I have my first batch less than a week away from bottling, and my second and third batch (kits) ready to go. It's VERY obsessionful... I've already spent about $270 in equipment and about $70 in ingredients. (my first batch was all grain, but with help, see my al's celebration ale thread on this forum).
Otherwise I'm very much an amateur delving into kits and partial mash/extract for a while, till I have the space and time to do all grain.
My next two kits are a sweet/milk stout and an IPA. I will be reporting on them when the time comes. I might brew one of the kits next sunday (plan to bottle saturday).
Specific stuff I've got to help make things easier:
1. wine thief for checking SG readings prior to bottling
2. plastic cylinder for checking SG readings
3. 3/8" siphon
Everything else is pretty much a standard kit that we all probably have.
Notably, my first batch overflowed a little into the airlock and I had to take it out and clean it, replacing it with sanitized solution. My volume was 5.5 gallons and was in a 6.5 gallon bucket. Thus, if I had been in the 5 gallon carboy, I would have WAY overflowed.
My first batch was an all grain sierra nevada celebration clone, with help from an experienced brewer. I don't know if all-grain makes a higher high kreusen than extract, but I suspect that if I use the five gallon carboy, I need to make sure and leave some space at the top if I plan to use the standard airlock. (I don't have the tubing-style overflow dealie that I've seen, thus, I need to account for high kreusen and make sure I don't have a nasty overflow).
I'm a mega-newbie too so please do elaborate in great detail as to your comments and/or experiences.
And OP: do tell how your beer comes out! I will!