I have finally graduated from Mr. Beer kits to more advanced brewing. I bought a Brewer's Best Red Ale kit and brewed it yesterday. When I bought the kit, I thought it was an all-extract kit, but when I opened it I found YIKES! a bag of crystal malt. Brewing the grains was no big deal though, and it was fascinating to watch.
I know everyone says RDWHAH, but I was seriously sweating my first brew. I followed the direction though and everything turned out okay. The only thing I added to the kit was a teaspoon of gypsum, since I know I have soft water in the house. Original gravity came in at 1.046 (the kit said it should be 1.042-1.045) so it looks like I nailed that.
The thing I really sweated was the cooldown. I figured, I live in North Dakota, no problem! I'll just put the pot in my garage, which was at 2ºF. Well, it took forever to get that pot to cool down. I finally got it in the fermenter and it is bubbling away merrily. We'll see how it tastes in a few weeks.