Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

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Old 11-05-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
HBT0701
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 8
Default First Time Cider

Hello,

I am starting my first cider this weekend. I am making 4.5 gallons of fresh apple juice blend from:
Honeycrisp (40%)
Jonathan (20%)
Ribston Pippin (20%)
Newtown (20%)

I plan to add the raw juice directly into a sanitized 5gal fermenter with 5lbs honey, then pitch it with .5 gal starter made from store bought apple juice + dry champagne yeast.

However, I have a few questions that I would really appreciate some help with:
1. Does juice or juicer need to be sanitized? Since I am using raw juice and I don't plan to heat it, will there be a sanitation issue? Should I spray the apples in sanitizer before running them through the juice extractor?
2. How long should I let the juice ferment? I've read 2-4 weeks online, but I have a book I bought at my local store that says 9-12 months. I can't figure out why such a huge discrepancy. Also, if its long-term, should I do a secondary?
3. Anyone have a preference between backsweetening or adding lactose before fermenting?
3. Bottle or keg?

Thanks

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