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Old 10-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default How Do I Know When It's Done In The Primary Fermenter?

My first time trying cider.

I have three batches going.

The first one is 4 gallons of fresh pressed raw juice, sulphited at the beginning with pectic enzyme added and pitched with Nottingham yeast. It has been in the primary since 9/13 and is burping about every 1 minute.

The second one is 6 gallons of fresh pressed raw juice with nothing added. It has been in the primary since 9/16 and is no longer burping in the water lock.

The third one is 6 gallons of fresh pressed raw juice sulphited at the beginning with pectic enzyme added, yeast nutrient added and pitched with Safale S-04 yeast. It has been in the primary since 9/27 and is burping about every 40 seconds.

How do I know when they are done in the primary and then do I do like wine and rack to a carboy? Then how long.

Not really sure of the procedure here.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:46 AM   #2
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Once the bubbles slow way down to near stopping you can take a gravity reading to see where you're at. I like to rack to a clearing tank just a bit before everything is done so as to get a good protective CO2 layer in the next carboy. If I miss that target, I top off with a little bit more juice to remove headspace and again create a CO2 blanket.

This next carboy is important for some aging which helps to clean up the flavor of the cider, non-fermentable flavor additions (oak, cinnamon etc) and to allow the sediment to drop out for a clear cider. This is pretty dependent on your personal taste and clarity preference, there is to good time schedule.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:56 AM   #3
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Time is your friend. Patience is a virtue with cider. As Lebreton said it is wise to keep secondaries full and or C02 blanketed to avoid oxidation. I primary for several months, treat with sulphite, rack and age several more months. I normally bottle/keg my fall ciders in may or june.

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Old 10-03-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton View Post
Once the bubbles slow way down to near stopping you can take a gravity reading to see where you're at. I like to rack to a clearing tank just a bit before everything is done so as to get a good protective CO2 layer in the next carboy. If I miss that target, I top off with a little bit more juice to remove headspace and again create a CO2 blanket.

This next carboy is important for some aging which helps to clean up the flavor of the cider, non-fermentable flavor additions (oak, cinnamon etc) and to allow the sediment to drop out for a clear cider. This is pretty dependent on your personal taste and clarity preference, there is to good time schedule.
Okay, so I took a reading and since I started at 1.060 and am now at 1.004 is it time to rack to a clean carboy? Can I then top off with fresh pressed cider or should I get some concentrate or maybe pasteurized cider to top off with?
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncaMarc

Okay, so I took a reading and since I started at 1.060 and am now at 1.004 is it time to rack to a clean carboy? Can I then top off with fresh pressed cider or should I get some concentrate or maybe pasteurized cider to top off with?
You can rack it to secondary. You can top off with any of those options.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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You can also use spring water too, especially if you're using a dry yeast since you'll be hitting something around 7% anyways...

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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You may restart fermentation if you top off with concentrate/apple juice since you will be re-introducing sugars.

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