Originally Posted by IwanaBrich
I'm about 4 weeks into my first batch of Hard Cider and I'm wondering when I should rack it? Right now, its sitting in my glass Carboy and the fermentation has slowed to a crawl. I can see about an 1" to.5" of sediment on the bottom, but the cider isn't that clear yet. Does anyone know how clear I should expect it to get?
I was told by a local friend to leave it sit in the secondary for at least another month or two! Is this correct? If true, when I rack it can I use a food grade plastic bucket instead of a carboy? I only have 2 Carboys (1 better bottle and 1 glass) and I'd hate to tie up my glass carboy for another two months. I have a batch of amber ale sitting in the better bottle, that has 2 or 3 Weeks to go and I want to start another batch of beer.
You can leave it on there for quite awhile. I have a batch that I've had in primary for probably 3 months, and it is crystal clear---you could read a newspaper through it. However, if you're anxious to get it into bottles/keg, I would crash-cool it: wait another few weeks until there is NO fermentation activity. Rack it to a secondary vessel and bring it down to as close to freezing as you can get it, and leave it there until it's clear. If you didn't add pectic enzyme before fermentation, though, getting it clear is not going to be easy.