I'm new to cider brewing and yesterday did these two batches:
5Gal Motts all natural AJ
4 pounds white sugar
5Gal White House Natural Cider
4 pounds light brown sugar
Notingham Ale Yeast
It's been about 12 hours since pitching yeast and so far only the Mott's cider as bubbled at all, about 1-2 times a minute. I opened them both up, sanitized a long handle spoon, and gave them both a really good stir to make sure everything was fairly mixed. The Mott's cider had a lot of yeast bouncing near the surface, but the WH cider didn't seem to have any.
The Yeast were packets, I left them at room temp for about 4 hours prior to pitching. I didn't do a starter or anything, just tossed them in after pouring in the juice and sugar in each batch. I didn't heat anything, just poured in a gallon of juice, dumped in sugar, poured more juice, mixed a bit, finished off the juice, and put the yeast in.
I'm somewhat concerned with the temperatures in my apartment as well. I don't have a thermometer on hand, but the weather says it's only 64F out today, so I assume it's between 60-70 in the apartment. I'm not using central heat or anything, and normally I don't even use a heater till later in the year.
I was considering getting some tubs for the brewbuckets to fill with water and throw a cheap fishtank heater in; is this an effective and cheap way of making sure I have the right temps for a brew of this type? I was under the impression that 60F-ish would be ok, but I guess not.