Recently, Mix Magaizine did a feature on my homebrew setup. It was flattering, and possibly overstated my expertise, but at any rate, it prompted a lot of questions from homebrewer friends. As well as a little bit of ridicule.
In response to one friend's request for advice, I sent an email with an oversimplified checklist for a brew day. This presumes that you have equipment and ingredients and are ready to go, but maybe a little nervous about where to start if it's your first time. Here goes...
1. Print your recipe out, maybe print this list, too.
2. Lay out all equipment and ingredients
3. Get your water boiling. Use 2 pots if you are going to steep grains or if your stove is slow like mine
4. Using a smack pack of yeast? Smack it.
5. Clean everything that needs to be cleaned, sanitize now.
6. Steeping grains go in when water is at 140 or so. Extract goes in when it's up to boiling
7. When extract is in and you add the first hops, write times on your recipe for hop additions, use a timer even
8. Be ready to cool your wort, get or borrow a wort chiller if you don't have one
9. When it's cooled, strain the hops out into a bucket
10. Pour into carboy
12. Add yeast, put on a airlock. Check tomorrow
13. Clean up