I'm a brewing newbie, and decided to make my first batch of cider a few weeks ago. Used 2 gallons of store-bought cider, after the fact I found out there was K-sorbate in it, so I knew I might be in for trouble. Added 1# brown sugar and yeast energizer before pitching, used a champagne yeast. OG was 1.070. My primary is a plastic bucket- lid doesn't fit a seal, so the chance of significant oxygen leakage is high. Fermenter room temp is a pretty constant 57-60 degrees F.
The cider has been in primary for 3 weeks, and I've checked on it every week. The bubbles have died down this past week, and it is leveling off at 1.043, which I understand is too high, even for cider. Every week it has tasted ok but smelled a little vinegary, today it definitely _tasted_ a little vinegary (with a little burn in the throat), so I'm not sure what to do.
My choices are:
1) Put this into secondary (one gallon glass jugs with functioning airlocks) and hope that time and lack of oxygen will improve the flavor and help fermentation along.
2) Just pitch the whole thing and write it off as a $5 lesson learned.
3) Somehow take it down a different course and capture some apple cider vinegar from it.
What should I do?