Thoughts on what I learned first time around. I am completely new, and this was my first brew of anything...
(Apfelvein. 1 Gallon. IG-1.070.)
1) Indeed...fill it all the way to the top...dont worry about foam, explosions, or huge kressen. ( I wasted a good 4 inches)
2) Put your bung in dry...err.. I thought for sure to get a snug fit to wet the bung, but after reading...and testing...dry is the way to go.
3) No freaking airlock for the first 24-48 hours....yeasties need air to get down to making babies. Cover with sanitized tinfoil.
4) The glass 1 gallon jugs for cider work great...and your local store may give them to you for free...I have 5 now for my first mead experiments.
5) "room temperature" varies greatly from place-to-place...culture -to-culture. I bought a 5 dollar digital thermometer...it took tons of stress away. (A Californian telling me..(the Canadian) "dont worry just room temperature...just does not work all the time.
That's it..hope this helps other people, or at least you can laugh at my quirky mistakes!