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-   -   Secondary fermentation vs bulk aging vs bottle aging (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/secondary-fermentation-vs-bulk-aging-vs-bottle-aging-108102/)

jaginger 03-11-2009 04:10 PM

Secondary fermentation vs bulk aging vs bottle aging
 
I'm on my second batch of cider and I'm looking for a little explanation of the techniques that can be used after primary is done. I plan on letting this sit for a good while to make it excellent, but I'm not sure the definition/purpose of the three techniques listed. Can somebody answer a couple questions please?

If the yeast is done in primary, does "secondary fermentation" require adding more fermentables to restart the process? What is the purpose of this?

Or is secondary fermentation basically the same as bulk aging?

What is the advantage/disadvantage of bulk aging vs bottle aging (assuming that no carbonation is added and the cider will be bottled still.) Do they accomplish the same thing?

thanks a lot!

jaginger 03-27-2009 12:28 AM

bump a dump!

blackwaterbrewer 03-27-2009 12:38 AM

i have found that a 4 vessel process will reap the best results for mead/cider. initial fementation is OPEN for 2-3 days if using suspended fruit. next is a larger than batch PRIMARY. Third, is a vessel that may or may not facilitate additional fermentation. i like to leave the product in this vessel for at least 3 months and then bottle. nothing conditions a yeast beverage like pressure of carbonation, but something magical happens in the bulk "aging" as well. if you dont use OPEN fermentation, do a primary for the duration of the heavy activity, then rack to a secondary, with little regard for sucking up sediment . let this bubble for a while and then rack it again to let it clear for several months. after this, bottle, put it in a case and nail it shut with a sign that says "if you open this before 1 year you are a weak minded wiper of other men's behinds.

chefmike 03-29-2009 04:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackwaterbrewer (Post 1221810)
after this, bottle, put it in a case and nail it shut with a sign that says "if you open this before 1 year you are a weak minded wiper of other men's behinds.

A literary masterpiece...

SeamusMac 03-29-2009 05:51 PM

I'm making a straight apple juice and yeast (Wyeast 3068) cider and I'm not going to be using a secondary. I started the 19L of cider in a better bottle, it's been in there bubbling away for 3 weeks. I'm going to leave it for 3 more weeks before bottling and taking the first sample :D I'm going to take 1L of the cider out at 4 weeks and let it sit for an additional month in a demijohn before bottling, just to see if a secondary stage benefits the cider at all. Somehow I doubt that the secondary will benefit the cider at all, but it could help avoid picking up too much yeast during racking to the bottling bucket.

Tusch 03-29-2009 06:52 PM

Well leaving it on the lees will most certainly create different flavors. That is not to say it is necessary, but there are benefits and differences to both. But assuming it won't have an effect is wrong. Plus you are right, the more times you rack the less and less sediment there is when you bottle. I know yooper continues to rack until it no longer drops any lees at all and is crystal clear.

JoeSponge 07-09-2009 01:50 AM

Bulk vs ... results?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SeamusMac (Post 1226874)
I'm making a straight apple juice and yeast (Wyeast 3068) cider and
1. I'm not going to be using a secondary.
I started the 19L of cider in a better bottle, it's been in there bubbling away for 3 weeks.
2. I'm going to leave it for 3 more weeks before bottling and taking the first sample
3. I'm going to take 1L of the cider out at 4 weeks and
4. let it sit for an additional month in a demijohn before bottling, just to see if a secondary stage benefits the cider at all...

Seamus,
Did you ever follow this through? Any results?

It's fortuitous that I should find this thread, but I still don't have a comfortable grasp of the whys or whats...
I don't understand wx there's any benefit betwixt "bottle and age" and "bulk age and bottle"... especially if the requirement is to "bulk age, bottle and age".

jaginger 07-09-2009 01:59 AM

I don't think anybody here really knows the difference :confused:

SeamusMac 07-09-2009 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeSponge (Post 1422457)
Seamus,
Did you ever follow this through? Any results?

It's fortuitous that I should find this thread, but I still don't have a comfortable grasp of the whys or whats...
I don't understand wx there's any benefit betwixt "bottle and age" and "bulk age and bottle"... especially if the requirement is to "bulk age, bottle and age".

Strangely enough, my cider developed a peanut butter flavour and aroma that I found a little bit off-putting. I suspect that this is the result of fermenting with Wyeast 3068 3-4*F below the minimum recommended temperature. I ended up racking it into a secondary at 4 weeks and leaving it to bulk-age in secondary for a further 7 weeks if I remember correctly...

I never planned to let it sit for this long but school got in the way and when I finally bottled it the SG was something like 1.004! I guess one might call it lagering with a Hefe yeast ha ha, the results weren't overly spectacular. The peanut butter was gone, thankfully. It tasted awfully similar to Apfelwein made with Lalvin EC-1118 after only a month in primary, so I don't think that it was worth the extra time with this particular yeast, at least not at such low temps.

Furthermore, I brought out a 6-pack after a month in the bottle and even though I stirred up some sediment during bottling there was zero carbonation. I have about 17L of the stuff in 500mL bottles waiting to be opened on my birthday in mid-September so I'm hoping it'll have improved by then.


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