I'm one of the TT'ers who prefer the email list, though I have come here from time to time. Looking through this thread, I realize I have not said hello properly.
I started brewing during the summer of 1974 with "Blue Ribbon" malt syrup from the A&P "baking needs" section. I used "Lena Pabst's" prohibition-era recipe for 5 gallons of beer, which was printed inside the label: (2) #3 cans of malt syrup (about 6# unhopped LME), 1# cane sugar, 2 packets bread yeast and enough water to make up 5-gallons....15 minute boil. My fermenter was a 6-gallon frosting bucket from Dunkin Donuts. Airlock, who knew a plastic bag over the whole thing wasn't good enough? My mom bought me a capper at a garage sale for 75 cents, which I still use (it was made in 1921 and I found one on Ebay recently for the same price, plus shipping ,-). I got a couple of cases of empties from the corner pub, where my dad and his buddies went; rinsed them out with Chlorox-water. Found cork-lined crown caps at Mr Miner's hardware store.
It was, in no uncertain terms, undrinkable and I buried a case (minus the 1 bottle). My brother said he'd keep the other and see if age would improve it. My mom found the second case (minus 1 bottle) in a corner cupboard in her basement a few years ago (it was 32 years old); it got a decent burial near the other case.
I got better; found books on brewing at the library (and bought my own). Discovered sanitation guidelines, dairy grade tubing, food grade tubs, glass water jugs...boiling. Got my first packet of dried brewer's yeast. Came across a supply of hops...found a mentor. Bought an airlock...
I added wine in early '75 (I do a really good 1-gallon winemaker class) and mead in mid '83 (wrote a book on Mead Making in early '99). I've been a certified judge in the SCA (medieval brewing, vinting and infusions/cordials) and (informally) for various home brew clubs.
After I married in 1982, I taught my wife how to brew, so the whole house is "infected".
After all these years, I am (we are) still brewing with extract (dried) with some specialty grains. We like to quip that we've just hired someone else to do the mashing and sparging.
We rarely brew to style, preferring instead to brew to taste. My wife's favorite to brew is her English style IPA with Oats. For malt beverages, I really like my Irish style Dry Stout with Rye. I mostly brew melomels these days.
We do gain a lot from the all-grainers and techno-brewers, but it ain't our thing.
Take care - Steven