Last month my wife gave me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday. Let me just say... it's the tastiest present I've ever received. It comes with sanitizer, beer mix, beer booster (sugar for alcohol purposes), beer bottles and a keg for fermenting.
Home brewing is an interesting process. First you have to make sure everything is sanitized... your pots, spoons and keg. After cleaning, you combine your beer mix with water and booster. It comes to a boil and you place it in the keg with additional water. This is called "creating wort."
After creating your wort, you let the keg sit for at least 2 weeks. This is called "fermentation" and it's definitely the most difficult step in the process for me. I'm very impatient. I want beer NOW! Haha. Anyway, after allowing the beer to sit for two weeks, it's ready to be bottled!
After sanitizing each bottle, you add additional sugar and your fermented beer from the keg. The extra sugar that's added in this step makes the beer carbonated. I like to call it "adding fizz." Sounds like you're all finished, right? WRONG! Heheh... you have to wait another 2 weeks for the additional sugar to finish carbonating the beer.
1 month after starting the brewing process, you can chill and drink your bottled beer! My first home brew was called American Devil IPA. It's an Indian Pale Ale that's hoppy and full fizz. It's very cloudy and there's always some residue left over in the bottom of your pint glass. I assume that's because it hasn't been filtered like many of the beers you see in bars and grocery stores. That residue, however, is what provides the hoppy taste. So it's a-ok by me. ;)
All in all, Mr. Beer is a great kit for home brewing beginners. It isn't hard. The directions are easy to follow and the ingredients are provided. Like I said before, the most difficult part of the process is waiting. If you've got a little patience, home brewing can be very rewarding.
So, let's raise a pint of your favorite home brew and give cheers to my wife for providing the tastiest birthday present of all time.