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The saga of the home pressed hard cider continues.

After reading an article in BYO about making hard cider, I learned that I should use a clarifying agent to clear up my cider.

The article’s author presented two choices: Sparkolloid and Bentonite.  When I went to the homebrew shop, the first thing I saw was Bentonite so I picked it up.

I researched a bit on how to use this stuff but that led to more questions.

  • Should it be added before or after fermentation (a little late for me on the first option)?
  • After you make a slurry with the Bentonite and water, should it rest an hour or 24 hours?
  • After you add your slurry to your cider, how long should I wait before racking and bottling?

I wish I had more answers.  I haven’t used this type of clarifier before since I don’t make wine.

If you have any tips, please post a comment below.


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  1. Ali

    I come from South-West England, where hard cider is a major product. Using the excellent Real Cidermaking on a Small Scale, I’ve produced some excellent ciders, none of which have needed any clearing agents. Cider will either clear over time, or remain cloudy. Some people like it cloudy, and it is not detrimental to the finished drink. There is no need to use Bentonite or Sparkaloid (unless you have pectin haze, which you’ll only have if you boiled the juice). There’s a nice diagram of the cider process, for still or sparkling here – http://stormbrewing.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/cider-making-process/

  2. DJ @ Fermentarium

    It’s added before fermentation. You might look into isinglass to clear your cider.

    In response to your questions:
    #1 Before
    #2 No
    #3 Since you add it before, you wait till fermentation is complete.

  3. sean

    I’ve only used polyclar, and I’ve always added after fermentation. I put my potassium sorbate and polyclar in at the same time. Then, I wait until it’s clear. There hasn’t been a hard-and-fast rule on how long it takes for me. Sometimes it’s a two weeks, sometimes it’s 3 months.

  4. skookum

    I have been making cidre nigh on twenty years by now.
    I have never had to use any fining agents whatsoever.
    I use a Voran Schabermühle to grate my apples and a Speidel Hydropress to do the juicing.
    The main factors to a clear cidre are time and temperature.
    After fermentation keep the cidre as cool as possible.
    Don`t even try bottling before February of the next year.
    All fining agents will remove aroma – bar none. And with cidre, this component is scarce as it is.
    Just my two bits worth of experience.
    C YA

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