There is two excellent tutorials here. Pops which is a brine and BearCarvers which is a rub.
Here is what I understand, max heat allowable is approx. 140 degrees. The warmer the bacon the better the smoke holds on, but you don't want to "Cook" it or render the fat. So from what I have seen some do cold smoke with a smoke generator the entire smoke. Some of the more seasoned veterans do extended smokes gradually increasing the temp from 100 to approx. 130 carefully watching to not render the bacon. An carefully and observant smoker can do this in approx. 6 to 8 hours of actually smoke
Some small amounts of weight loss are generally given to loss of water from curing. Less than 5% seems acceptable.
Cold smoking can but doesn't require a cooling medium like ice. More normally its achieved by just using a smoke generator with no additional heat from the smoker.
If you still have questions and don't we all, I would suggest you read either:
Bearcarvers Tutorial (Dry Rub)
Craigs Tutorial (Pops Brine)
These guys are ahead of the curve on makin bacon.
Hope it helps.
Remember to take notes, brine, time, poundage, smoke, etc.... you are going to want to know exactly because you are going to want to tweak your formula with the next bacon. Best to always keep notes on all smokes.
Making bacon is really no different than any other culinary methods, clean and sanitary. I buy Clorox by the case and use it freely, its only really salt but in high concentration. All our lives we are taught we can't keep meat long without it making us sick, now we have traveled that road to one excessive end and are starting to realize the meats today can last must longer than previously thought. Although we are still safe, we believe we can manage your "due dates" better.
You will never be the same after your first finished slab of bacon. You want to take it to the neighbors and show them what you can now do.....We all go thru it.
Just remember to enjoy the smoke.
Edited by Foamheart - 1/11/14 at 9:34pm