Well, I can't say whether it's normal or not, but I'm in the process of making my first cider...
5 gallons unpasteurized cider
4 zested oranges (and one lightly squeezed)
1 lb wildflower honey
1 lb dark brown sugar
4 sticks of cinnamon
1 package red star champagne yeast
I made a warm starter as well - 2 oz's water for about 20 minutes before pitching.
I started it just yesterday and have no fermenting yet, but I was planning on giving it a few days before I tried a new package of yeast...
I'll keep an eye on this thread - let me know if it continues or freezes up again.
Sounds good, btw!!!