So, to get my palette wet with my first brew I went with something simple: a 3.75 Cooper's Canadian Blonde and a 3.3Lb Briess Golden Light extract ( I had given the name "Dumb Blonde In a Bottle" to this very simple combo ). I used the packet of yeast included with the Cooper's. The idea was to get out of the gate with understanding the mechanics of the process and have something drinkable as a result.
I did 14 days in the primary ( visible airlock activity in 2.5 days, lasting for about a day ), then 14 days in secondary, and then bottled with 3/4 cup of cane sugar. Nothing extraordinary, but the fermentation temps for the primary were probably closer to 65 deg. f instead of 70.
Made the newbie mistake of not checking gravity before primary. Got a 1.020 when racking to secondary, and 1.020 again when bottling. I'm guessing this means that there's not much more fermentation activity that occured in the secondary.
A quick sample during bottling: Amber color, very sweet. Almost syrupy. Green apple and/or Banana smells - which I gather means fermentation and temperature issues. Almost no hops or bitter at all. I wound up with 36 bottles instead of the predicted 48, so I'll have to adjust my volumes next time.
After a week in the bottles I decided to try one: I was rewarded with a nice CO2 release on removing the cap. Still sweet, thick, amber colored, and the apple/banana smell ( not horrible, but noticble. ). Had a nice head when poured. It's drinkable, but obviously it's still very young and requires more time to sit and think - I think.
So, oh great Wizards - what do you think? Aside from the newbie mistakes, should I expect this beer to get better over time, or should I just expect the character to remain the same? I'm tempted to do this recipe over with a liquid yeast ( say, WLP001 ) just to see if I can make the fermentation be more... complete?
I welcome your comments.