Should I secondary apple cider?

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rhys333

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I've had 3 gallons of cider fermenting with champagne yeast for 2 weeks now and I'm ready to move it out of primary. I used 1/3 unfiltered soft cider (the good stuff) and 2/3 regular filtered apple juice with brown sugar to raise OG from 1.050 to 1.057. I hear conflicting advice on whether I should bottle now, or move to secondary and let it sit anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. Is it a gokd idea to secondary, or should I just prime and get it bottled right away? Thanks all...
 

hoppyroo

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Is the gravity constant? If so, go ahead and bottle it. If you want to age it, just do so in the bottle.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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I'll be checking gravity over the weekend, but airlock activity finished about 5 days ago so I'm guessing its good to go.
 

MindenMan

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First question, what is the current S.G.? Being in a hurry to bottle usually doesn't end well. I usually make more apple jack than regular drinking cider. If my wife is wanting sparkling hard cider, somewhere in the two to four week range, I will cold crash it, rack it into a bottling bucket, and add the "right" amount of priming sugar.

For example, you have a cider you would like to bottle at the present sugar level, but about the priming sugar? Sweeten your hard cider to where you want it to be when fermentation ends, then calculate how much FAJC you need to properly carbonate your lovely nectar. Here is the easy way, have two 20 oz plastic soda bottles, one with the factory cap untouched/unopened, and the other full of cider. You will now have a reference of your bottle pressure desired. I use minimal sugar to prime both ales and ciders (0.75 oz per gallon). The trick with the cider is to not to make bottle bombs due to the priming sugar and residual sugar left over. Somewhere between 7 and 21 days, you should be at your desired level of carbonation. Put the bottles in a big pot of water and slowly raise the temperature to 180* F. This will kill the yeast, and pasteurize the ciders. The amount of time will vary based on how quickly the bottles warm up.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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First question, what is the current S.G.? Being in a hurry to bottle usually doesn't end well. I usually make more apple jack than regular drinking cider. If my wife is wanting sparkling hard cider, somewhere in the two to four week range, I will cold crash it, rack it into a bottling bucket, and add the "right" amount of priming sugar.

For example, you have a cider you would like to bottle at the present sugar level, but about the priming sugar? Sweeten your hard cider to where you want it to be when fermentation ends, then calculate how much FAJC you need to properly carbonate your lovely nectar. Here is the easy way, have two 20 oz plastic soda bottles, one with the factory cap untouched/unopened, and the other full of cider. You will now have a reference of your bottle pressure desired. I use minimal sugar to prime both ales and ciders (0.75 oz per gallon). The trick with the cider is to not to make bottle bombs due to the priming sugar and residual sugar left over. Somewhere between 7 and 21 days, you should be at your desired level of carbonation. Put the bottles in a big pot of water and slowly raise the temperature to 180* F. This will kill the yeast, and pasteurize the ciders. The amount of time will vary based on how quickly the bottles warm up.
Thanks for the description. To answer your question, i haven't tested current gravity yet, but my OG was 1.057, and because this is just a "testing the waters" batch, I'm fermenting it out dry and then bottle carbonating. I think its probably dry already. Also, i'm a tad scared of pasturizing semi-dry cider in the bottles i have (glass swing-tops) so I'll consider doing this on future batches.

Its well below freezing here right now, so do you think I can leave the fermentor outside for a few hours to cold crash it?
 

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