I'm only on kit number two but I found that the details and clarity between the two sets of directions was night and day.
My first kit was a California Lager from 7 Bridges and the directions were 18 steps after each of which I still had questions. Furthermore, for a lager, it seems to rush through the process: 1 week in primary, 1-2 in secondary, and they even say secondary is optional and make no mention of actual lagering (because of which I'm still wondering if California Lager is either (a) not a true lager or (b) a type of lager which doesn't require really low lagering temps or any lagering whatsoever).
The kit I just bought today is a Brewer's Best IPA and the directions are so much more helpful for a beginner. It includes a glossary of abbreviations; footnoted brew tips (IBUs if using more or less than recommended amount of water for the boil; how to use the grains/grain bag; boil temps); even places to record brew date, the times of each addition of hops, secondary rack date, OG, FG, and a place to calculate ABV. Last, but not least, they don't seem to rush you through the process from brewing to fermenting to bottling just so you buy another kit: 1 week for fermentation, 2 weeks in secondary ('though I'll prob'ly just leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks); bottle and then 2-3 weeks for carbonation.
For those of you who have used other types of kits (Mr. Beer, &c.), what's your opinion of their directions?
CHAOS Brew Club
E: [email protected]