Well, it finally happened. My first brew day is in officially in the books.
I think everything went fairly smooth, but it took me a bit longer than I expected. 4 1/2 hours to be exact. But that includes opening the brew equipment kit I purchased a few weeks ago, cleansing and sanitizing everything, reading through all of the directions, and cleaning up, etc.
I started with an Irish Red Ale kit that I got from Midwest. It's an extract kit, but came with some speciality grains.
Steeped the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes in 3 1/2 gallons of spring water.
Added the LME.
Brought to a boil.
Added hops at 60 mins and at 2 mins.
Used an ice bath to cool down the wort, which took 35 mins.
Transferred the wort into the primary fermenter.
Topped off with more spring water to the 5 gallon mark.
Pitched the yeast.
Took a hydrometer reading (SG was 1.046...range is 1.042 to 1.046, so I'm happy with that).
Popped on the airlock.
Searched around the house for a spot where Wifey wouldn't mind a fermenter sitting for the next few weeks.
Some things I noticed that surprised me;
1) The wort smelled a lot better than it tasted. Granted, it wasn't cold or carbonated, but it didn't taste too good. I like Irish red ales, but this didn't taste like anything I would remotely enjoy yet.
2) It was a slow process to chill the wort. I thought this would be much quicker, but it was a slow process with the ice bath method.
3) I didn't particularly care for the smell of the hops. I like dark malty beers.
The house is a nice 65 degrees right now, and based on what I've read here, that seems to be a pretty good temp.
Overall, it was a good first day. Hope it turns out well.