Hi All! Well I did my first cook yesterday and I must say I think it went pretty well! Made a mess with the wort and cut myself on the LME can (bled everywhere), but besides that not bad! First off, I gotta say brewing in my garage with a turkey fryer setup was the best choice I made. Had tons of room, didn't stink-up the house, didn't have to worry about making a mess.
I used a cheap wireless meat thermometer and clipped the wire on the lip with a binder clip to make sure the probe was angled right into the center of the wort and not touching the sides. The digital read-out was much easier for me to monitor the temp as I steeped my grains. I think I got it JUST right for the entire steep.
I was really careful about sanitization. Everything soaked in the FV w/ StarSan while I boiled and then I drained it and supplemented with a spray bottle of StarSan solution for whatever touched the wort after the boil. I used a stainer when pouring the wort into the FV (bucket) and that made a mess b/c I had to keep dumping the strained stuff like 5 or 6 times causing me to spill some wort.
Now, to the important questions, I topped-off with tap water *cringe* to 5ga. and didn't notice that the water I was pouring in was pretty hot. By this point I was in a hurry to finish up so I took an OG reading and pitched my yeast. It said it was 1.030 if I read it right which it's entirely possible I didn't, and the box said it should be 1.050 or so. I tested my hydrometer with plain municipal water and it was 1.008. Should I be concerned about this?
I checked it this morning and it's bubbling away nicely, so I didn't kill the yeast. The room it 65F and the beer is 72F. Is that too high? Should I move it to a cooler place?