Thanks everyone for the welcome - this is a great community! I really appreciate the advice on using the second carboy - I will probably go ahead and do that.
Originally Posted by Evan!
Unless, on the other hand, you're just trying to clear it out for the next batch, which is fine. However, you said you have 2 carboys, so, why not do this: rack to secondary once primary fermentation is done, then use the first carboy for your next batch. By the time it's ready for secondary, your first batch can be bottled.
When I went to the LHBS I bought a basic starter kit with plastic buckets - I didn't want to spring for the glass if I ended up hating it. I really just want to get familiar with the process and see if this is something I really enjoy. So in theory I could actually start another brew almost immediately, although I like the suggestion to wait until my primary is done and just rotate through that way.
Lastly, you said "many of the people who were helping me". Just how many people had their fingers, figuratively, in your beer? I find that any more than two people is a waste, and just provides more possibilities for accidents and sanitation issues. I brew most of my batches by myself or with a friend. That's all you need.
It was just two people, but when it came time to prepare the fermenter I had one extra person help fill the carboy with the necessary water. I noticed more than once his fingers getting into the water.
All the feedback on the sanitation issue is good to hear - hopefully things do turn out well - I'd really like to enjoy the 50 or so bottles I get from this.
@vcr5150 & runhard - yes, the Internet is probably the way to go, but I make my living off the Internet, so any opportunity I get to be away from a computer is a welcome opportunity.
Thanks again for the warm welcome - I look forward to learning from everyone!