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Old 10-07-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Cider Fermentation Length

I'm trying out some experiments in cider-brewing for Christmas gifts and I pitched yeast for my first couple 1-gallon trials last week. Fermentation has basically wrapped up, and I'm curious as to how long this needs to sit. Is conditioning cider as important as it is for beer? I usually sit on my beer for 2-3 weeks in primary, but I don't know if cider requires the same timeframe. I used 71b-1122 ( Lallemand, I believe?) if that makes a difference. Anyone have any personal experience or comparisons to share with me? Appreciate the help.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Traditionally ciders were aged thru the winter and enjoyed thru the summer. My experience is that 6 months to a year is good, Will be drinkable sooner tastier later. There are so many variables that impact The ciders profile. Trial and error is only way to determine when the flavor peaks.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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My expierence is pretty much the same.... It took about 3-4 months to clear I bottled mine at 6 but a said above at a year + it was amazing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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As others have said it's wholly subjective. I let my last apple batch sit in secondary for a month and bottles for a week, but I just did a batch from farm cider that took a month to wrap up primary and came out so tart and tasty i skipped it straight to bottles.

A good rule of thumb seems to be that the less you "do" to the cider, the more it benefits from a long sit. So if you just put your yeast straight in apple juice, that would take want longer than a heavily flavored brew you want to carbonate. Maybe.

The main thing you will be achieving in secondary is muting the stronger flavors that emerge in ferment that may be undesirable- a strong fusel odor or the sulphery taste cider can take on will both diminish in secondary, and some apple taste will reassert itself. Just taste it every so often and when it's good, bottle it!
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