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Old 07-03-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
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Default In need of help (Cider won't clear) ?

Hi guys,

I will try to be as precise as possible but English is not my first language so thanks for you're patience. My cider won’t clear and I’m starting to wonder if I did something wrong. Started with a 5 gal batch of pressed preservative-free cider. Added pectin enzyme and campden table and waited 24 hours before adding yeast (Larvin K1-V116). Made the mistake to wrack into carboy 2 weeks later before it was done fermenting and notice I had no lees at all at the bottom of the bucket. I added very little (1 tsp) bentonite as I was afraid it would impact the taste.

3 weeks later, I racked again as the lees in the carboy was pretty tick after it was almost done fermenting. I waited another 2 weeks to see if it would start to clear bur it was still extremely cloudy. Last Sunday (5 days ago) I added some hot mix sparkaloid that I boiled for 10 minutes and within 3 days, I now have a pretty tick lees at the bottom of the carboy (1.5 inch) and it’s a little clearer but far from the crystal clear cider I’m hoping for.

My question is: How long does it take to clear cider with sparkaloid and how long should I wait before racking and adding more sparkaloid if it does not clear ?

Thanks for you're help,

Naeco

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Old 07-03-2010, 01:48 AM   #2
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In ciders I've done with juice I knew started crystal clear, it took ~2 months to become fully clear again. I have a cider now that won't clear at all because I forgot to add pectic enzyme. If you give it a little bit more time, more yeast will drop out.

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Old 07-03-2010, 03:00 AM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to help me Edcculus. I know for a fact that the cider I started with was everything but clear when I first purchased it. Will a cider that started out cloudy remain that way even after fermetation, bentonite and sparkaloid ?

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Old 07-03-2010, 03:41 AM   #4
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It really depends. The cider I mentioned in my first post, although it was organic and had no preservatives must have picked up some sort of haze from the way they pasteurized it. Usually, the "cider" you can buy, which is just unfiltered apple juice will clear given long enough. If you added pectic enzyme and fining agents, the only thing you can do now is wait. If you want it really clear, letting it sit in a carboy for 6 months will do it. If you are ok with the taste however, there is nothing wrong with leaving it slightly cloudy.

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Old 07-03-2010, 04:58 AM   #5
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I do not mind waiting to get exactly what I want but is there a danger for the cider to get oxidize from staying too long in a carboy that is not full and has air on top because of the 3 racking ?

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Old 07-03-2010, 04:47 PM   #6
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Its pretty slight, but the more racking you do, yes airspace can cause oxidation. Some cider producers will top up fermenters with a little bit of fresh juice to fill the dead space. That will cause a little bit more fermentation too, which creates CO2 and helps get rid of extra oxygen too.

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Old 07-04-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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The only concern I have is if I add more juice, would the the yeast ferment the sugar and in return cause more cloudiness thus making my problem worse ?

Also, you say the chance of my cider oxidizing is pretty slight so is this something I should not worry about if my cider is at the +- 7.5% alc/vol ? I'm only asking as I am under the assumption that the higher the alcohol, the better protected you're cider is against oxidation ?

Thanks again for you're help.

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Old 07-04-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naeco View Post
The only concern I have is if I add more juice, would the the yeast ferment the sugar and in return cause more cloudiness thus making my problem worse ?

Also, you say the chance of my cider oxidizing is pretty slight so is this something I should not worry about if my cider is at the +- 7.5% alc/vol ? I'm only asking as I am under the assumption that the higher the alcohol, the better protected you're cider is against oxidation ?

Thanks again for you're help.
You want as little headspace in the carboy as possible. If you have headspace, you should rack to a smaller carboy or several small jugs and keep them topped up to reduce headspace. It may take a month or two, but it should clear.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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OK so I will buy some more juice and add it to the carboy but is there a chance my cider is not good for consumption anymore because it got oxidized and how do I determine if it's still good or not so I know if it's worth trying to save ?

If it's gone bad, I will start a fresh batch with my newly acquired knowledge thanks to all of you !

Naeco

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Old 07-05-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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It shouldn't have gone "bad" that quickly. Not 100% about cider, but in beer, oxidation causes staleness and a "wet cardboard" flavor. The worst thing that can happen to the cider is that acetobacter got in there. Acetobacter will turn the cider into vinegar. If your cider doesn't taste like vinegar, then its fine. If it does, well then just use it for cooking!

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