Originally Posted by Wonderjojo
Do I HAVE to rack to a secondary? Can this be my 5 gallon bucket with airlock?
Racking - leaving behind the lees? Just getting the juice?
If I wanted to make carbonated cider in the bottles can i use priming sugar - most people seem to say to add it to the bottles before bottling? How much? A teaspoon?
Racking to a secondary is good practice after 3-4 weeks of fermentation (it removes a majority of the lees from the cider and helps allow for clearing and prevents autolysing, which can produce off flavors). That all said I know an old guy who leaves his cider on the lees all year, but his cider tastes like crap and he wonders why.
Racking is just the liquid.
For priming I would do about 1oz per gallon of priming sugar (4-5oz per 5 gallon batch). Get your cider into a bottling bucket, add primming sugar and mix gently without aeration. let sit 15 minutes, then gently mix again and bottle and cap. Store bottles at about 65F-70F for a few weeks and test them once a week until you get teh carb you want, then you can pull back and refridgerate.
Don't worry about the yeast I am sure you will turn out just fine. I used that same yeast this year and after a natural malolactic fermentation it has produced a cider/wine that is in my top 2 for the season. i.e. that yeast does a good job when used correctly.
I would try to get your fermenter in a swamp cooler, get your temp to 65-68F to start 70-75F is borderline too high in my opinion. With the internal fermentation temps you might accidentally push into 75F+ and that is not a good heat range for the yeast, you will get funky things happening.