I started my first homebrew yesterday, bought the basic kit from a local homebrew shop and followed the directions on the pre-made wort to a T. It's a Red made by a company called The BrewHouse, AKA RJSpagnols. The plan is to start off with the simplest I could in order to get my basic skills down, and work my way up to boiling my own barley, making my own wort, etc.
The directions for getting things started are pretty simple, add some kind of pH adjuster to 8L of water, dump in the pre-prepared wort, take an SG reading, and then sprinkle yeast.
The question I have is in regards to the initial SG; from what I've come across the starting SG for beer is supposed to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1.030 - 1.040. My hydrometer read 1.060. Am I screwed? Anything I should watch for? I noticed a fairly thick head immediately after stirring the wort to mix it with the 8L of starter water, but it seems to have subsided somewhat, and now is less than an inch thick. There's a definate "beer making" smell there (I used to live a block from a brewery, when the wind was right, my neighbourhood smelled like the primary fermenter does). There is also a small amount of observable activity, a couple of bubbles popping, etc. so I know that the yeast is busy eating sugar and peeing alcohol.
Perhaps I just need someone to tell me that I'm on the right track here - the directions that came with the kit vs. the pamphlet I got from the store don't quite jive in some spots (the pamphlet from the store seems to be aimed more at someone doing up their own wort).
Any hints or suggestions would be very welcome!
Jordan R. Urie