Last year I bought 2 gallons of organic unfiltered apple cider with the intention of brewing hard cider that ended up fermenting and exploding in my fridge in the original sealed containers before I got around to dealing with them (but the resulting mess was delicious and had quite a kick!)
This year I vowed that wouldn't happen, but also didn't get my act together in time. When I saw that this year's gallon of cider that had been sealed in my fridge for ~5 weeks in anticipation of doing things right was bubbling, I simply took it out and put a washed pricked balloon over the mouth after removing the cap. Since it was from the same orchard as last year's batch, I figure the wild yeast in it might not be so bad.
For about 10 days, there were nice smells and sounds of bubbling, but now the sound has ceased although the balloon is still under pressure.
My questions are as follows:
-Although this is not a technically-informed approach, is there any likelihood of drinkable success at this point?
-Is this stuff in the bottom of the jug the lees, or something less desirable (see pic)? If so, when/how should I rack it?
-Does the lack of audible bubbling mean the fermentation has run its course? Does adding sugar and/or cultured yeast at this point make sense?
-Is the alcohol going to leach the plastic out of the gallon jug and taste awful/kill me?
-What would you do at this point?