Ok, so long story short, I have been talking about home brewing for quite a while now, and finally got a starter kit for my birthday (from the girlfriend! ). My first kit was the brewers best holiday ale. The brew date was Oct. 31, so as of today it has been fermenting for 7 days.
I switched the blow off tube to an airlock after the first 4 days, and the airlock is still moving, but rather slowly. Maybe one little bubble per minute or so. I got curious (I know, I know... JUST LEAVE IT!.... but I had to look) because the smell that was being produced from the fermentation did not smell pleasant at all. I figured if I was going to open the lid momentarily to make sure there wasnt anything funky going on, I might as well take a quick draw of beer to test the SG. The OG was 1.074, .002 above the recommended, but I was very happy to even get that close. The SG that I got today was 1.013, which is .002 below the listed FG in the instructions. Will this reading continue to get lower and lower if there is still movement in the airlock? Anyways, I figured I had to give it a quick taste, and sure enough... it wasn't half bad! (Knock on wood!) I plan to let it sit in the primary for another 2-3 weeks, then move to bottling.
That leads me to my questions.
First: I did not strain my wort when I transferred it into the primary bucket. I used an auto syphon to transfer it, and it got clogged several times... Stupid looking back on it, but I definitely learned from the experience! There still seems to be quite a bit of hoppy junk and what not floating around from the boil... Is there any way to filter this out as I transfer to the bottling bucket, or should I just let gravity do its job and siphon the "clear" stuff out after a few weeks?
Second, I took a picture of the top just to make sure it didn't look like an infection was starting/taking place. I don't think there is, but here is a picture for your viewing pleasure.
Any help is much appreciated, and thanks to everyone on this site who has posted in the hundreds of threads that I have already scoured through!