Racking off is the process of moving the cider from one vat into another, in order to leave behind the sediment and yeast, so the cider can mature to a full flavour.
It has been little over a month since we finished pressing this harvests apples and after a *brief tasting session, along with a more scientific reading, we decided that things were going well and we could begin racking off the cider.
Last year, racking off the cider was a pretty difficult task and seeing as we had ten times the amount of cider to do, the job seemed pretty daunting. Until Ben pulled an ace from his sleeve and revealed our new pump! This thing can pump 40 litres per minute meaning that it would take us a couple of hours to transfer the cider.
Before any cider can be racked off, all the equipment has to be sterilized and cleaned. Fortunately for Twisted Cider, Jackson (who is adverse to any sort of cleaning) couldn’t make it down for the process, so Ben set to task, cleaning, sterilizing and hosing down everything, in peace.
After the sterilisation was completed and the barrels were set in place, we were ready to test out our new pump. Carefully lowering the pump three quarters of the way into the vat, making sure not to disturb the sediment, we started up our new toy and started to extract the best part of the cider.
By 14.30 all our barrels were filled with roughly 2800litres of cider. After another clean down session the racking off was done and now the cider will mature until the New Year when we will have another brief tasting session and start phase two in racking off the cider.
*This ‘tasting session’ may not have been particularly brief!
**Again, it is doubtful that this tasting session will be particularly brief!