Hey guys. I just bought my first beer kit and started my first brew on Saturday after much anticipation. I'm stoked about this potential new hobby/pastime, and I'm trying to be very patient. From what I read, patience is definitely going to be crucial with this process.
Here are my questions:
1. How do I know this is fermenting? What the heck is the wort supposed to look like during/after fermentation? My brewing handbook had advised me to open my bucket if I didn't think it was fermenting correctly, and when I did, I found a lot of bubbles on top, but no foam like I've seen in other pics. I didn't think it was fermenting correctly because I wasn't getting a ton of bubbles through the 3 piece airlock after the first day or so. Also, there were bubbles rising to the top while I had it open, so I'm assuming that's a good thing. The initial weight was 1.040 and I'm at 1.020 right now.
2. It smells pretty strong. In other words, it smells like beer with a high alcohol content. Am I right to assume that the beer will lose this edge over the next few weeks while it is bottled?
3. This is a stupid question, but I have to ask it. In regards to the double bubble airlock, am I right to assume that you have to take the dust cap off? It makes sense, but then again, I'm not sure why it would have a cap if it wasn't needed.
Thanks guys/gals. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions, but I'm just wanting to make sure that I don't mess my maiden batch up...royally.