I'm a first time poster, and new to the world of home brewing. I ran into an article last week, and ended up spending the whole afternoon browsing other forums, articles and blogs, and found myself in a local brew shop that evening to pick up supplies!
So I started my first batch last Friday. I used two bottles of Simply Apple juice (which was the only cidery juice I could find without preservatives without spending $20 a gallon, it's pasteurized with no added sugar or preservatives) into a one gallon glass jug. I also added a 12 oz can of preservative free apple juice concentrate to boost the sugars (attempting a couple points more ABV). I then used champagne yeast (recommended to me as the best starter yeast). It was a packet for five gallons, so I just sorta eyeballed somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of it. I've heard everything from letting the yeast soak in water first, to just dropping it into the juice, to dropping it in and then shaking it up. I went with the later, sprinkled it into the bottle and gave it a little shake. Then added the stopper and airlock.
To sanitize, instead of boiling I used a product called One Step, which the fellow at the brew shop said was far more dependable then boiling. (http://tinyurl.com/89sh72b
Room temperature has been in the 65-68 degree range.
Steady bubbling started later in the second day and kept up until the sixth day, where it had slowed to a bubble every few minutes. I drew a bit out with a baster at that point. It was very dry and somewhere between tart and sour. It had a taste and smell similar to pineapple that's just on the brink of spoiling. I'm not sure if this is normal or not!
Today, I poured half off into a growler with a half a tablespoon of agave nectar to start up secondary fermentation (though I've read that some people don't recommend adding any sugar for secondary?). Wrapped in a half dozen plastic bags and put in an empty cabinet in case of potential explosion. The rest I'm cold shocking to bottle and bring to a party tomorrow.
So is the somewhat tart/sour/fizzy taste/scent normal? I've heard to let the secondary fermentation go for 1-2 weeks, does that sound about right?
A thousand possibilities and a million questions! I look forward to any advice that might come my way.
Thanks in advance!