Try a few IPAs until you get the hang of it, then go for the more complicated brews like stouts. Remember, make sure everything is VERY CLEAN. And RINSE. Soap suds will kill yeast.
And watch the clock when brewing. +/- a minute make a difference in the taste. Not bad or good, just different. And you might like your mistakes. If you do, write it down what you screwed up so next time you brew a batch, you can screw up the same way again. Consistency is the hardest part of brewing. Making a good beer is easy.
A normal batch is 5 gallons. That's a lot of beer.
Yeap, I've brewed a few times myself. Best advice I can give you is to pay attention to the temperature of the room you're fermenting in. Worst mistake I made was brewing a dunkelweisen at about 85' (way to hot)... wound up producing way too much diacetyl. Didn't ruin the beer, provided you like beer that tastes like banana runts candy.
Thanks Unga. That site looks good. Gonna have to spend more time checking that out when I have an hour or two to kill. I've brewed form malt syrup before, years ago, but I want to try a recipe. I have Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide, and several excellent supply places nearby.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no beer other than stout. I can, however, stomach a decent pale ale, and that sounds like the best place to start. Anybody want to point me in the right direction toward a simple, but tasty recipe for a novice? I rather not just choose one at random.
... And yes, catboy will be lending moral support. He'll drink dog urine if I bottle it.
I brew a lot and I'll echo what the others have said:
1. be super, super clean
2. take good notes and pay attention to all measurements (temp, time, volume, weight)
3. watch the temperature while fermenting. I made an IPA that fermented in a 90 degree garage last summer and it was a headache in a bottle! Tasted OK, I guess, but it made me go all red and sweaty after a couple.