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First Time Using Sparkolloid


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#1 wineguy3208

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 09:02 AM

Last night, I decided to use Hot mix sparkolloid on the 3 one-gallon batches of wine that I have.

Cutting the directions for a 6 gallon batch in half, I used 1 1/2 tsp of powder to a 1/2 cup of boiling water.

I stired it on the stove, at a low simmer for almost 10 minutes (directions called for 5)

It never really dissolved thoroughly. I finally assumed that it must be as ready as it was going to be.

I added it to my wines, stirring pretty well, and put them back on the shelf.

An hour later, I had a nice layer or new sediment in all three wines that I suspect is the sparkolloid. It's hard for me to imagine that it can be helpful if it has already settled.

Did I do something wrong, or is that what it is supposed to do?
Wineguy 3208

Zinfandel is a RED grape.

#2 D&S

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 09:41 AM

The recommended dosage and handling of sparkolloid can be found here: www.scottlaboratories.com/info-center/pdf/HotMixSparkolloid.pdf

It sounds like you had a much more concentrated slurry than 2%. Also, sparkolloid often takes a few weeks to properly settle out. Keep your eye on your wine there may be some finer particulates layering over the next few days.



#3 wineguy3208

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (D&S @ Nov 19 2009, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The recommended dosage and handling of sparkolloid can be found here: www.scottlaboratories.com/info-center/pdf/HotMixSparkolloid.pdf

It sounds like you had a much more concentrated slurry than 2%.


I dont know. the directions on the botle said 1 Tbls w/ 1 cup boiling water for 6 gallons. I cut it in half, exactly, for three gallons. I even used a little EXTRA water to compensate for the evaporation. So, I dont see how my concentration could be too high, unless the directions were wrong.

The PDF mentions that some particulate will not dissolve, but it doesn't say how much, or have any photos or anything of what a properly mix should look like.

Should I have used a blender?




Wineguy 3208

Zinfandel is a RED grape.

#4 D&S

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:08 PM

QUOTE (wineguy3208 @ Nov 19 2009, 02:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont know. the directions on the botle said 1 Tbls w/ 1 cup boiling water for 6 gallons. I cut it in half, exactly, for three gallons. I even used a little EXTRA water to compensate for the evaporation. So, I dont see how my concentration could be too high, unless the directions were wrong.

The PDF mentions that some particulate will not dissolve, but it doesn't say how much, or have any photos or anything of what a properly mix should look like.

Should I have used a blender?


10g in 500mL (2.11 cups) is a 2% slurry. You put 1.5 teaspoons in 1/2 cup (118mL) of water. If 1.5 teaspoons of Sparkolloid weighs 2.36g, you're fine. If it's more than this, your concentration is greater than recommended and this may be the reason for the clumps.

Also, you weren't cooking it on the stove for 15 minutes, right? I just microwave the water to a boil in a glass measuring cup then stir for 15 minutes, make up any needed volume and deliver hot. It really does look smooth like a milkshake. No need for a blender.



#5 wineguy3208

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE (D&S @ Nov 19 2009, 01:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
10g in 500mL (2.11 cups) is a 2% slurry. You put 1.5 teaspoons in 1/2 cup (118mL) of water. If 1.5 teaspoons of Sparkolloid weighs 2.36g, you're fine. If it's more than this, your concentration is greater than recommended and this may be the reason for the clumps.

Also, you weren't cooking it on the stove for 15 minutes, right? I just microwave the water to a boil in a glass measuring cup then stir for 15 minutes, make up any needed volume and deliver hot. It really does look smooth like a milkshake. No need for a blender.


I cooked it on the stove for 10 minutes. The directions were very vague. It actually said "Dissolve in boiling water for 5 minutes".

I went for 10, since it seemed pretty undissolved.

I don't have a gram scale.

This "fun" hobby can be very frustrating when you don't have visual aids, and you do have vague directions.

I'll follow your method next time, and maybe go a little easier on the powder, since their volume measurements seem to be a little off compared to the weight measurements.

Do you think it will still work, in spite of the screw-up, or should I just have another go at it?
Wineguy 3208

Zinfandel is a RED grape.

