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Old 08-07-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
myleviathan
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Default Sediment at bottom of secondary

I just racked my 5 gallon cider batch last night into a secondary carboy, and this morning I noticed a lot of sediment at the bottom. I thought that racking was supposed to get rid of the dead lees and any other sediment at the bottom of the primary. I used a racking cane in the primary with a tip that is supposed to not suck that stuff up. But it looks like it did anyway. Do I need to rack again, or is this normal?

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Old 08-07-2008, 10:30 PM   #2
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How long has the cider been in the primary? Yeast can stay in suspension for quite a while, even if the cider looks crystal clear. If you've only had it in the primary for a few weeks, then yeast could be dropping out of suspension for a couple months. Each time I've used a secondary, I always get a thin layer of sediment at the bottom...but much less than in the primary.



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Old 08-07-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
How long has the cider been in the primary? Yeast can stay in suspension for quite a while, even if the cider looks crystal clear. If you've only had it in the primary for a few weeks, then yeast could be dropping out of suspension for a couple months. Each time I've used a secondary, I always get a thin layer of sediment at the bottom...but much less than in the primary.
My cider was in the primary for exactly two weeks. It's nowhere close to crystal clear, for sure. I used unfiltered apple juice, so it never was very clear.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:58 PM   #4
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I should defer here to someone with cider-specific experience...but all of the beers I've made have taken at least 4 weeks to clear. I would expect sediment to keep appearing for up to two months. After that, the yeast and it's byproducts should mostly be out of suspension.

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Old 08-07-2008, 11:08 PM   #5
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It's normal. Two weeks is a pretty short time for cider to clear. Also, you kick up a little no matter how careful you are when you rack. The purpose of secondary is for clearing so it's doing what it's suppose to do. I wouldn't worry about about having some sediment in the secondary, it will compact as it ages so when you go to bottle all should be good. Give it a month or year in the secondary and bottle away.

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Old 08-08-2008, 12:00 AM   #6
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Thanks, guys - that's heartening. I appreciate your input.

One more question since we're on the topic of secondary. I added some whole cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg and whole allspice to the secondary. This shouldn't harm anything should it?

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Old 08-08-2008, 02:22 AM   #7
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No harm in adding some spice to your cider and the secondary is the proper place for it.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:34 AM   #8
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No harm in adding some spice to your cider and the secondary is the proper place for it.
I've read a few scary stories of people spicing cider on this forum. I have half a mind to take them out. But I'll just have to taste it and see. Hopefully it'll turn out okay. I spiced my first (1 gallon) cider batch with cinnamon and nutmeg powder and it turned out well, but I'm kind of worried about this batch for some reason. This time I used about 4-5 whole nutmeg nuts. I'm reading that may be too much.

I'm nervous, I'm nervous...
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:42 AM   #9
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You have a little time before you need to be too nervous. After a week or two, take a sample and if it's spiced to your liking you can take them out. If it's not spiced enough for you, wait a couple more weeks and repeat.



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