My tip from my first batch: Just because you're brewing a 5 gallon batch doesn't mean it will ferment in a 5 gallon carboy! I had to clean the closet after the 4th or 5th day when it shot out the top!
Use a blow off hose until the primary settles a bit. I just went to the local hardware store and picked up about 3 feet of 2.5" vinyl tubing (or what ever will fit in the top of your 6.5 gal carboy).
Keep the heat low when mixing in your extract, you don't want it to scorch on the bottom of your kettle. After you are done stirring it in, you can turn the heat back up.
Tap water is not
sanitized. Microbes still live in it, but our stomachs make short work of them. Tasty sugars in the beer, don't. If you're using tap water for brewing, make sure any you add to the fermenter has reached 190F to kill anything off. Boiling point for water at 1 atmosphere is 212F, so if it's in your kettle, you're fine. Fun fact, boiling on Mt. Everest is 156F and 190F at 11,000".
Last quick tip: lschiavo said it best:
Originally Posted by lschiavo
...My suggestion: buy more kits so you won't be out of beer when the first batch is gone