It will be still. If you want to carbonate it, you'll need to use a keg to force carbonate.
In theory it ought to be possible to bottle condition by nutrient reduction, so that the cider runs out of nitrogen before it runs out of sugar. This is what some of the traditional cider houses do. But working out just the right of nitrogen to have at bottling time is tricky. Using a keg is a lot easier
Hey CK, earlier in this thread, albeit in 2007, you said you no longer cold crash larger batches because of the pain of hauling 'em around. I assume that's not true, anymore? Or have you just devised a way to crash without moving your carboys?
Yeah, for a while I was just racking the cider to stop the ferment. That usually works OK but is not as reliable so I just went back to cold crashing - I also switched my primary fermenters over to better bottles, which are a lot easier to handle
I live in Northern NY where it has currently been in the 30s and 40s. Would it be possible, do you think, to run the primary fermentation down to the desired sweetness, then rack directly into bottles and cold crash in them? The intention being to let them carbonate in the bottle slightly before everything goes dormant and then just storing the bottles chilled till they are consumed. Or does this seem too dangerous?
It seems a little risky to me, but people have done it successfully. Some yeast will continue to work at cold temps - just more slowly. You may want to consider pasteurizing after the bottle carb - that has been reported with good results as well. Personally, I'd advise checking Craigslist and/or ebay for a used kegging setup