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jmart84

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When I brew beer, I like to rack to a secondary fermenter to improve clarity. Is there any reason I can't do that with a cider?
 

stella_tigre

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Do it! Racking to secondary is "optional" but personally with the few batches I've done so far works very well.
 

DaMonkey

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Racking is NOT optional. You are required to rack cider just like beer. The Lees (dead yeast) in part off flavors over time and you do not want your cider to sit on them during aging. Also the cider rapidly clears after racking.
 

CobraKai

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Just to follow up on the original question, when you top off after racking to a secondary, is it better to use water or more juice/cider? If its juice/cider, does it have to be the same as the original juice you used?
 

fuelish

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When I brew beer, I like to rack to a secondary fermenter to improve clarity. Is there any reason I can't do that with a cider?
No, there is no reason why you can't do that....

Racking is NOT optional. You are required to rack cider just like beer.
LOL... you are NOT "required" to rack beer to secondary, nor cider.....sure, it's an option, rack as many times as you want....but it IS optional, just sayin' ;)
 

DaMonkey

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No, there is no reason why you can't do that....

LOL... you are NOT "required" to rack beer to secondary, nor cider.....sure, it's an option, rack as many times as you want....but it IS optional, just sayin' ;)
"If the cider is particularly acid at this stage, the first racking may be delayed for a month or so to encourage the 'malo-lactic fermentation' which is described below. In general, however, it is regarded as bad practice to leave a fully fermented cider on its yeast lees for more than a few weeks."

"It is important that it should not sit for long on a heavy crop of yeast, because the dead yeast will 'autolyse' which tends to give unpleasant flavours. However, a small amount of autolysis from the second crop may be helpful, because this releases nutrients which stimulate maturation through the so-called 'malo-lactic' fermentation."

~Andrew Lea, http://www.cider.org.uk/frameset.htm

Maybe its not required but that doesn't make it a good idea. I think I will side with Andy and other authors on this one.
 

DaMonkey

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Just to follow up on the original question, when you top off after racking to a secondary, is it better to use water or more juice/cider? If its juice/cider, does it have to be the same as the original juice you used?
Its better to use cider and it doesn't much matter what kind. I usually ferment 3.5 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy then rack to a 3 gallon. Or 5 gallons + 1 gallon carboy and then rack to a single 5 gallon. That seems to work best.
 

SomersetRedstreak

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"If the cider is particularly acid at this stage, the first racking may be delayed for a month or so to encourage the 'malo-lactic fermentation' which is described below. In general, however, it is regarded as bad practice to leave a fully fermented cider on its yeast lees for more than a few weeks."

"It is important that it should not sit for long on a heavy crop of yeast, because the dead yeast will 'autolyse' which tends to give unpleasant flavours. However, a small amount of autolysis from the second crop may be helpful, because this releases nutrients which stimulate maturation through the so-called 'malo-lactic' fermentation."

~Andrew Lea, http://www.cider.org.uk/frameset.htm

Maybe its not required but that doesn't make it a good idea. I think I will side with Andy and other authors on this one.
I have a high regard for Andrew Lea and his scientific approach.
However, the best cider I've ever tasted was made by the late, great Frank Naish of West Pennard, Somerset, UK.
Frank made cider for over 80years, leaving the cider to age in the barrel on the lees. It was fantastic!
 
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