From the HBD Archive
Subject: cider (long)
Date: 1989-07-24 23:19:08 GMT

IN HB DIG #207, /Don asks:

>as if it was beer" isn't quite clear to me, however. If two stage
>fermentation is used, how clear will the resulting beverage be? My
>experience with wine and cyser is that you need to rack several times
>before you'll get a nice, clear beverage. I'd also like some more info
>about when to bottle the result (when fermentation is finished? or when the
>cider is clear?) and how much priming sugar to use (3/4 C per five

Perhaps I can help. I make cider about every 2-3 months using a technique
similar to the one mentioned. I use one gallon of pure apple juice from
the grocery store, saving the gallon jug as the secondary fermenter. I
boil for 10 minutes, add 1 tsp citric acid, and, when cool, 1/4 tsp
ascorbic acid. I usually add 1 lb or so corn sugar to get the sg up to
about 1.080. I pitch with champagne yeast and ferment at room temp
in the primary fermenter. After about three days, I transfer to the
secondary, and there it stays until the sg drops to 0.995. I then prime
with 1/2 tsp corn sugar per Grolsch bottle. The secondary fermentation
requires about a month, and the bottle aging about 2-3 months. The result
is "somewhat less than clear." It is very dry.

I have also used a technique where I added about 2 lbs corn sugar to obtain
an og of 110 or so. This does not ferment to completion as the yeast
cannot tolerate such high alcoholic content. In this method, I had to
catch the cider when I figured the yeast had about enough life to give
sparkle without breaking the bottles (DANGEROUS!). The sg at bottling
in those cases was about 1.000, and there was visible activity at
bottling. This produced the finest cider, but I cannot recommend this
procedure, and I have stopped using it, due to the innacuracy of the

I do not believe in the necessity of clarity in cider. The German
"most" (spelling?) is not a clear beverage, and is a beautiful example
of traditional cidering. Therefore, I do not practice several racking
stages in the cider process. I have done this in the past, however,
and 3 rackings will improve the clarity to an almost imperceptible

[Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon]

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