getting unfiltered apple cider to clear

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Dec 1, 2008
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i want to make hard cider from the unfiltered orchard cider you get at farmers markets.

can i get it to clear quicker with gelatin, pectinase, bentonite. or is filtering the only way to get it to clear other than months in the bottle.

Pectic enzyme will remove a pectic haze but that is not the only reason why a wine or cider looks torpid. If you don't degas, the CO2 that is saturating the liquid will keep fruit and yeast and all kinds of particulates in suspension. Sure, your cider will eventually self -degas, but that can take months. I never use gelatin because I am a vegetarian but you might use bentonite. Wine kits these days almost all suggest you add the clay even before you pitch the yeast so that the action of the yeast will keep the bentonite in motion and so will enable it to collect far more of the positively charged ions than adding bentonite after the active fermentation has ended. You might also consider adding other fining agents, such as Sparkolloid and Kieselsol (crustacean) although some are made from the shells of sea creatures - again, a serious issue for vegetarians (among others).
All that said, filtering is not a good option if your wine or cider is full of particulates. The size of filter you need will almost certainly become clogged in minutes: you can really only filter a bright clear wine - and more likely than not, you filter to remove the yeast cells and so avoid the necessity of stabilizing the wine or cider (or mead) if you intend to back sweeten.
yeah after reading several discouraging posts about the cider i bought i think i will stick to juice. ill use this for backsweetenign only
can i get it to clear quicker with gelatin, pectinase, bentonite. or is filtering the only way to get it to clear other than months in the bottle.
Once you can get several batches into carboys for aging, waiting 6 months for it to clear and age isn't a problem. If you start a batch every two months, then eventually you will have a batch ready to drink at the end of the pipeline every two months as well.
When I was reading about batonnage (in a nearby post), the comment was made that after stirring, the CO2 generated by fermentation tends to keep particles in suspension. So, bernardsmith is pretty much on the money re waiting for the cider to self degas.

However, some years ago when I tried making blackberry wine (it was awful rather than awesome!) the recommendation was to degas before bottling. It was suggested using a vacuum cleaner sealed with tape around the top of the carboy, and it sort-of worked. It was amazing just how much the wine degassed, you could see the bubbles rising. Another "toy" was something called vacuvin used in the days before most wine bottles had stelvin caps. This was a little vacuum pump to use if you didn't finish a bottle of wine. It came with rubber corks that had a "slit valve" so if you pumped the air out of the bottle, the valve closed and stopped the wine from oxidising. Don't know if it worked because the wine never lasted long enough to oxidise for more than two days anyway.

Anyhow, the point is that with batonnage, the stirring degasses the wine and once the stirring stops, the particles settle out quite quickly because there is no longer CO2 attached to keep them in suspension.

I generally add pectinase at the start (I press my own apples so there is plenty of muck in the juice) and get a lot of settled sediment by the time fermentation has reached half-way. By the time fermentation has finished, the cider is usually quite clear and stays that way with careful bottling.
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