Originally Posted by mminniefield
*Worried about stopping fermentation when bottling (new to me as I'm a brewer)! I want to avoid chemicals where possible so can I ship the campden and pasteurize the bottles?
*Worried about getting started... Must I add campden tabs or can i just use my big a$$ brew kettles to pasteurize the cider then chill as I would my wort before pitching?
*Worried about fermentation times... I hear so much debate on aging vs. quick turn around. I always thought ciders were quick!
*Worried about spoilage... How long do I have to start the fermentation on my fresh cider. Will it spoil if I just leave fresh cider sitting in 5 gallon water jugs for a few days? Should I leave it uncovered? Should I use cheese cloth to cover it? I really can't afford to ruin 40 gallons of someone else's cider!
As I write this Papazian's words of wisdom are ringing through my head... Relax don't worry, have a homebrew!
Is there a definitive guide to cider making somewhere? I have scoured the interweb all night to no avail. Any guidance is helpful and appreciated!
1 - Campden won't stop fermentation anyway, so yes, pasteurize. Read the pasteurization sticky if you haven't already.
2 - Both work, but adding tabs is gonna be a much less work and gives you the added benefit of protecting the cider from oxidation.
3 - Don't worry about fermentation times, some are quick and some long. Both are fine.
4 - Start fermentation asap, until then leave it covered. Juice won't spoil, but it will start fermenting without you due to wild yeast which may lead to off flavors.
For a pretty good online guide check out http://makinghardcider.com/index.html