Racking Cider

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StarsNBars8

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I started a batch of cider a couple of weeks ago.
After pitching the yeast it went off like crazy for a number of days, then stopped. It's not doing anything now. From what I've read, I'm probably going to let it sit (for a long time), and eventually in colder temperatures to help clarify it.

I'm under the impression that I should not disturb it, but I've seen posts about racking cider also. Any suggestions? At what point, and how far in do I decide to rack it?
 

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I rack whenever I have lees 1/4 inch thick, or every 45-60 days or so if the lees are less. Leaving the cider sit on dead yeast for a long period can cause some bad flavors.
 
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StarsNBars8

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Thanks... that's what I was afraid of.
So, just rack it and let it sit again? At any point is it good to place it in a cooler spot, or even a cold spot to help with clarification?
 

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Sure, you can do that. I usually wait about 4-6 months for it to clear and condition on its own. If it's still not clear, cold conditioning might help.
 
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Any suggestions on sweetening?
I racked it last night and it's a little dry... 5 gallons of juice/cider mix to start plus four lbs of dark brown sugar prior to pitching yeast. I assume most of the sugar is gone and turned into that even sweeter desired substance called alcohol...
If I cold condition it, will I kill the yeast, and allow to sweeten again with brown sugar or am I better off with Splenda?
 

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If you're not planning on carbonating it, you can wait until it's done and then stabilize with sorbate and campden. After a day or two after that, you can sweeten to taste.

If you're planning on bottle carbonating, lactose or splenda are just about your only choices.

Cold condition will help it clear, but will not kill the yeast.
 
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StarsNBars8

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I'm going to keg it, and then carbonate it with forced CO2, like I do my beer (I assume that's okay).

How does cider work on Nitro? Ever try it?

Anyways, if I keg it and charge it with gas, what's my best bet in sweetening it?
 

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When it's done, I'd use campden tablets (one per gallon) and sorbate (I THINK 2/3 tsp for the whole batch- but check that to be sure) and dissolve them in a little (1/4 cup) boiling water. Don't put this near your face!!!! Then, put it into a carboy and rack the cider into it. Wait a couple of days to ensure fermentation will not restart, and then sweeten to taste with honey or sugar, or whatever you'd like, even apple cider. Now, you can do that a couple of ways. I like to pull out a sample and get it just right. Then take the SG of the sample, and sweeten the whole batch to that SG. BUT- make it just a little less sweet. Say you like it at 1.020; then make it at 1.016 or so. It seems to get sweeter tasting about 2-3 weeks after sweetening. I have no idea why, but I learned that the hard way. Then, keg as desired.
 
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StarsNBars8

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Perfect! Thanks again. I appreciate the insight.
I've probably brewed 25 batches of beer (and one cider 5 years ago) but I haven't done anything recently. It's amazing how much of the small stuff you forget when you go so long in between...
 
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StarsNBars8

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The guy at the local brew store (picked up what I need for a stout) said to crash cool it... is that going to help? and for how long?
 
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