It's just that easy? whaddya mean it's just that easy?
I wanted to give a little bit of prespective when it came to new brewers and if you ever get worried about 'not screwing up'.
I'm currently without my brewing equipment (long story) and while visiting my mom and step-dad, my step-dad invited me to brew a batch of beer with him. I say "yes sir!" and we dig out his equipment and ingredients.
Now, a bit of background; I've been brewing for awhile (see regdate) and he's the one that turned me on to brewing in the first place. He showed me how to make my first batch and go from there. I normally have an all-grain system with keggle, cooler mashtun, immersion chiller, etc. He's used extract for years and never went to all grain. My methods are usually all fancy, using math and promash to get it the best beer it can be. He likes making pale ales and IPAs, so he typically sticks with that style.
I was amazed at his process.
Step 1; Dig out the boiler (he's unsure what size it is, probably 2 gal) and put some hot tap wellwater in it.
Step 2; Let the bag of LME soak in the sink with some hot water to soften it up, then pour it into the hot water.
Step 3; He got a lb of 2 row with this last kit order, he'd normally steep grains in warm water in a grainbag and let it sit on the burner until it was almost boiling, and then removed the grains and tossed em. (I actually did a mash with it myself)
Step 4; Throw a handful of mystery homegrown hops and 1/2 oz of Centennial into the boiling pot for an hour.
Step 5; After about an hour or so, then throw another small handful of mystery homegrown hops into the boil for a few minutes, then take it off the burner to cool. He tops up the boiler with cold water right from the tap, runs some cold water into the 5 gallon carboy, then siphons the wort into the fermenter. It's still a little warm, so he adds more top up water until it hits 5 gallons, then pitches the yeast right on top of it.
No recipe, no measurements, just throws it all together, and his beers always taste great. And as he brought the carboy up from the basement, he said "sanitation is for wussies!" I think he was kidding though. I HOPE he was kidding! He doesn't know what size his carboy is but I checked later, it's 5 gallons. He jams a 1" tube into the neck of the carboy, and puts the other end straight into the kitchen sink, no small vessel of water for it to go into. He actually makes 4.5 gallon batches, and no one's ever complained that there's way too much alcohol in the beer, that's for sure.
My point in all this is to show that you don't have to get all fancy and get high end equipment to make good beer if you don't want to. It was also a nice change to get 'back to basics' as it were, knowing I don't *have* to make this hobby all complicated if I don't want it to be complicated.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."