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Old 01-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
IwanaBrich
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Default When to rack my Hard Cider?

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.

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Old 01-10-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by IwanaBrich View Post
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.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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What about transfering into a plastic bucket (food Grade with an air lock) and then I'll leave it alone for a couple months. Thoughts?

I want my glass carboy back!

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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I wouldn't- you want to minimize headspace in the secondary, especially if it's going to sit for a month. I'd use the bucket for primary for another batch, and leave the cider in the carboy.

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Old 01-11-2009, 12:27 AM   #5
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You could also go for a sweet cider. Take a taste. If you like it....bottle/drink it.

If you want super clear sweet cider...then rack off to a secondary and add sparcloid or similar and let sit for another couple days.

it's personal taste...but I bottle my cider in less than 2 months. One batch went from pitch to minikeg in less than 10 days.

-Tyler

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