Minimizing the lees when bottle conditioning - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Minimizing the lees when bottle conditioning

Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
Nov 2011
Finger Lakes, NY
Posts: 1,133
Liked 101 Times on 89 Posts

After 10 days of bottle conditioning my most recent batch is nicely carbed and tastes great. Pasteurized last night and noticed that some of the bottles have a ton of lees in the bottom, half an inch in some cases, while the rest are normal.

Started with pectic enzyme, racked twice during fermentation and let clear in a secondary for quite some time before bottling. Now I did prime with both dextrose (5oz/5 gallon batch) and a half a can of AJC and suspect the AJC may have contributed to added sediment but my last batch was done only with AJC and came out with 'normal' levels of lees in the bottle.

I also re-inoculated with a starter of 2.5g of yeast to kick off the secondary fermentation so that probably didn't help, but doesn't explain the large amount of sediment in the bottle.

Care to share any tips for minimizing lees?
In all the states no door stands wider,
To ask you in to drink hard cider

Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
Grizzlybrew's Avatar
Apr 2009
Austin, TX
Posts: 1,155
Liked 16 Times on 13 Posts

keg... and then fill your bottles form keg.
On Deck
perhaps a line of single hop IPA's - there's so many new hops out there!!!

Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
Oct 2009
Posts: 391
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

The easiest thing to do is to let them sit a while for the lees to compact... It takes 3+ months for the lees to really pack down well...

So... What you can do is to....
Let them sit in a cool place where they can compact undisturbed.
Pour slowly and carefully - It's not a Weiss... don't cry about that last 1 tablespoon of cider and muck in the bottom of the bottle....

The last thing is to pick yeasts that run more towards the "Compact lees" end of the spectrum rather than the ones that produce fluffy lees that swirl back up into solution whenever you look at the bottles...


Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
Nov 2011
Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 1,246
Liked 75 Times on 66 Posts

I agree that if you are worried about cloudy cider or sediment in your bottles, it's best to use a yeast that will flocculate well. I disagree that you need to let it sit for 3 months on the lees. (but that's just my opinion)

I usually rack to secondary around 2 weeks and my nottingham ale yeast leaves what looks like pudding on the bottom. It takes a lot to really disturb it. Then in the secondary, I get only a dusting in the bottom. To get it even more clear, you could always rack it again. That said, my impression so far is that the more you rack it, it takes a LOT longer to carb it since there aren't as many yeast cells in suspension. I still get a little dusting in each bottle from the priming sugar.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
May 2013
Posts: 1

my cider with nottingham yeast has created a "cloud" of lees on the bottom after bottle conditioning. it floats and looks like a mother and i was worried that i was going to have vinegar. but i have good cider. the first pint out of the bottle is clear and the second gets the chunky. any ideas on what might have gone wrong? may it be from pulling too many lees from the primary?

Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2013, 11:38 AM   #6
May 2013
Posts: 246
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Would cold crashing before bottling help?
On Tap: Rye Saison, JAOM, I.P.L.
Primary: West Coast IPA
Secondary: Pomegranate mead, Oud bruin, Belgian Sour Blonde, Belgian Strong Sour, Cyser

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
10 Gallons: Bottle Conditioning with Cider? jevchance Cider Forum 15 07-22-2012 03:14 PM
Simple Cider Ready to Bottle... Re-Use Yeast/Lees? superslomo Cider Forum 4 12-07-2011 03:09 PM
Carboy vs. Bottle Conditioning Copernicus Cider Forum 9 10-26-2010 06:23 AM
Bottle Conditioning Edwort's HickoryMike Cider Forum 1 12-15-2009 02:28 AM
Bottle Conditioning Question vllllllllll Cider Forum 3 12-09-2009 01:46 PM

Forum Jump