Hey I got a great video here on bottling beer:
Safety tip. (Not for you, for the beer/cider). As RavingMad said, I also had no issues with exploding (glass) bottles when making beer but had heard some stories. So I used to slip a piece of PVC pipe around each bottle while they were stored in crates to prevent any collateral damage (specifically to the precious beer) ....mmmmm beeeeeeer. I'd kill every person in this room for a single drop of sweet sweet beer.... sorry did I say that or write it?
I was told when I started making beer that there were basically two approaches used for bottle conditioning: a) Add a measured amount of priming sugar to the whole batch, then bottle b) Add a smaller amount of priming sugar to each bottle, then fill & cap. The guy at the homebrew store strongly recommended a) to help eliminate explodification due to inconsistent priming. Of course, the amount of sugar added and the temperature of the beer while conditioning were also big considerations. I never had a single bottle explode, but I imagine that a sudden heat wave could have changed all that rather quickly. In any case, the PVC sleeve thing is a great idea. I'm totally going to use that if I ever start making beer again.
it depends. plastic PET bottles (like the ones used for soda) can accept some pressurization without exploding, but there is a limit. If you over-prime your cider there is a risk that the bottle will breach. If you're going for a light-fizz then you should be fine. as a caution: glass bottles cannot accept as much pressure, so don't use them.
I used to bottle-condition beer all the time with no issues ever. Does cider generate that much more pressure than beer?
does cider produce more co2 than beer, again it depends. my comment wasn't intended to say not to use glass ever. in fact, there's loads of beers and ciders that use glass. The difference is that with homebrew you don't have the benefit of slick industrialized process, thereby increasing the risk of bottle exploding if done incorrectly. what I should have said is: if you're unsure then use plastic.
If they were originally sodabottles, no.