About 4 weeks ago on advise of those here on the board, I posted for brewing equipment on Craig's list and within a few days had more than enought equipment to get started. I bought a Pete's Wicked extract clone and began. It has now been in the bottle for 10 days and I now have a AHS Southern Brown Mini Mash in the last stages of fermentation. As soon as this one has been in the secondary for a week I will be starting a Porter.
A few amusing but not fatal errors:
- I misread my Thermometer on the Pete's and soaked my speciality grains in 130 degree water, not 155 as called for.
- I had trouble in syphoning to my secondary due to a leak where the hose hooked to the auto syphon - after several trys and some air in the wort - I got it racked.
- Bottling went smooth after I abandoned the Agata Capper that wouldn't put a cap on tight and got the other capper - a black one that worked fine. BTW - the beer tastes like Pete's !!!!!!
- On the Southern Brown, my hose connection to my wort chiller started spraying water because the connection loosened due to the heat when I kept it in the last 15 min of boil and sprayed a small amount of water in the cooling wort.
- After a rapid fermentation in a 5 gallon carboy, I checked the SG and was at 1.025 with a target of 1.014. I replaced the blow off hose with a bung & 3 pc airlock. Nary a bubble after that.
- Worry, worry, ask AHS what to do. Two day later I added some yeast activator and no bubbles. EEEK.
- Three things I found the next day - my hydrometer was chipped at the bottom an a peice missing. I hadn't put enough water in the airlock and the gas was escaping out of the holes. Stupit, stupit, stupit!!!!
- Ran down to AHS and got a new hydrometer and - YEAH - got 1.012! Put the airlock on with the correct amount of water and - YEAH - Bubbles every 2-5 min. On the road to success.
My sincere thanks to all who helped and didn't know it on this board. You are legend. Just by lurking here a person can learn everything he needs to know given enough time. Ask any question and it is always answered seriously and with patience for those who are ignorant of your skills.
A special thanks to Austin Homebrew Supply - John and Edward - for there patience with my many questions, even though I bought all my equipment off Craig's list and only bought my recipes there. They were great.
Thanks also to the Joy of Brewing book which came from one of the kits I bought and I have read on average an hour a night for the last three weeks.
I hope to return the favor of helping others as I gain the experience to do so.