Hello, guys. My name is Eric, I'm 31, and I'm currently living in Northern California (Silicon Valley), although I've lived in multiple states and countries over the past few years. I've viewed this site tons of times before, but just thought to join.
Ironically I just started my first batch a little over a week ago (a pale ale), but I've been a huge fan of all sorts of alcoholic drinks for about 13 years now (from popular drinks like whiskey, cider, and beer to lesser known ones like arrack, makgeoli, awamori, and so on) and have been very much interested in how brewing, wine making, distilling, and so on works for at least 6 years now, going to breweries, distilleries, wineries, and learning about the processes in my spare time. I've helped a few friends with their homebrewing before (specifically brown ale and cider), but unfortunately haven't had the space or time to do homebrewing until somewhat recently (besides, I lived in Japan for almost 10 years where technically homebrewing is illegal).
Currently my wort is at a stage where the krausen on the top has gone "crazy" and looks almost like it exploded, being completely covered in extensive white foam. Most of the brown and green foam from before is dissipating or gone. The air lock is still pumping away every 4-5 seconds. Even though Northern California summers are pretty mild, after I first boiled my wort, cooled it down, etc. and put it in the carboy, the forecast for a couple days from then shot up to 97. Fortunately I've managed to keep the beer in the "safe range," but probably not the optimal range. The fermometer has been reading between 72 and 78 pretty consistently over the past week or so, so I'm not sure how much of an effect the heat will actually have on the beer in the end. I've surrounded the carboy with a black hoodie and put it in a part of the apartment that doesn't get much light (and no direct sunlight) and I use the air conditioner whenever the temperature outside gets into the 80s or 90s. So hopefully my beer won't have any off flavors.
Even though I bought all this equipment to make beer and I also purchased the hops, grain, malt extract, and yeast to make some English style stout, I'm thinking of making some cider next (or as Americans often call it "hard cider").
Anyway, this site seems to be a great resource and I imagine I'll probably have plenty of questions pretty soon. Thanks!