So the recipe specifically calls for:
-3.75 lb Cooper "Bitter" Brewing Kit--I purchased their English Bitter kit (hopped), my local brew shop did not have unhopped bitter extract
-2 lb light dry malt extract
-1 oz Cascade hops--added last 15 mintues of the boil
I'm ready to get started, I just wanted to make sure that the hopped bitter kit is appropriate. Thanks for the help...
A few things you should definitely do...
1. Before you brew, get all your ingredients, equipment, instructions, sanitizer etc together and make yourself a checklist of steps. I've done this every time so far (I'm coming up on batch 4) and it really helps. You will probably forget something or have a brain fart of some kind if you don't make a checklist. I use large lined post-it notes and stick them to the cabinet and check off each step as I do it. You may need to revise your list a couple times before it's perfect.
2. Keep good notes on everything you do, every ingredient, every calculation, everything that deviates from your plan, every worry, every concern, everything! Write it down, talk about it with friends, post on forums (I'm on a bunch of forums, some beer, some non-beer), get conversations going and get yourself thinking about brewing.
3. Realize that despite the above two steps being highly recommended by myself, there is one step that is much more important. Don't over-think think it. RDWHAHB (relax, don't worry, have a homebrew). Have a good commercial brew if you don't have any homebrew ready yet.
Your beer will probably come out good! The first batch is the killer when it comes to suspense though.
4. Cooling takes a lot of ice. The first two solo batches I brewed I used twenty pounds of ice (5.5 gallon batches, about 3 gallons of boiled wort, topped to 5.5 with chilled spring water). Get some ice before you've had four or five beers and realize it'll take hours to cool without it. Sooner or later (probably sooner) after you've got the bug, you'll want a wort chiller. I just got one.
5. Water. If you're at all uncertain about your water, use bottled spring water. My water wasn't good for beer (discovered when I was messing with Mr Beer). I had a couple of meh batches of Mr Beer. When I got my 5 gallon kit I switched to spring water and the difference is night and day.
Again, the biggest thing is relax, don't worry, have a homebrew. I sense a great tasting bitter in your near future!