility that I should have used more water but I don't think so.

When I use the Woolworths natural bran I find it takes a lot longer to clear naturally, it gets to a point and then the clearing slows down pretty much to a stop - placing a sample in the fridge (freezer first then frdge) clears it quite rapidly and shows that the suspension is pure yeast (or at least no bran as far as I can tell).

With summer temperatures I think it would take months to clear to a state where it is not opaque.

I have normally not cleared this wash, but I have noticed my elements developing a significant scale, I also would like to find out if I can squeeze out a bit more of the good stuff - I seem to get long tails quite repeatably which possibly could come from the presence of yeast in the charge.

BTW, I get the TRUGEL 100 from the same co-op I get the stock feed bran from (that I normally use), and it's much much cheaper than the pottery store, have you investigated that possibility?

Cheers.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:19 am

Just something else I found:

There are two different forms of bentonites commercially available: sodium-rich ones and calcium-rich ones. Suppliers of sodium bentonites argue that this form has a protein fining capacity twice as high as its calcium cousin. Suppliers of calcium bentonites argue that their form swells less in water, and it creates fewer lees and a smaller loss of wine when racking.


and,

Should I rehydrate my bentonite in water or in wine?

Water. Bentonite, independent of type, should be rehydrated with clean, chlorine-free hot (140°F, 60°C) water. It must be added under immediate, vigorous mixing to the water (not the other way around) and allowed to swell for at least four hours. The lump-free slurry shouldn’t sit longer than overnight, as this may encourage microbial growth. A maximum of 16.7 L of water may be used to dissolve each kilogram of bentonite (2 gallons of water per pound). Note that the total amount of water introduced from all processing sources during the winemaking should not exceed 1 percent of the wine. For bench trials in the winery lab, a mixing ratio of water to bentonite of 16 to 1 (60 g per 1 L) results in an easily pipettable 6 percent w/v slurry.


As I used tap water (chlorinated) my experiment was obviously not optimal, but my guess of 1 litre/100g was not too far off the mark.

I may well have left the slurry too long, I used boiling water and covered it but maybe something crept in.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Teddysad » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Just to retest, Here is a shot of 2 FFV washes after fermentation has finished.
The one on the left was 24 hrs after completion nothing done, just allowed to settle in the fermenter
The one on the right was processed with bentonite.

As you can see the difference is so marginal I dont bother with bentonite or any finings with FFV

wash3.jpg
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:49 pm

Incredible! I must be doing something wrong then, I can't imagine what though.

The only variation to the recipe that I have made is to scale everything up by 6.

It ferments out dry in 4, gives me 10% every time smells ok, tastes ok.

I usually rack off into 4 30L fermenters but this time I left it in the main fermenter for a week and then racked off into the fermenters and left for another week.

In any case it remained opaque with only a little sediment settling out over that time.

Taking a few samples and crash chilling it indicated that there was still a lot of yeast in suspension.

I think I will put a single 23L on to see if I get your results (I have done that in the past quite a few times and don't remember it ever being as clear as your image above indicates - that looks almost crystal clear.

PS: Thanks for posting that image - it helps a lot.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:58 pm

Ted, do you degas the wash? I only degas via the racking, which I may do twice if it looks gassy, there is another level of degassing when I move the wash from the fermenter to the still - it seems fine.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:03 pm

Just for completeness this is the colour of mine after more than 2 weeks (prior to bentonite going in):

IMG_20180106_093917.jpg
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Teddysad » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:49 pm

Bundaboy wrote:Ted, do you degas the wash? I only degas via the racking, which I may do twice if it looks gassy, there is another level of degassing when I move the wash from the fermenter to the still - it seems fine.


I siphon the completed wash into 15l water bottles to do the racking. I leave it in those for 24 to 48 hours and find the final degassing comes when pouring into the still.

Those 15l bottles are easier to carry to the boiler and it also frees up the fermenters straight away as well as taking the wash off the lees.

As a matter of interest what yeast are you using?
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:26 pm

Teddysad wrote:
Bundaboy wrote:Ted, do you degas the wash? I only degas via the racking, which I may do twice if it looks gassy, there is another level of degassing when I move the wash from the fermenter to the still - it seems fine.


I siphon the completed wash into 15l water bottles to do the racking. I leave it in those for 24 to 48 hours and find the final degassing comes when pouring into the still.

Those 15l bottles are easier to carry to the boiler and it also frees up the fermenters straight away as well as taking the wash off the lees.

As a matter of interest what yeast are you using?


Yes, a good point I was going to bring up. Lowan's bakers yeast - a common yeast in Oz for a sugar wash I believe. However, I notice that I get best results at a higher temperature than you advise. My last wash didn't get below 32C with NO heating (ambient temp well below that).

BTW The only reason I brought up degassing was that CO2 in the wash could possibly be keeping the yeast in suspension. I now rule out that theory given your response which is in keeping with my own experience.

I am intrigued that you have access to 15L bottles.
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Teddysad » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:18 am

Bundaboy wrote:
I am intrigued that you have access to 15L bottles.


From the recycle shed

waterb.jpg
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Re: Civil Engineering Grade Bentonite for clearing?

Postby Bundaboy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:12 pm

Teddysad wrote:
Bundaboy wrote:
I am intrigued that you have access to 15L bottles.


From the recycle shed

waterb.jpg


(slaps forehead) Why didn't I think of that?

Nice score and nice thinking.
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