Despite my concerns, the hydrometer read 1.020 for the sample I took last night, so it does seem to be working. I'm not sure if I missed the initial burst of activity since everything was stored in the cabinet or if the process was more gradual than I thought it would be.
I'm assuming since I fermented in a plastic bucket that the extra space in the bucket lessens the pressure build-up, thus no need for a blow-off, thus the less animated bubbler activity, right? I'm learning as I go.
I gave the thing a nice shake Sunday morning with hopes of getting the yeast floating around again, hoping to get a little more activity, though from what I read, the majority of the bubbling after agitation is coming from escaping air rather than fermentation activity. Doh. I'm just hoping I didn't oxidize the beer.
I'm going to let it sit until Wednesday or Thursday night and then rack to secondary. Depending on timing and personal schedules, I may try to brew a new batch that same night, so I can use the yeast cake, though I'm wondering, if I leave the yeast in the bucket and wait to brew until Saturday, will everything stay sanitary and healthy?
I also got my bottles cleaned and delabeled. I used two 15 gallon plastic tubs filled with HOT water and a bit of Oxy-Clean. After five hours in the solution, most of the labels fall right off, then all it took was a little scrubbing to make sure all the glue was gone. Then, a nice rinse and off to dry. All the labels came very easily, with the exception being a couple Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout bottle, which after the five hour soak and a few minutes of scrubbing, had only started to show paper. Ah well, at least, their beer is good.