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Need Help - racking after 1st ferment

Hi everyone…

I watched a YouTube video on racking and it looked like he out the auto siphon all the way down to the bottom of the carboy. I’d think that would suck up the lees, no?

I thought it would be easy to rack but now after watching the video I’m a little confused.

You want to stay away from the bottom, correct? Get as low as you can without drawing that lees out, right?

How long on 2nd ferment? 1 month, 2 or to taste?

What’s the “general” guideline?


Correct, leave the lees behind. As far as secondary, age until it hits the flavor profile you are shooting for. I age my cider a min of three months.

Thank very much. So just keep the siphon an inch or 2 above the lees and just drain down as far as I can before it sucks any of it up?

Will their still be a bit of yeast in the must to keep working or will it all he gone?

I want to back sweeten to carbonate after the second rack but concerned there will be no yeast left.

Or are they there…just sleeping ?

Are you bottling this? there is no real good way to back sweeten with bottling as the additional surgars will ferm out completely unless you add potassium sorbate. If you use potassium sorbate you can’t bottle. Its a catch 22.
There is a glycerin product that is supposed to add sweetness without fermenting but I have never used it. Therefore I have no idea of how much you would neef.
If you decide to bottle (thus not back sweeten) there will still be plenty of yeast in suspension to bottle. It is important to make sure the ferment is over before racking or it will stall. If you age it for over 6 months you may want to consider adding more yeast.
Bottom line get a kegging set up, use potassium sorbate, back sweeten and force carb. Thats what I do! :smiley:

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