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Old 10-16-2008, 03:38 AM   #1
lapaglia
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Default Merits of Racking or Not Racking Cider

Unless you need the primary you don't need to rack cider. It can stay on the lees.

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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Apologies in advance but I'm going to throw an alternate opinion at you regarding racking.

A timely racking is one of the key steps in good cider making. I'd rack at a month regardless of clarity or fermenting and here is why. From what I've been taught and my experiences leaving a cider on it's lees is a really bad idea. You not only risk generating "off" flavors from the dead yeast and garbage at the bottom but you increase the chance of Malo-lactic Fermentation (MLF).

Some cider makers want a certain level of MLF for flavor and body and such, however when not properly administered it will eat up at all your acidity and leave you with an insipid cider. I personally try very hard not to mess around with MLF yet.

Rack! If your cider isn't clear rack anyway, clear with sparkaloid or whatever and rack again if you have to but just get it off the junk.

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Apologies in advance but I'm going to throw an alternate opinion at you regarding racking.
Never apologies for being wrong . Just kidding.
Its an opinion and there is more than one way to do this. Each has its good and bad points. My comment was an indication that is COULD stay where it was. I have seen people here that rack on a tight schedule and those that don't touch it till its time to bottle. Might be interesting to take a batch and split it and try both then compare in 6-9 months after its been bottled.
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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True enough and the original poster can take my advice or leave it. It is not like I have to drink this cider nor do I have anything to gain from even posting a response.

I've left it on it's lees too long for sure out of a lack of time and/or laziness, and I've had batches turn out good and bad. But I can tell you with out a doubt that I think racking is one of the key steps in flavor preservation.

Cider making is very ancient and less adding gatorade or whatever it is doubtful anyone will ever come up with something that hasn't been done before. That being said there are key steps that have been practiced and refined since the Romans (and before) cultivated orchards, picked and pressed their apples and made cider. Sulfites, blending, fermenting temperatures, racking, aging.

The racking step in the process is there for a reason. I doubt you'll find a wine maker or beer brewer willing to skip this same step for the very same reasons. Because it can "sometimes" turn out isn't good enough for me I want to know for sure it will be drinkable.

So I say Rack. Rack at about 4 weeks or so. Before if there isn't very much airlock activity left, longer if there is activity. I wouldn't go much past 5 or so weeks in any case. If it isn't clear yet, take proper measures and rack again. It is never easy to do things the right way.

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Old 10-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimeydave View Post
<snip> It is never easy to do things the right way.
Very true. The problem is those of us that are not yet fully versed in this art are often not sure who is right and who is not. In beer and wine most everyone agrees rack and often. In cider there seem to be equal numbers of experts and people in the know that say rack or don't rack. So its also never easy to tell which is the right way. Sometimes you have to try them both and decide on your own or pick a theory and follow it. Its very easy to look back and decide your way is correct. Looking forward it is not that easy.

At this point I personally am not convinced that either way is the best way. I will have to see what happens and make a decision based on what I learn.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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Would you question or debate the racking advice given in a class like this? Cider-Academy

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimeydave View Post
Would you question or debate the racking advice given in a class like this? Cider-Academy
we are stealing this thread and taking it off topic but yes I would. A fancy site and class someone offers does not make what they say truth. Just because its on the internet does not make it true. Its true to me when I have tried something and it works or does not work. Not because someone says it is correct. I still content that there are 2 sides to this and both can be correct. In this case there is no one best way. There are too many people that don't agree with the rack always concept to make it right without self testing.

If you would like to open a new thread Id be happy to respond. If these can be cut out to a new thread thats great too. At this point we have hijacked the OPs thread.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:45 PM   #8
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Yeah I was under the impression we were talking about racking cider.

You can have the last word on all that just as you did every other time I injected my opinion on the matter.

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:56 PM   #9
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Well, I'm a racker too. Anytime I have lees that are 1/4 inch thick, or whenever I have lees after 45-60 days no matter how thick, I rack. I don't see why not, to be honest. What would be gained by not racking? I guess there could be the argument that some people leave wine sur lie, but that is done with some stirring. I wouldn't think leaving cider sur lie would benefit the cider at all.

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Old 10-16-2008, 11:15 PM   #10
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Hmmm. I've wondered about racking my secondary on a few batches I currently have going. They have got a slight layer of sediment, not too much but more than I'd like for sure. Racking cane here I come.



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About the press my 2009 cider varieties.

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Kegged
08' Kingston Black Cider 08' Yarlington Mill Cider 08' Gravenstein Cider 08' Graveyard Blend Cider
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