So, Foo, I went out and got the stuff to do homebrew (carboys (5, 6gal, both glass), stoppers, airlocks, etc etc), set things up and did things according to the recipe the guys at the brewshop gave me.
I did make a few mistakes and was wondering if they're guaranteed killers of a batch. Yay/nay?
1. I didn't sparge the grain. The recipe didn't mention it and I heard the employee at the shop as saying I should wait til I brew a batch to read the book. I'm now sure he didn't say that.
2. I added bottled, unboiled water. I'd boiled two and a half gallons earlier, but didn't have time/patience to boil more. Stupid, yes, but I had a few fresh, unopened bottles of water.
3. I checked hydro readings on the second day. Ouch, this one hurts my brain now. I'm pretty sure it's bad. Should've waited til I racked it over to the five gallon carboy, in all likelihood.
I did sanitize *everything*.
Also: Is it okay to store the beer at room temperature until just prior to drinking (with a rapid chill) or should it be kept cold after bottle conditioning? Is bottling to a growler bad news? (I was sure I was two or three bottles short, but I had a growler on hand.)
Oh, first batch was an Amber.