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How long to age in a secondary

I know there are all sorts of thoughts and theories on this. I’m just wondering what would be the reasoning behind letting a cider age in a secondary beyond the point where it is done fermenting? I’ll be transferring my cider to a carboy tomorrow just to make sure it is done fermenting (plus I need that primary bucket to bottle, so I have to move things around or I’m dead in the water). So is there any difference between aging in the carboy versus aging in the bottles in the cellar?

No problems. I have aged my ciders for up to a year in carboys with no ill affects.

Unfortunately I cannot keep a carboy out of circulation that long. I’m just wondering if there’s any advantage to doing that over letting it age in a bottle. Somewhere there must be some SCIENCE! on this! :mrgreen:

The benefit to aging in bulk over bottle-aging is consistency. If you age in bottles, there may be a little bit of variation between how the different bottles develop over time (if some of the bottles are in a warmer area than others, if some are nearer vibration or sunlight, if some got some more sediment in them than others). Nothing magic happens in bulk once fermentation is complete, it’s just a way to make sure that all of your bottles turn out consistent.

Hmmmm… I hadn’t thought of that, but that makes sense. I was thinking that whether or not the cider was aged on the trub would have an effect (maybe it does?).

I couldn’t say for sure. All I know is that the ciders and meads I have allowed to bulk age in carboys (for months and in some cases, years) have turned out far better than ones transferred to bottles at an earlier stage. More refined, and (as the previous poster pointed out) more consistent. Also, they didn’t pick up unexpected or unwanted carbonation effects.

I personally think that it’s worth purchasing a spare carboy just for the purpose of aging.

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