First off just want to thank all of you on these forums for giving me a wealth of knowledge, and being able to find a thread or two to answer almost every question I've had leading up to my first brew.
I've got an American Amber Ale from NB underway and despite a few beginner errors, I've got my fingers crossed that it'll turn out nicely. Washed all equipment with One-Step and sanitized with Star San so I'm hopeful that it'll be a clean batch, if nothing else. However, I do have a couple of questions.
First off, one of my errors was steeping the specialty grains in a full boil (as 1lb in all 5 gallons versus the 1lb to 1gal ratio). That being said, my initial tasting of the amount I used to measure the OG was very much to my liking. From what I can tell, the jury is sort of out on how this will affect the final outcome, so I guess I'm just looking for some feedback on this from those who've done this in the past. Does it dramatically affect the finished product?
Second, due to the length of time it took to prepare this first batch for the primary, and the amount of beer I consumed during this preparation, I completely forgot to measure the OG. I did, however take a reading about 20 hours later. The kit listed OG at 1.047 and my eventual reading showed just a hair over 1.040. Is it safe to assume that I was probably close to the kit's OG, and things are progressing as they should? Or is that amount of variation even something to worry about (and if so, any clues on what to expect at the end)?
As I was saying though, when I sampled that amount I did eventually draw to get a gravity reading, it was very much something I could imagine to be a tasty "final product". I guess I'm just wondering if I'm over-thinking things or if I should just relax and not sweat too much about possibly having a sub-par beer (as it's vigorously fermenting right now...so the yeasties seem pretty happy).
Again, thanks to everyone on this forum for all the info I gleaned to ease me into home brewing!!