The beer crafting process may vary slightly from brewer to brewer, but the fundamentals are universal. The first step is to thoroughly clean and sanitize ALL of the equipment that will come into contact with your beer. This should be done with warm, lightly soapy water and then rinsed to remove any soap residue. Sanitization can be achieved with household bleach at a rate of one tablespoon per gallon of water or with a no-rinse acid sanitizer such as StarSan, which is safe and effective.
Next is the mash. This can be accomplished by a variety of methods depending on the brewing technique used. However, most mashes involve heating water to a higher temperature than the wort and then pouring it over the grain to rinse it of the sugars. The resulting mixture, called wort, is now ready to be fermented.
As a general rule, it takes about a month from the initial steps to enjoy your own hand crafted beer. In the meantime, you should take some time to appreciate your beer crafting skills and the fact that you are producing something that tastes great, while also being healthy and economical!
A good brewing kit will contain everything you need to get started and the instructions should be easy to read, and clear. You will need a brewing thermometer and a hydrometer to help you track the progress of your batch. The latter will let you know when the fermentation is complete and that it is ready to be bottled. You will also need a primary and secondary fermenting vessel for your beer, a siphon, and a rack.