I put my first batch of beer (a hoppy IPA) in the primary fermenter yesterday. It's a bit darker than I expected, which I'm guessing is a product of steeping the grains between 155-160 F for a half an hour instead of simply raising the water temperature from tap cold to 170 F with the grains in.
I tasted the wort after reading the specific gravity, which was 1069. The taste was slightly sweet, with a quite bitter kick. It's going to be fun to watch it turn into beer. I'm guessing that the high starting specific gravity is also a product of the way I steeped the grains.
I checked on the beer this morning and the yeast is very busy eating fermentable sugars and pissing beer. As far as I can tell I haven't made any critical errors yet.
I think I'll need to get another set of primary and secondary fermenters. I found myself wishing I had the equipment to cook another batch of wort today.
-- Douglas Hunter