let me first welcome you to the craft. It is an amazing, addictive, joyous hobby that will take you to many highs and lows as you perfect your techniques, and explore the wide world of beer. I admit out front i have not been brewing forever, and that i learn something almost every day , either in my brewing, here on homebrewtalk, or discussing beer with others.
So , here are a few threads that really helped me, with some comments off the cuff. ( please note, if you look at the bottom of a page, there are often related links / similar threads etc. I am only going to post the ones i read that seemed helpful to me, that i would recommend as starting points to others )
a lot of folks seem to start with the mr. Beer kits. I did not, but they are ever popular and ever present. If you have not noticed, there is a great thread here
that has a great amount of information for you.
Sanitation - it is a must. Some folks are carefree, others are very strict. But it always seems to boil down to "what should i use". I'm a starsan and iodophor guy. Some folks use bleach and vinegar ( note - this can be dangerous according to some posts - i do not have any experience with it, and suggest if you wish to do this you study - it's a hobby - should not be a danger ). There many many starsan vs iodaphor threads - this one
is a good jumping off point.
Most people, though not every one, starts of brewing using extract or extract brewing kits. They then sometimes venture into the land of all grain brewing. I found this thread here
to be helpful.
Now, you probably got a kit and it said 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary and then bottle. Ready in two more weeks! Right? Hmmm.. The current prevailing advice here is for longer primaries, and many no longer even secondary. ( i do both, depending on my need for fermenting buckets and the style i am brewing ) . here is a good starting point
for you if you want to delve deeper into this subject.
Time to bottle now, right? Hands down, this thread is the definitive bottling thread
in my opinion. ( you will see revvy alot in the beginners forums, btw - i have never met him obviously due to geography, but his posts were very helpful to me often when i got started )
lots of folks want to keg - i just started, and do not have the desire to argue it's merits vs bottling, but often the new kegging brewer wants to keg and then drink his beer right now! ( lol ) . this is a great thread
by bobbym that addresses force carbing versus set it and forget it kegging. A good read.
Pipeline, pipeline pipeline - it's gonna be a while while you wait - you do want to wait so it's good, right? Then go ahead, drink some crafts, go out to the pubs, read recipes - get you a pipeline, or a succession of beers, so that you always have 1) beer on hand, 2) beer conditioning, 3) beer fermemting and 4) beer to brew.
Soon you will be tasting your first beer. Relax. Everyone it seems rushes that first brew. I did, and have seen literally a hundred threads that boil down to folks drinking "green" or young beer. I'll not site any, but i promise if you use the search for " my beer tastes ...." you will find a thread similar to what you are experiencing.
And then there will be a day when you offer your beer to someone, and you stand there, meekly waiting their reaction. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes, not so much. Let's face it - a lot of folks think the best beer in the world comes in cans and all say bud on the side. here is an awesome thread
that will give you a sneak peak ahead into other folk's reactions.
Also, there are several vendors here who not only advertise, but participate in the forums. I for one became an avid customer of a vendor based on their treatment of a situation with a brewer that became public. Pay attention and you may also learn some folks who are "good guys" and may want to support them as they help keep the business going of supplying folks with good product and service. If you have a bad experience, general good decorum would be to contact them through their business first - not to come on here and rant and rave because of a simple mistake or a shipping error.
And now, besides all of these threads there are thousands more, all at your finger tips, to help guide you fro new brewer to future advice dispensing beer guru. The search feature is your friend, as are the folks here. It is a great hobby , and in my experience cultivates individuals who are friendly, helpful and generally like to help others learn.
Again - welcome.
Ps - i'll clue you into something - rdwhahb = relax, don't worry- have a homebrew.
Ps - you're on your own to learn what swmbo means. :d