When delving into the mysterious world of brewing, contradictory information is the norm. The newbie needs a guide, to point out the right direction, reveal the pitfalls and simply calm the nerves.
For us, that position is amply filled by Main Street Homebrew. Not only does the shop provide the specific supplies and kits that are such a boon to new homebrewers these days (I can’t imagine brewing back before homebrew shopes were common!), it’s a source of excellent advice. When we purchased the goods to make our first batch, Kevin, Main Street’s owner, walked us through each step of the instructions. Although I’d already read a book on the subject, having that personal direction was great.
If you’re in the Portland metro area, I highly recommend Main Street Homebrew. Even if you’re not, you’ll find a wealth of good, reliable information on their website. Check out the Free Info for a start–I found the bottling article to be particularly useful.