Before I even begin, I cannot tell you what a valuable resource these forums have been.
That said, I seem to have a low gravity issue.
So, for my second batch I attempted “No Sham Shamrock Irish Red Ale” from The Complete Joy of Homebrewing...
...or, at least, as close as I could get it from Homebrew Heaven (my local supply shop went under).
Here’s what I used:
5 lbs. Bulk Amber Malt Extract Syrup
1 lb Light Crystal Malt, 20 Lov.
1/2 lb Special Roast, 50 Lov.
1 oz Northern Brewer
1 oz Tettnanger
Safbrew Ale Yeast S-33 (11.5 gr pkg)
Target OG: 1.042 - 1.046
Actual OG: 1.022
These are the instructions I followed:
Add cracked crystal malt and cracked toasted malted barley to 1.5 gal of cold water and let steep at 150-160 deg F for 30 minutes; remove grains with a strainer and add LME and bitter hops and boil for 60 min; the aroma hops should be added during the final 1 minute of boiling. Cool and transfer to fermenter (which already had 2 gallons cold water waiting), adding enough water to make 5 gallons total. Pitch yeast when below 80 deg F (mine went in @ 78).
I was straining again as it went into the carboy and the mesh was very, very fine so it took an incredibly long time for it to drop in.
I realized I forgot to stir/mix after the top off went in, so I ended up doing that a day later. I checked the gravity then and it was still reading 1.022.
The sample here tasted a bit watery.
Since then there was a yeast floater (phantom mold) scare (threads here quickly calmed me).
Five days later (today) there is still no airlock activity, but the gravity dropped to 1.016 and the sample tasted pretty decent (less watery).
What in the world is going on? Where did I go wrong? Or, am I worried over little to nothing?