I just finished my first brew. I did my research, but had a few newbie mistakes. I think I'm ok, but want to see what the experts think.
I purchaced a starter homebrew kit from midwest supplies. I also ordered a recipe kit. Black Bog Ale; 6lbs Gold LME, 16oz Crystal 50/60 L, 12oz Wheat Malt, 1 oz My Hood Hops and Muntons dry yeast.
Things were going nice and smooth at first. I steeped the grains, keeping the water temp between 155-160, and added the malt, taking the pot off the heat to stir it in and returning it to the flame for the boil.
Here's where I messed up. The instructions said to add the Mt. Hood hops at the first boiling bubble. At about 160 the wort started moving around, so I added the hops and set my timer for a 60 min boil. As I looked closer at the wort, I noticed that it wasn't coming to a true boil, just moving around. The real boil didn't start for another 15-20 min, at 212 degrees. I wasn't sure what to do, but assumed that having the hops in for 60 min was the more important thing. In the end I had hops in the wort for 60 min, 40 of which were at a ture rolling boil.
I then gave my brew an ice bath. With 20 lbs of ice in the sink and a liter of frozen spring water in the pot, I was able to get the temp from 212 to ~80 in 30 min.
After adding the wort to the primary, I topped off with ~2 gal of cold spring water to get a 5 gal batch. This got my final temp to 68. I then used a wisk to aerate and mix everything together as best I could.
I thought I was doing ok, but when I took my SG I was off. The recipe gave a target range of 1.042-1.046, but I came in at 1.050.
So my questions are: Did I make the right call on the hops (should I have left them in for another 20 min at boiling...)? Is my SG way off? What, if anything, should I do.
I'm hoping the answers are relax, have a homebrew...