How long to leave Cider on lee in primary fermenter and what temp?

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mayoutze

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Hi, this is my first batch of Cider from apples from my yard

5 gallons
5 camden tablets
redstar champagne yeast
SG: 1.041
primary fermentation temp 80F

My question is now that the primary fermentation is slowing down (after 10days), should I leave the cider on the lee longer to mature knowing that I have a bit of headspace or rack into a smaller carboy?

Either way, at what temperature should I keep the cider to mature and for how long before carbonation/bottling?

Thank you
 

Golddiggie

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Pull a taste sample once it's finished fermenting and use that to decide. If it doesn't taste how you want it to, give it at least a few more days and repeat.

I'm not using my own apples (no trees) but I pulled a taste sample from the latest batch the other day. Tastes great, so I'm going to start the process towards packaging either tonight or tomorrow. Since I ferment in conicals that means dumping the yeast and starting the carbonation process. Expect to package before EOD Monday (probably before EOD Sunday).

I'm not familiar with the yeast you used, but at 80F it might have produced some flavors you want to give time to mellow out. If you're at a higher ABV, it will need time to get better. My current batch is at 6.5% ABV.
 
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I generally will leave it alone for two weeks. But if I'm not in a hurry, I might leave it for 3,4,5 weeks before either packaging it, or racking it to a secondary for long-term storage, or mixing it with a different batch. It really depends on how busy I am with other stuff. Moral: Too short is bad, but is there such a thing as too long?
 

2hennepin6

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That yeast will ferment to bone dry. I did two side by side 5 gallon batches a number of years ago. One with a liquid ale yeast and one with that champagne yeast. I can't remember how long I left it in the primary (maybe 3-4 weeks). Both versions were good. The ale yeast version retained some residual sweetness and fuller body which I preferred.
 

2hennepin6

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Also I remember some gushing bottles but only with the champagne yeast. Let it ferment longer either in primary or secondary than you might think. Maybe a tad less priming sugar too. It is gonna eat it all !
 

Yooper

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I always move mine to secondary when it's about 1.010 or under (usually about day 5-7), to prevent oxidation. It's topped up fairly well (but not so much that the ongoing fermentation will make a mess), airlocked and left to sit for about 60 days.
 

madscientist451

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Rack to the smaller carboy. I usually age my cider all winter and don't even think about drinking it 'till the following spring or longer. But go ahead and taste it and if the taste is OK for you go ahead and drink it.
 
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