To Rack into Secondary or No?

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DrinkaBilly

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I have 5 gal glass carboy bubbling with Murray's Pasteurized Virgina Apple Cider pitched with White Labs 775 "English Cider Yeast." It has been going strong for 8 days. I have since added some raisins and am about to throw in a cup of strong black tea.

I am not sure what my plan is for it. Maybe back sweeten into bottles without pasteurization. Although I am not sure if this yeast will perk back up after the cider has dried.

It also has a high acidity, according to the wine kit titration set I used. .5%. Which is odd because the cider before fermentation was at .4% acidity. I find it hard to believe it could be undergoing acetifiction because it is bubbling so strongly and tastes great.

My question then is, once it has reached 1.000 gravity, should I rack it into a secondary? And if so why? What would be the benefits as opposed to bottling right then and there?
 

Calder

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Why the tea? Sounds like you are just trying to add everything you have heard is good. Leave that for another batch and see what the basic recipe results in.

Wait until it is done before doing anything. 1.000 may not be the end. Once done, either rack to secondary or leave alone for a while. Some people (myself included) like to rack to secondary to get it off the dead yeast cells, but leaving it on the trub/lees for a month or so doesn't seem to make much difference.

Yeast will always 'perk' back up. There are billions of yeast cells in there, and it will take years for all of them to drop. They just go to sleep and feeding them sugar wakes them back up again. Unless you take steps to kill them, they will still be there.
 
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DrinkaBilly

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I've done the basic recipe several times with various ok to great results. I think the tea will give it a more tannin body which I like. I am just wondering about the secondary. And you say it might go below 1.000? How do I know when it's done? In the past I have left the cider too long and it took on a plastic/rubber taste which took over a year of aging to get rid of. I have been told it was because I let it sit on it's lees too long.

So how do I tell when it's done?
 
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