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Old 02-20-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
PIRATEDOG
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Feb 2013
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Well I brewed the cider 2weeks ago so I will rack it tomorrow. How long before it's ready to drink? 2-4 more weeks or more?

 
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
KBentley57
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Jun 2012
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It depends on your level of desired clearity. It almost certainly wont be ready to drink in 2-4 weeks though. If you let the yeast/solids settle out on their own terms, you'll be waiting a few more months. If you use something like superkleer, wait a week, then rack again, it will be clear, but I wouldn't drink it that early. It also depends whether or not you want it to be carbonated or still. Carbonated will take longer.

 
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
PIRATEDOG
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Feb 2013
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I see so should I wait to rack it? Or is it okay to rack it in to bottles and let it set I want it carbonated? How long before it's ready to drink? I am in no hurry just asking.

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
KBentley57
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I'll give you my timeline, and let you decide that for yourself. I start 5 gallons with 4 lbs of medium brown sugar and 1lb of honey (typically). I lt it primary for 3 weeks, then rack whatever I can fit into a 5 gallon carboy. At this point I still can't see through it, and to me, that's too cloudy. After a month at 60 F I rack again, and another month I rack again. At this point it has stopped throwing much sediment, and is generally clear. If I want carbonation, I usually bottle with one can of apple juice concentrate and let it ride. If still, I use a pack of superclear just to make sure I get even the tiniest stuff out. Either case I'm usually drinking on it about 5 months in, and I think it tastes fine at that point.

I've heard of people going longer, but my will power is weak!

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
buckeyeintexas
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Jan 2013
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Why does it need to be so clear? Doesn't it taste fine even if its still cloudy?

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
KBentley57
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Jun 2012
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I suppose it depends whether the cloudiness is from the suspended yeast, or suspended bits of apple. I don't think that they can actually be separated unless you add the apple bit later. I don't prefer the yeast taste, but I'm only one sample. Perhaps someone else will chime in? I can't be the only one online on a sunday.

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
Spinrathen
 
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Tastes fine, you can drink it any time after fermentation is done, it will taste better the longer you let it sit though.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
Rich_S
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NJ
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You can cold crash it in the refrigerator at 35 degrees for 2 days and it will be damn near crystal clear. So racking multiple times and extended secondary fermentations are not necessary for clarity.

That having been said, I do think there is a benefit to an extended secondary fermentation of several months in terms of eliminating harsh tastes and off smells.

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
Behemoth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIRATEDOG View Post
Well I brewed the cider 2weeks ago so I will rack it tomorrow. How long before it's ready to drink? 2-4 more weeks or more?
What did you use in the recipe? How much juice and/or sugar? what yeast? What was your original gravity? Ciders usually need weeks if not months to ferment and mellow out. Some get dry some stay sweet. Depends on how you finish the ferment.
You could check your final gravity and stop ferm before it get too low, so it wont get too dry. You could also let it go way down and backsweeten, but keep in mind if you bottle the newly added sugars will kick start ferm and you could have a bottle bomb explode in your home( not good). You could drink it flat or carbonate in a bottle, that another story.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
Kashue
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Aug 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio
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I usually let primary go until visible fermentation has stopped. I rack to secondary, where the cider stays until I like the taste- anywhere from 3 weeks for a cider that keeps an apple-ey taste to months for one that develops a funk. I just finished bottling/pasteurizing a batch that had been sitting in secondary for 6 months, and it's pretty good. SOME people don't do a secondary, but I find that this is a sure way to get unwanted heat. OTHER people will insist on a year or more of secondary, but forget that, I'm not made of stone.

You will want to watch secondary closely. Sometimes your cider will get all fired up and start a second full-on ferment, foam and all. Then you have to wait for THAT to end, and rack it again.

 
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