Well, it's been a couple weeks I think since I last posted in here and since then I've done 3 seperate brews.
I ended up buying a pretty comprehensive kit from Beer Making Kits, Wine Making Kits and Supplies
which was kind of overwhelming when I first got it. Looking back I probably could have bought a much cheaper kit that didnt have all the bells and whistles.
My first batch was a 5 gallon porter. Everything went fine through the boil process and things seemed fine once in the fermenting bucket. The next day though, with the entire setup in my kitchen, the air lock kept getting clogged and the lid was bulging big time. Since this was sitll my first try, I got a little worried and dumped the batch....I know, lame, but I didnt want 5 gallons of beer all over the kitchen.
Anyway, I read some more and decided to make my own blow off tubes for my fermenting bins instead of the air lock. This is when I realized that you can probably start brewing pretty cheaply. The kits are nice, but you could easily piece together a basic kit for probably half of what I spent, or less.
Next batch was 2 gallon American IPA, which has been fermenting just over a week now, bottling to begin on Sunday.
Tonight's batch was a Russian Imperial Stout, into the carboy it went and down to the garage for a couple weeks.
Anyway, here are a couple pics of my fermenters, modified with blow off tubes.