Thanks. Out of the gate I started a milk stout from a kit the LHBS put together and that is already in a kegerator (Kinda went nuts and bought the parts and threw one together knowing this is going to be a long hobby). That one I just tasted after letting it sit in the primary for 3 weeks and keg for 1.5.
This hefe (for lack of a better name and not really knowing if that is really what it is) had the following ingredients:
2.5 lbs Crystal 15 (I now know that is too much and what likely make it too sweet)
6.5 LBS Wheat LME
1oz Liberty Hops
1 Vial White labs Hefe IV Ale Yeast
I brought the water up to a boil and boiled the crystal for 20 min (I know this should now be done at 152 ish degrees when doing partials, but this is what the LHBS told me trying to dumb down an already easy process). I removed the grain bag (which did make a tasty mid brew snack... kinda like sweet oatmeal) and added .5oz of hops. I then added the LME (slowly and off heat) and brought back to a boil. Boiled for 15 min and threw in .5oz more hops and then boiled another 30 min. (which is why there is no hop aroma I guess because I only had "bittering" and "flavor" addition and not that much, but I guess thats ok for a hefe.
I cooled to 72 degrees in an ice bath and racked it to the carboy and brought up to 5 gallons. shook a little (not enough as I should have) and OG was 1.046. (A little lower than I thought it should be, but I didnt use any program...I just kinda guessed on how much extract.)
Pitched the vial of yeast (no starter which I now see is a plus with liquid yeast, but again the LHBS suggested getting the liquid as opposed to dry yeast packet and pitching directly...)
15 days in primary and started to clear... no change in gravity over 3 days and its was done at 1.016. If Im correct that should make it 3.87-3.94 ABV, right? with 64% attenuation?
The flavors are good. Surprisingly there isnt any real off flavors that I can tell. I fermented at 70 with a swamp cooler (im in nice hot and humid Texas).
Long story short Im all in. I bought two fridges on craigslist and just got the temp controller in from ebay so need to put that on one for a ferm chamber. the other fridge is already a 1 5gal keg kegerator. I already see I should have gone larger and multi tap! I also just finished building a mash tun and got a larger stainless kettle and 100k BTU burner. Next brew is going to be some kind of super hoppy IPA.