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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
 

fatboy570

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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
 

Brakeman_Brewing

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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.
 

GrantLee63

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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
 

Melana

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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.
 

sirsloop

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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.
 

Schmitz

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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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