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Old 05-20-2009, 06:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mikesalvo View Post
what is the purpose of racking into a bottling vessel before bottling? Just for one more rack for the sake of clarity and eliminating any cloudiness?
Yep. If there is no sediment, there is no need to rack again. Just add your priming sugar, mix it up, and transfer to bottles. In addition, you can also calculate the amount of sugar to add to each bottle and do it that way.

also, when using the plastic bottles, should I just fill the bottles and screw the caps on? Seems to easy. Also, can someone point me in the direction of a cheap bottle wand? Ebay search yielded nothing. Does it just connect to my siphon?
That's all there is to it. Here's a bottle wand:

Fermtech Plastic Bottle Filler :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

Shipping will kill you on that though, if you can find a local homebrew supply place they will have it.

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #12
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I don't think that you rack only for the sake of getting it off of any sediment- it also helps to mix in the priming sugar so that it is more thoroughly dissolved. You want it to be thoroughly mixed, so that you get even carbonation. Pouring the priming solution into the carboy and stirring isn't as effective, plus can oxidize the cider. Racking it into a bottling bucket and the dissolved priming sugar so that it swirls gently as it fills from the bottom helps ensure it's mixed. You can still gently stir if you feel that you have to, but it isn't necessary. When your pour a priming solution into a fermenter, the "heavier" syrup immediately sinks even if you stir. It would make it harder to ensure that some bottles aren't over- or under-carbed.
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