OK I tried a few batches of Mr Beer (my friend and I brewed four batches together with our two kits). I quickly realized this wasn't enough for me. The first Mr Beer batch didn't come out like I expected. It was plenty dry and had lots of carbonation/head, but wasn't up to par taste wise (it was West Coast Pale Ale). Second batch should be tasted this coming weekend. Batch 3 and 4 were brewed on same day and experimentally mixed and matched a little when bottling, and also used both plastic Mr Beer bottles and glass bottles (12oz, 22oz). Either way, it's interesting to experiment with, but I needed to move up to the really good stuff ASAP.
Thus, I just bought a 5 gallon kit this weekend. Was going to brew my first batch today, but I wasn't ready.
I got the kit in St Louis along with an ingredients kit to brew an IPA (crystal malt, UHMEx2, bittering, aroma and flavor hops, DME, corn sugar for priming, mesh bag, dry yeast, necessary hardware). Here are the exact details of everything I have, what my first batch is going to be, and in the comments, why I did not brew today (just wasn't ready, too many questions).
I know you guys are experts so any advice would be appreciated. https://alcaponejunior.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/my-new-brewkit-and-first-5-gallon-batch-pour-me-an-english-ipa/
I also apologize if it seems like I'm pimping my blog; I'm not, but copy/paste on large scale is frequently unacceptable on forums too, so I'm linking to the source. If there is a policy/preference on this board that I need to know about, please let me know. I didn't see anything in the rules stating one way or the other.