My brother-in-law Matt and I started to brew in 1993 after having an Amber Ale made by the Kalamazoo Brewing Company. Micro-brewed ales tasted brutally different when compared to our usual canned swill and we were inspired to attempt homebrewing. Our first beer was fermented in a Rubbermaid blanket box with a fish aquarium heater. The fish tank heater idea came from a "How to make beer" book (circa 1952) I borrowed from the library. The recipe we followed was written on the can of malt extract and it called for about two pounds of corn sugar. After a couple of weeks the beer was ready to drink and we gathered in my apartment to enjoy the wonderful tastes our labors had created. The bottle cap came off with an exciting "hisss" sound, followed by small amount of dense foam that caused our mouths to water with anticipation of tasting a quality hand-crafted ale. We then carefully poured the beer into an appropriate glass, delighted at the wonderful, sparkling ale before us, we performed a toast......then we drank.....
It tasted like shit. We've learned a great deal about homebrewing since then and our beers have been improving with each batch.
We have recently gone bottle-free through the use of a couple of Cornelius keg systems, I didn't realize how much of a pain bottles were. We are planning to procure a chest freezer to utilize as a lager fridge. I'm going to rig up a temp-controller and keep it around 45 degrees, we also hope to keep it well stocked.