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-   -   New to Cider - Need Help (Fermentation and Clearing) (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/new-cider-need-help-fermentation-clearing-373275/)

kar948 12-10-2012 06:50 PM

New to Cider - Need Help (Fermentation and Clearing)
Hello all,

I apologize if similar questions have already been asked and answered, but I have been browsing around here since I started my cider-adventure and haven't found an answer to the exact question I have yet. So here goes...

We have two giant established apple trees in our backyard and were having trouble keeping up with apples. I love apple cider so I thought I might as well make some free booze out of them haha!
So in september I picked about 7 gallons of apples, juiced them (including peels and cores) in my parents awesome juicer, stove top pasteurized, pitched yeast and sugars and let er' rip! And that it did, primary went really well and I left it in there for about 2-2.5 weeks, until it stopped bubbling and there was a nice layer of sediment at the bottom.

Then we racked to secondary and it has now been sitting in secondary for 2 months exactly. There is little to no sediment settled at the bottom and the cider appears quite cloudy (there's no way you'd be able to see through the liquid to the other side of the carboy).

So... my question is. Should I add finings or one of the other possible clearing agents? or just re-rack it and place it in the basement where it is colder to do its thing?

Also, if I do add finings, should I do it now and let it sit before I re-rack it to bulk age it, or should I re-rack and add finings into the tertiary fermentation?

I should note this is a rather small batch of cider - only about 2 gallons, and I am planning to leave it still without backsweetening. It was a test batch to see what type of flavor our apples produce so that next year I know exactly what I'd like to do as far as a recipe goes.


jerrodm 12-10-2012 08:15 PM

Just an opinion, but I say leave it as is. It won't hurt anything. I rarely use pectic enzyme to clear my cider, and I always love it.

kar948 12-10-2012 08:19 PM

Ok thanks, I think since its probably just going to be myself and possibly the husband drinking it I will leave it as is..

I really just did this batch so I could plan for next year's harvest anyway.

I was concerned that it not being clear might effect the taste...

Would moving it to the cool dark basement possibly help it clear naturally?

m_stodd 12-10-2012 08:24 PM

I think most of the cloudiness is going to be pectin, which can be precipitated out with pectic enzyme, so that's what I would do first.

I don't know if cold crashing would bring the pectin out of solution, I wouldn't count on it.

Since you're using this to know what to do for next year, I would suggest bottling half, and experimenting with half. For what you bottle, I'd suggest carbonating some to see what you like more, and for experimentation, I'd suggest pectic enzyme and gelatin.

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