#6 rpage53

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 01:32 AM

It doesn't sound like your directions are from Scott. They are very clear about starting with boiling water and stirring for 15 - 30 minutes until it is all dissolved. However, some of your addition will be effective. You might as well wait and see.

Rick.

#7 Steve Gross

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:04 AM

Wineguy,

Give it some time. Your sparkalloid dosage and preparation sound very similar to what I use. It doesn't sound to me like you did anything wrong.

You say it seemed pretty undissolved after 10 minutes. It's my experience that it's never going to get creamy smooth no matter how long it's boiled, and it will always feel a bit gritty. Also, as you've observed, some of the larger particles will settle out rapidly. Over the next few days you should see the smaller suspended particles coalescing into larger particles and settling out.

I hope this helps.

Steve

#8 Howie

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:39 AM

QUOTE (Steve Gross @ Nov 20 2009, 07:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...and it will always feel a bit gritty...
I believe one of the ingredients in Sparkaloid is diatomaceous earth .

Howie Hart

#9 D&S

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:47 AM

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...Do you think it will still work, in spite of the screw-up, or should I just have another go at it?...


Yes, I think it will help. What I typically see with Sparkolloid is the large stuff settles fairly quickly but then about a week later you'll see a much finer layer (that almost looks gelatinous to me in a white wine) slowly moving toward the bottom and this could take another 1-2 weeks to fully settle. I'd wait. You have nothing to lose. In the meantime call Scott Labs and ask them what cooking it for 10 min. does to the fining properties.

You never said why you chose Sparkolloid or the type of wine you're treating.



#10 D&S

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:52 AM

QUOTE (Howie @ Nov 20 2009, 08:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe one of the ingredients in Sparkaloid is diatomaceous earth .



Yep. Sparkolloid is a positively charged alginate polysaccharide. DE is fossilized algae (diatoms).



#11 wineguy3208

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:08 AM


Thanks, everyone.
I just chose Sparkolloid because I heard that it was a very effective fining agent, and that it worked relatively quickly. I also heard that it was more gentle to the color and flavor that bentonite.

I used it on a gallon of Concord wine, a gallon of Apple wine, and a gallon of Lemon wine.

I looked last night, and I'm starting to see a finer layer of sediment settling. So it looks like it's working ok after all.
Wineguy 3208

Zinfandel is a RED grape.

#12 ohiobobcat2000

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 01:44 PM

I had a USElite kit that came with Sparkalloid and I never used it. I went with Claro-KC for this very reason. I didn't like the processing and design of this particular fining agent. But, it is supposed to be good. I just don't want to spend a 1/2 hour on a clearing agent. Hope it works for you, though.
Slightly more patient winemaker these days.....

#13 MinnesotaMaker

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 05:56 PM

I didn't see where you indicate what wine you were working on. If you still have a haze after Sparkolloid, it could be:

1. Gassy. A wine with dissolved CO2 doesn't like to drop its particulate.
2. Still fermenting. If your wine wasn't completely finished, you will not get clearing.
3. _______ haze. Fill in the blank with pectin, protein, or mineral. All three can keep wine from clearing.
4. Positive charge. If your haze is made up of positively charged particles, Sparkolloid is a poor fining choice as it is also has a strong positive charge. If you have positively charged particles, bentonite would be a better choice as it has a negative charge.

#14 D&S

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:17 PM

QUOTE (ohiobobcat2000 @ Nov 20 2009, 03:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... I went with Claro-KC for this very reason. I didn't like the processing and design of this particular fining agent. ....


You know that the 'C' in your claro KC is Chitosan, right? Chitosan is pulverised, deactylated, crustacean exoskeletons. Exactly what about the processing and design of Sparkolloid don't you like?



#15 graywolf97

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:09 PM

My understanding is that if you use Tannin in your wine, when you have suspended particles they are most likely negatively charged (assuming they aren't suspended for the reasons that MinnesotaMaker mentions above) and that you should use sparkloid. Otherwise, Bentonite is a proper choice.

If I am incorrect please let me know.

Does anyone use these chemicals together (one after the other)?

Also, as D&S mentions, in white wine I have had the experience that the finer particles of sparkloid take a bit longer (two weeks to be safe) and form these weird white (gelatinous) streams as they settle out.




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