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I've got a cider made from fresh pressed cider that's been in the fermenter about a month. It was augmented with some Crystal 60L and a few other ingredients and is sitting on French oak cubes.

While I believe the flavor is coming along nicely, but it's not clarifying in the least. I forgot to add pectin enzymes at the beginning when I usually do.

My question is whether or not it makes sense to add it at this point or if I should just live with the super-cloudy nature of the result.

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Did you ferment from juice, from something with a more solid consistency? What's the consistency of your cider? –  mart Dec 6 '13 at 13:27
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7 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, you can add pectic enzymes after the ferment. The enzymes contribute little to the fermentation, it's only added to encourage suspended solids to clump together and precipitate out of solution. You can do that after fermentation with no ill side effects.

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In theory, you should be able to add gelatin to the final product and let it sit for a few days before racking off & bottling. I've never tried it with cider, but I suspect it would work perfectly fine. Plain Knox gelatin, dissolved, heated and cooled is fine (or at least it's what I've done with beer).

If you do try this, please let me know how it came out for you.

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Seems like there's confusion here. J is talking about "pectin enzymes", not pectin. Pectin can contribute to haze in a cider or fruit beer, especially if the fruit or juice was heated. Adding pectic enzymes will help break apart the pectins into simpler sugars and clarify the brew. The enzymes can be added after, as J was wondering. As the enzymes break up the pectin, more sugars will become available to the yeast and fermentation will pick up a bit.

The other answers seem to be talking about beer fining, post fermentation. This fining serves to clarify beer from protein haze after fermentation, as Herb suggests. Fining with gelatin or isinglass does not help with haze produced by pectin.

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Give your cider time and it will clear on its own. A month is a really short time to be worrying about it. I typically give mine 1-2 months in primary, then up to 6 months more in secondary. They're crystal clear every time. You need to think of cider more like wine than beer.

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I've used gelatin and it worked fine as a last minute clarifier.

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I tend to use pectic enzyme to break down the pectin in suspension. I have not always put it in at the beginning, but you will have to give it a little bit of time.

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Pectin enzyme will help eliminate a haze that normal finings will not remove. Generally, its added prior to pitching the yeast, up to 24 hours before. My ciders are crystal clear. I believe you may be able to add it post fermentation, haze won't hurt the cider, just won't be as pretty.

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