I'm making hard sparkling apple cider using the Champagne method (re-fermenting on the bottle for carbonation). This year I will try the full method of also removing the yeast lees from the bottle afterwards, which I have previously just left there.

Now I'm wondering why one would actually go through all the hassle of the classical "Remuage". instead of just placing the bottle upside down directly for some days after the fermentation has finished in the bottle, to let the lees sink to the cork. Why all the turning and angling, what is it good for?

The classical method briefly: In the classical method removing the lees (called Remuage) involves placing the bottles horizontally for the initial 2nd fermentation, then slowly over a period of some months lowering the bottle neck to eventually a 75 degrees position while turning the bottles 25 times. Then eventually popping off the bottle cap/cork to remove the lees which by then has settled on to of the cork.

What I wanna do instead (because it's much easier): After bottling the champagne bottles with a small amount of sugar for 2nd fermentation in the bottles (to build up carbonation), I will just rest the bottles horizontally for a couple of months. Then, maybe a week before popping the caps to remove the lees, I would place them vertically (upside down) to let the lees fall to the caps. To me that seems to be at least as effective as the classical method for removing the lees - but then - why do all the champagne producers do it the other way? What is it that I'm not seeing?

Hope someone can cast some insightful light on the matter.

  • What type of bottles are you doing this with?
    – rob
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 21:51
  • Champagne bottles 75cl Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 8:01


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