Hello - I am new to brewing and thought I would start with a simple cider before progressing to beer. Per the advice of a local home brew outlet owner, I began as follows:
1 gallon pasteurized Whole Foods Organic apple juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 gram EC-1118 champagne yeast in a glass gallon jug. Cap inserted with vodka in the airlock. After 3 days I began to see fermentation. All activity stopped after 2.5 weeks. So, I moved to another 1-gallon jug and added more brown sugar and 1/4 cup honey along with another gram of yeast. I was out of vodka, so (again per the advice of the store owner) I put a drop of sanitizer and water in the airlock. **while installing the cap/airlock, I pushed too hard and noticed some of the water/sanitizer leak back into my cider....is it ruined??!! Basically, since the transfer, I have seen no new fermentation and it has been almost 4 days. Am I screwed? I wanted to do another 2 week secondary then add some spices and let it sit a little longer in a third. I measured with the hydrometer when I did the transfer and saw only about 2% alcohol content. The whole home-brewing process sounded like fun at first, but with thousands of opinions and websites, it is all a little overwhelming. I just want to know if my batch is ruined. Also, I have heard about boiling before, boiling after, creating a starter on the stove, etc. What does all of that mean? Will it work if I did it how I described? Confused. Sorry for the newb ignorance lol. Help please!!