Hard Cider Clearing

hard cider color

All fall and winter I’ve been busy making hard cider. The photo above is my last batch for the season – 2 gallons of Honey Crisp and 2 of Granny Smith using Belgian and Bavarian yeasts, no sugar added. Three days after I added the yeast the fermentation absolutely exploded – first time I’ve had it overflow through the blow-off tube! What’s interesting, though, is the extent 3 of the 4 gallons cleared. Previously all my batches have turned out like the middle gallon. I do not rack to a secondary fermenter or  add any fining agents. Because of the extremely active fermentation I left the blow-off tubes on the three clearer gallons rather than put an airlock on. On the hazy one, I switched it to an airlock once the fermentation calmed down. Truthfully, I noticed they were clearing faster without the airlock so I left the tubes in place to see what would happen. I really like a hazy cider, but this was too interesting to pass up. I’m not exactly sure why they are so different. I  assume it has something to do with amount of oxygen/air or possibly some of the sanitizer gassing off into the tube (?). I plan on doing some investigating, but if anyone knows why this happened I’d love to hear it! I have taste tested (and bottled) all four gallons and there seems to be no noticeable difference in taste aside from the variation of yeast and apple strains. Fermentation never ceases to amaze me!

cider color 2

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