when to rack off of the secondary? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 10-30-2011, 04:01 AM   #1
Oct 2011
Blue Island, IL
Posts: 376
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Took sg readings for last two days. No change in sg. Normally id let my wine stand on its lees to encourage malolactic fermentation. I've heard you shouldn't do the same for cider...

Any truth to this? When do you guys rack off for aging? Do you use sulfites to prevent oxidation?

My liquid mana from heaven has started clearing nicely. Have a nice Apple juice look at the top and it blends in color like a sunrise to the more murky funk on the bottom. It's slowly been settling now for about 3 days and wondering if I should rack now or wait for nearly full clearing.

If I racked now I would almost certainly need to rerack down the line... in that case, would I need to sulfite it a second time?

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Old 10-30-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
gratus fermentatio
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Jun 2008
Posts: 12,072
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I'd let it clear before racking, unless you have a large amount of lees. A lot of people don't even bother with a secondary for cider, but I always do. For me, secondary provides additional clearing & is a great place for adding adjuncts like spices.

As for MLF, some do, most (that I've heard of) don't. Nothing wrong with MLF if that's what you want, it'll certainly soften a cider the same way it will soften a wine; the question is basically "do you want to soften your cider or not?"

Most of us here are just using juice from eating/cooking apples instead of true cider apples, so IMHO, it doesn't really need a MLF. Doing so might soften it up a bit too much, that might appeal to some, but I think the vast majority wouldn't like the outcome.

While I always sulfite fresh pressed juice, I tend not sulfite when I rack cider, though it would certainly protect it from oxidation, just as it does with wine. I know there is a certain amount of risk in this, but I've never had a cider oxidize & I've let ciders bulk age in the carbouy (under airlock of course) for a year with no problems; though I wouldn't let it sit on the lees that long. I always sulfite my wine when I rack it though, odd huh?

You might find this quite useful:
Regards, GF.

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Old 10-31-2011, 08:39 PM   #3
Oct 2011
london, london
Posts: 20

i read that if the ph of the juice is higher then 3.8 then mlf is not good cause it can cause ropeness and the wrong organisms take hold

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