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You must judge progress based on a gravity reading. Since you haven't checked the gravity yet, you don't know for sure that fermentation has finished. If you're saying it's finished because the airlock has stopped bubbling, that isn't always a reliable indicator of fermentation. The airlock bubbling may be spaced minutes apart or not occurring at all, but ...


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You can definitely leave it until Friday. However, I would bottle/keg it this weekend. Since you didn't state, I'm assuming you used unpasteurized cider with no preservatives. This could allow wild yeast to survive in your cider, possibly leading to spoilage if not cared for.


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Its almost certainly ok to leave it until Friday, my main concern would be the chance for infection from wild yeast. I prefer aging in bottles to limit the chance of wild yeast infecting the batch. I'm a fan of "slap-packs" which ensure that whatever yeast you pitch has already had several hours to grow, and will overwhelm any wild yeast that my have ...


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You can leave it in the bucket for 4-5 weeks if you want to. After that, you should move it to something more impermeable to O2. FWIW, I do a month or 2 primary fermentation for cider and then maybe 2-6 more in secondary before bottling.



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