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Old 06-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Stopping production of lees

I am nearly finished my secondary fermentation and am preparing to bottle. One concern I have is with the production of lees. I want my finished cider to be clear and lees free and I am wondering how I will know when there is no chance of further lees developing at the bottom of the bottle I put the cider in? Will capping and refrigerating the bottles prevent this? Should I be using campden ect.. to make sure this doesn't happen?

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Old 06-10-2011, 12:26 AM   #2
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I am nearly finished my secondary fermentation and am preparing to bottle. One concern I have is with the production of lees. I want my finished cider to be clear and lees free and I am wondering how I will know when there is no chance of further lees developing at the bottom of the bottle I put the cider in? Will capping and refrigerating the bottles prevent this? Should I be using campden ect.. to make sure this doesn't happen?
The key is aging before bottling. What I do is rack off of the lees after 60 days or so. When no new lees appear after 60 days, and the cider is clear, then it can be bottled.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:03 PM   #3
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If you are going to bottle carb, then you will get some lees regardless of what you do. In order for the yeast to produce more CO2 they will have to become more active and reproduce thereby giving you more lees. If you start off with a nice and clear cider, it will help. If you age the bottles a bit, then the lees stays at the bottom and your cider in the bottle will stay nice and clear.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong...

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Old 06-10-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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One thing you are confused on - your cider, not you - will determine when the ferment is complete, and when you can bottle

I usually rack at about 1 month, then I don't touch it for at least 3-6 months, at which point you can bottle or whatever. It will fall clear by then.

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Old 06-11-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I probably won't worry about carbonating at all for now. One thing I guess I didn't mention is that the current gravity of the cider is pretty much 1.000 (although it is still a little cloudy). I intend to sweeten with xylitol. Is there still a risk of lees being produced if I rack off into a new container?

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Old 06-12-2011, 03:24 AM   #6
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You don't need to rack until you're ready to bottle. Most people wait until the cider is crystal clear (clear enough to read a newspaper through), and then bottle. If you leave it in the primary fermenter until then (assuming you don't have too much headspace), then transfer to a bottling bucket and add the xylitol, you will get a very minimum of lees in the bottle.

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Old 06-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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Really? I had read that if cider rests too long on the lees it can develop off flavours and that's why it's usually racked into a 2nd fermenter?

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:45 AM   #8
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It's considered good practice, but it's not necessary. If you read Edwort's Apfelwein thread, the people who brew that leave it for up to a year in primary with absolutely no problems. Me, personally, I rack after around 3 months in primary and then when I accumulate a 1/4inch of lees (although with cider, I usually just bottle after 3 months).

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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Really? I had read that if cider rests too long on the lees it can develop off flavours and that's why it's usually racked into a 2nd fermenter?
I ususally rack at ~4 weeks, when ferment has slowed but not stopped and a majority of the lees have been thrown. Then I rack, top off with more cider, and let it sit 3-6 months minimum. This way the cider bulk conditions.
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