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Old 10-20-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
AbeLincoln
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Default Clarifying Cider

Hi. I'm going to attempt my first hard cider this month with unpasteurized, unfiltered cider from a local orchard. I'll most likely be following EdWort's Apfelwein recipe with less dextrose, and a concern of mine is the clarification of the cider.

Should I:

rack to a secondary after four weeks and let sit for a few months?

add pectic enzyme?

cold crash the cider?

anything else I haven't thought of?


As it stands I am not equipped for filtration. I'd love some input on this subject. Thanks.

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Old 10-20-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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I'm doing the same thing right now and plan on racking the cider onto the pectic enzyme for secondary.

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Old 10-20-2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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Add pectic enzyme prior to fermentation, rack to secondary and then rack every few months until it stops producing lees (sediment). You won't be able to have it sparkling though..

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Old 10-20-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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Add pectic enzyme prior to fermentation, rack to secondary and then rack every few months until it stops producing lees (sediment). You won't be able to have it sparkling though..
why add pectic enzyme before fermentation? The most recent issue of zymurgy says to put it in after 1 week of primary fermentation and before secondary.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:07 PM   #5
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I usually let my cider sit for several months before bottling but if you are in a hurry Sparkolloid works well in cider.

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:17 PM   #6
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No hurry, but what is Sparkolloid? I'm planning on racking to secondary after a month, and letting sit until Spring. My concern for clarity comes from the muddy looking cider at the local orchard.

Additionally, I've been reading about varying degrees of success with gelatin. Any input?

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Sparkolloid is a wine clarifying agent.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:01 AM   #8
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I've always used pectin enzyme before fermentation. My cider always falls clear. If you need to clear fast try polyclar. I haven't used it but some friends have and it worked great. From what I've read ypou have to make sure you mix it well or it will settle to the bottom right away. Also make sure you leave it on the bottom of the carboy when bottling or kegging. I've used it in beer with great results but not cider.

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinsato View Post
why add pectic enzyme before fermentation? The most recent issue of zymurgy says to put it in after 1 week of primary fermentation and before secondary.
There's no difference when you put it in, I just find it easier to pitch it with the yeast. (also if you're using whole pieces of fruit then the enzyme will help release the sugars and flavours)
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugenBrau View Post
I've always used pectin enzyme before fermentation. My cider always falls clear. If you need to clear fast try polyclar. I haven't used it but some friends have and it worked great. From what I've read ypou have to make sure you mix it well or it will settle to the bottom right away. Also make sure you leave it on the bottom of the carboy when bottling or kegging. I've used it in beer with great results but not cider.
Thanks for your input RugenBrau.

I picked up some pectin enzyme today. The clerk at my LHBS says that the pectin enzyme, coupled with racking should produce something relatively clear, especially if I bottle in the Spring like I plan to. My chief concern is having a hard cider that looks as muddy as the fresh juice used to make it.

The clerk also informed me that as a last resort, this stuff would do the trick... but only as a last resort.


As for polyclar, I tried it in a batch of Foreign Extra Stout (I'm aware dark beers don't really need finings, this was more of an experiment) and was impressed with the amount of fine particulates that fell from suspension to the bottom of the carboy. As the result of this experiment, polyclar is definitely an option I consider for future brews.
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