So today was my first ever brew day, a partial mash IPA kit from hopdawgs.ca.
I started out with my mash "teabag" for an hour at 155*-160*. Once that was complete, I turned up the temperature and slowly added my DME, mixing with my spatula as I went. I started to feel something grainy on the bottom of my pot. I thought "wow, this malt extract really sticks to the bottom". That's about the time my floating thermometer jumped up in temperature very quickly, and became positively buoyant. I tried to keep it upright, but it just floated horizontally again. I pulled it out to take a look, and the bottom was missing off of it. I realized the grainy feeling on the bottom of the pot was the weight material from the bottom of the thermometer.
So I naturally begin to panic.
First I grabbed my spare 5 gal paint strainer bag and put it over the top of my kettle. I didn't envision that going well.
I took a step back (with the burner off) to see what gadget I could whip together to fix it. I don't know what's in the thermometer, and I definitely didn't want to boil it into my wort.
It was probably an obvious choice, but I felt pretty smart when I was racking my wort into my fermenter. I cleaned out my kettle, and poured my wort back in. Crisis averted. Good thing I bought that back up thermometer at Canadian Tire (yeah, I know, we have a store called Canadian Tire in Canada).
After that, the rest of the brew day went pretty well, aside from the fact I obviously don't have a system yet. I kept jumping back and forth between different parts of my kitchen, trying to stay one step ahead, stopping at the Star San bin every chance I got.
I actually built a CFC to chill with as well, and I was surprised at how well it worked, with my tap barely flowing. I know, my first homebrew and I built a CFC for it, I just like to build things. That's why I think I'll be brewing for a long time. There are so many DIY's.
To be honest, with the information I gathered from this site, I was never too worried. After the initial panic, I fell right into RDWHACraftB.
Pre boil gravity: 1.059
Post boil gravity: 1.069
That's after adjustments; my hydrometer read 0.989 in room temp water
I'm leaving it in my primary bucket for 2 weeks at 66*, then racking into a secondary for 2-3 more weeks, then I'll be bottling.