It's official: I've finally entered the ranks of home brewers! Just after the first of the year, I brewed my very first batch, a citrusy IPA recipe that's meant to essentially be a clone of Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin. My first sampling of the finished product occurred this past Saturday, on my 43rd birthday. It turned out pretty well! The grapefruit/citrus flavor didn't hit quite as hard as the actual Grapefruit Sculpin, but still a solid IPA with some nice citrus notes. I'm really enjoying it, and quite frankly, was relieved that it simply didn't suck after six weeks of waiting to taste it. :) I've read of this recipe that the hop flavor tends to hit harder early on, and then as it ages a bit more, the hop flavor mellows and the citrus flavor becomes more prominent. So it will be interesting to see how the profile subtly changes as it ages a bit over the coming weeks.
Next up, what I brewed just last night and is shown in the primary fermenter in the second image above, is a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen that I'm brewing for my wife, as she generally prefers wheat beers. This one was much easier to brew, as besides the malt extracts, it required only one ounce of hops. It also doesn't require secondary fermenting, so I'll be bottling this already within a couple weeks, making it ready to drink within about 4 weeks.
I haven't decided what I'll be brewing after this second batch yet. I'm thinking either a pale ale or a chocolate milk stout. I'm just doing extract kits for now, while I really get the hang of the process. I hope to switch to all-grain brewing a bit later this year, and then start fiddling with my own recipes, too. Gotta start walking before I try to run, though... :)