So this is a sigh of relief. This is my first batch and getting the wort into the primary fermenter was a comedy of errors. The boil and cold break went without incident but when I took the temp just before pitching the yeast, I dropped the thermometer into the wort. Total bush league, I know. Well, after trying without success to fish it out with my tongs I knew what I had to do. I pulled my sleeve up, sanitized my hand and arm, and reached in. As I retrieved the thermometer, my sleeve slipped and touched the wort!! I was crestfallen. I nearly poured it all out; thankfully, cooler emotions prevailed. Today was bottling day and I just bottled and took a sample to test the gravity. Although I expected infected beer when I opened the fermenter, everything looked and smelled fine so I took a sip of the sample and despite my best efforts, it tasted delicious!
Several threads on this forum kept me positive and gave great advice.
I can’t wait to drink the finished product! Next up, cream ale.