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Old 01-17-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
Jan 2008
Maine USA
Posts: 12

I'm in the process of making hard cider and I'm not sure how to tell when the best time to rack is. I have 3 batches of 5 gallons in the works. The must has been fermenting since December 24th. I assume I should do it soon. I also plan on adding oak chips for flavoring. Is this done when fermentation is complete or could it be done when the must goes in to the secondary? Thanks

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:46 AM   #2
Dec 2006
Posts: 94

You should be ready to rack anytime. As for oak, Ive never used it in cider, but if its like mead, probably just leave it in secondary for a week, maybe two

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:49 AM   #3
Oct 2007
Posts: 951
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

It wouldnt hurt to wait and rack in a couple weeks, you could probably get away with leaving it in primary if you dont need the space.

I have only oaked one beer and that was right away in primary, so as far as that goes im not sure.

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:04 AM   #4
Jun 2006
Posts: 151
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I keep my ciders and apfelweins in the primary for 2 months, the secondary for 4 months, then bulk-age for at least one year - YMMV.

- GL63
Es freut mich mit Euch Allen brüderlich zu trinken ! Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit !

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
Up to no good....
Melana's Avatar
May 2007
Norfolk, MA
Posts: 8,408
Liked 2600 Times on 1402 Posts

I racked my first cider ever on Saturday after letting it sit in the carboy for 2+ months... We tasted a sample and it was very yummy already - i can only imagine what another few months of aging will do to improve it's flavor.

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Old 01-23-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
Jun 2006
South River, NJ
Posts: 2,587
Liked 21 Times on 17 Posts

IDK... 2 months on the cake may be a little excessive. I wonder if autolysis it setting in after that long on the cake?? After 30 days my cider batches are crystal clear and completely done. IDK if there is a benefit in keeping the cider on the cake after that point. Bottle/keg it, and let it fit around for a few months.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~

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Old 01-25-2008, 04:57 PM   #7
Jun 2005
Posts: 46

I pressed 30 gallons at my home last October. As in years past, I'm a bit slow to rack. This year was no different, I finally racked it all last eve.

I'd like to rack at 6 weeks but at 2 and 3 months in the Primary I've found no problem.

To also chime in on your other questions, a correct hydrometer reading (under 1.000) would be one way or simply wait for the bubbling to come to crawl (once every minute).

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