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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Bottling Bucket as Secondary...?
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
harriw
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Default Bottling Bucket as Secondary...?

My first cider is happily bubbling away in my 6 Gal. glass carboy at the moment, and I'm scheming on what my next steps will be once it dies down. My kit also included a 6.5-7 Gal. Bottling Bucket (with gasketed lid and hole for air lock, etc.).

So, my question is: when the primary is done, should I rack into the bottling bucket and leave it there for the 2 months or so worth of secondary? My concerns are: 1.) the bucket is larger, meaning more air space, and more opportunity for oxidization. 2.) When I go to bottle, I'll already be IN my bottling bucket, which is good... except that I'll have 2 months worth of Lees at the bottom still. Is the spicket tap generally high enough off the bottom that I don't have to worry about all the lees going into my bottles?

I guess my other option is to Rack into bottling bucket, clean out primary carboy, rack back into the carboy and leave it for 2 months in secondary. Then when I'm ready to bottle, rack back into the bottling bucket again. Are those additional rackings going to eliminate enough yeast that I can't bottle carb though?

Thanks for bearing with me!

-Bill


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Old 10-02-2009, 05:40 PM   #2
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I would recommend not racking at all. Leave it in the primary until you are ready to bottle, even if that's 6 months away. I'm not sure of any real benefit to secondary for cider, or arguably beer for that matter for any period of aging less than several months.

Apfelwein is a great example of an apple cider like product that is often aged for 6 months or longer in the primary and it just gets better and better over time.

Rack to bottling when you need to bottle! :P


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Old 10-02-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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So there's no need to get it off the lees when fermentation is "complete?" I thought leaving it there was supposed to introduce some "off" flavors...?

Thanks!

-Bill
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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It's called a "bottling bucket" because it's a bottling bucket...
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harriw View Post
So there's no need to get it off the lees when fermentation is "complete?" I thought leaving it there was supposed to introduce some "off" flavors...?

Thanks!

-Bill
2 months in the primary won't be bad for a cider. Autolysis will take much longer. My last apfelwein I left in the primary for 4 months with no problem.

Racking to a bottling bucket will leave you with too much head space which could increase your oxidation risk.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Okie Dokie, I'll leave 'er alone until I'm ready to bottle in a couple months. Thanks again!

-Bill


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