What is Racking Off?
Racking off is simply the process of separating your brew from the yeast and sediment before bottling or barreling.
There are several ways to rack off your beer or wine. I believe the simplest and most effective is to stand the brew for an extra day or two after fermentation, to ensure the majority of the solids are settled out and sitting at the bottom of your brewing vessel. When the wine or beer looks clear, syphon off the first 80-90% of your brew into a second, sterilised, bucket, taking care not to disturb the sediment. (A syphon clamp is very helpful with this.) The bucket we rack off into has two little bottlers attached at the bottom. The little bottlers help with bottling once racking off is complete. When you have syphoned off up to 90% of your wine or beer, stop. The last 10-15% syphon through either a Vinbrite filter or funnel and filter paper. This enables you to separate the whole of the brew from the sediment without wasting a drop. At this point, you can either wait another few days to allow any remaining solids to settle out or use finings to ensure there are no more solids suspended in the brew.
Finally using a syphon or little bottler(s), you can bottle your brew safe in the knowledge that it will be sediment free.