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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Does clearing the cider really matter that much?
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
jrnyenhuis
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Default Does clearing the cider really matter that much?

At the moment, I've only got a five gallon "Ale Pail" (with airlock and stuff) to do my first ever batch of cider. The guy at the supply store said that racking to a secondary was just for clearing, and it wasn't strictly necessary. I'm fine with a drink that looks cloudy and leaves a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. I'm heating it to 170-180F, in any case, before fermenting, to steep some spices and add a bit of sugar (1lb for 5 gallons of fresh-milled, untreated and unpasteurized juice), as well as attempting to kill any nasty bacteria (the apples that were pressed weren't the nicest-looking). I've heard that can keep it from clearing, too.

So, do I really need to rack it? I'm hoping that once it stops fermenting I can just bottle it from the spigot on the bucket. If the gravity starts to get really low or it starts to taste off, I'll definitely rack it and cold crash. But, barring that, am I going to be OK?

I'll add some campden before fermenting with 1/2-3/4 of the amount of cider yeast (White Labs English Cider Yeast WLP775) that's recommended for 5 gallons.

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Old 11-22-2009, 01:40 AM   #2
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I leave mine in the fermenter for about a month until it clears and then rack to a keg. I don't bother with secondary for cider.

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Old 11-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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160F for 5 minutes will be enough to pasteurize it. You can add peptic enzyme to reduce protein clouding.

You don't need the campden if you pasteurize.

Why would you only pitch half the yeast?

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Old 11-23-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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That depends...do you like it clear? If you don't want to let it settle in a secondary there are other things you can do, like using a clarifying agent.

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Old 11-23-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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It doesnt affect the taste if you drink it cloudy. The main downside is that after a month or two, there will be sediment at the bottom of all your bottles.

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