Hey guys. I just got done brewing my first ever batch about 5 hours ago, and we have fermentation! Pretty cool feeling knowing I didn't screw up too badly (yet).
But I do have some noob questions.
I followed my kit's directions, which basically told me:
-stir like crazy
-boil for 10 minutes
-add to cold water in fermenting bucket
-cover for 10 minutes
-stir in yeast
Simple. I scooped up a book afterwards though (Papazian's by the way), and it said I should have let the water cool down before adding the yeast.
I didn't check the temperature when I stirred in my yeast, but I know it was warmer than the 60-65 degrees recommended. Will this hurt my beer?
Also, I didn't take any initial gravity readings, because again, I just followed the quick-start directions. When should I take my gravity readings in the future?
And finally, HOPS. I'm a hop-head. No question about it. Give me a hoppy IPA and I'm happy as a clam. My kit contained no extra hops. Just my 3 lb. can of hop malt extract (liquid), and a 2 lb. bag of dry malted extract. What is the key to getting a strong hop flavor and aroma? Do I boil them in with my extracts, or do you add them during fermentation?
Sorry for the rant! Thanks in advance!