I am a first time brewer and have noticed a couple things not working as expected. Maybe I did something or a few things wrong. Here is what I did. Any advice of my next steps is greatly appreciated.
Bought an English Pale Ale Kit (dry malt, malt extract, crushed crystal malt, Perle hops, Willamentee Hops, Yeast).
Brought 1.5 gallons of water to 160 degrees and steeped the crushed grains in a cloth bag for 20 minutes.
Then brought water to a boil and added the dry malt, malt extract and Perle hops. Boiled for 55 minutes.
Then added the Willamente hops and boiled for 5 minutes.
Next put the brew pot in sink filled with ice water and let cool until ~70 degrees.
Poured the contents of the brew pot less the sediment on the bottom into a plastic fermenter. I think this was my first mistake as I was not sure to pour the whole thing in our not. Here is a photo of what I left behind:
Then I added warm tap water to the 5 gallon mark.
Next I took a hydrometer reading and read 1.018.
Next I added the yeast, dry. I realize this might have been a mistake after reading the sticky. I then gave the mixture a stir. I also realized I didnt stir before taking the hydrometer reading but I already added the yeast and it is too late now.
I put the lid on, installed the air lock and stored it away.
After 24 hours the air lock was bubbling like crazy but after 48hrs it only makes one bubble every 20 seconds or so. Now after 72 hours it only makes one bubble every 20 seconds or so.
At this point I am not sure what to do. I dont know why my initial hydrometer reading was so low (the kit says 1.044 to 1.048) and why the rapid bubbling stopped so soon after 24 hrs. Is this normal?