I am new to the forum and I have been reading as much as I could find here, but like all newbies I guess I need some reassurance....so....
I am trying to recreate (as close as possible of course) my (current) favourite stout, Coopers Best Extra. I bought the Coopers home brewing kit along with a can of the Stout extract. After advice from my lhbs guy, I ditched the Coopers Brew Enchancer 1 for 3lbs of Muntons Plain Amber DME. Along with the DME he also recommended Papazian's JOHB book, which I have read (well most of it - more the beginners sections).
I boiled the Stout extract with 1 gallon of water for 20mins (picked too small of a pot to include the DME, duh!). I then added the hot water/extract mixture to the plastic fermenter and poured in the DME. I had to stir pretty briskly for 10min to get all the DME to dissolve. I then poured in more spring water for a total of 5 gallons of water used (to the 20.5L mark on the fermenter). I let the mixture cool and then pitched the (Coopers supplied)yeast. After an hour, noticeable gas in the air-lock, bubbling well after 7hrs. The kraeusen did blow the water out of the air-lock and I attached a hose to let the foam have a controlled way to expel. At 25hrs, I could not resist quickly opening the fermenter and removing most of the remaining foam with a santizied spoon (not touching the liquid or inside of the fermenter).
My question (of course) is about knowing when fermentation is complete.
The OG was 1.066
FG after 32hrs - 1.024
FG after 100hrs - 1.023
FG after 124hrs - 1.021 still very very slightly bubbling?
How low should I expect the FG to go?
Has fermentation become "stuck" (sure did drop off quickly)?
How long can I leave the beer in the fermenter?;
JOHB states no more than 10days (beacuse the yeast begins to breakdown and cause off flavours). But some comments here seem to say leave it alone for a few weeks (I don't have a secondary fermenter to rack into).
Do you think that I had aerated the wort enough?
I hope this was not too longer or have too (basic) many questions
Cheers - Peter