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When is it okay to bottle cider?

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scottfro

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So I've read/heard some things that cider needs to age for a year before its really good to drink. Is it okay to do this aging in the bottle if the hydrometer reading is not changing? Is taking a reading and then another 3 days latter long enough to make sure its done, and I should mention the OG was brought up by adding honey (doesn't honey ferment slower?)? Its been racked a few times now and ferementation began on Nov. 25th 2007.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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You can definetly age it in the bottle.

The only precaution is that it ferments slower then malt, and you should leave it in the fermentor for at least a month to make sure you don't get bottle bombs.

nick
 

hoffmeister

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I have to agree with these guys. If you've racked a couple of times and you started the cider over two months ago, I'd say you're good to bottle. I've never added honey, but from the ciders I've done a good time line (I think) is 2 weeks in the primary, 1 month in the secondary, and at least 3 months in the bottle. Depending on what juice/cider you started with, and whether or not you added anything to the cider, it may take more or less time to mellow. Since you added honey, you might want to give it some more time in the bottle, but I would say you're good to bottle.
 
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scottfro

scottfro

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just took a hydro reading today. sitting at 0.994. going to check it on the weekend before i begin to bottle but i think i'm good. thanks for the thoughts.
 

Evan!

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It's not going to take a year till it's ready. I made mine a few months ago and it's been in bottle for maybe 6 weeks---tastes awesome. The key, I think, is cold conditioning it. I cold conditioned mine for awhile in the lagerator, and it cleared it up like nothing I've seen. Between that and the pectic enzyme, it took a muddy opaque cider to crystal-clear.
 

Revvy

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Evan! said:
It's not going to take a year till it's ready. I made mine a few months ago and it's been in bottle for maybe 6 weeks---tastes awesome. The key, I think, is cold conditioning it. I cold conditioned mine for awhile in the lagerator, and it cleared it up like nothing I've seen. Between that and the pectic enzyme, it took a muddy opaque cider to crystal-clear.
:off: Hey Evan...What's Pectic Enzyme do? I really don't know nuthin 'bout no steenking wine stuff...Yet.

I made 5 gallons of Ed's Apfelwein. It's been in the carboy for about 10 days. I was just planning on leaving it alone for another 3-5 weeks then bottle as is...or maybe prime half the batch for carbonation.

Is P.E. something I should add or should have added?
 
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scottfro

scottfro

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Evan! said:
It's not going to take a year till it's ready. I made mine a few months ago and it's been in bottle for maybe 6 weeks---tastes awesome. The key, I think, is cold conditioning it. I cold conditioned mine for awhile in the lagerator, and it cleared it up like nothing I've seen. Between that and the pectic enzyme, it took a muddy opaque cider to crystal-clear.

hmm thats interesting to think about. i could lagerator it. does clearing it do much for the taste or is it mostly a visual thing? what temp did you chill at and how long?
 

zoebisch01

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I agree with Evan, and tbh I really don't think cider just continues to get better in the bottle like wine does. I have some left from over a year ago and I dunno, I can't really say that it is *that* much better than this years that I have tasted.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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Pectic Enzyme is used to help clear the Cider.
Patience can also achieve the same thing, so don't worry if you didn't add it.

Ciders do certaintly take longer them beer to mellow, but not as long as wine. I find it generally takes about a year to work out all the odd flavors, but not much is gained after that. The longest I had one in a bottle was 7 years. It was great, but not much different then it was 6 years ago.

nick
 
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