July 1974, my 1st batch.
I had noticed that the local A&P was selling 3# cans of Blue Ribbon malt syrup (with the little picture of Lena Pabst standing next to the logo) in the baking section. I knew from reading my dad's Bud labels that beer had malt in it, so, hmmmm...maybe I can make beer.
Bought 2 cans, popped off the label and found a Prohibition era recipe: 2 cans malt, 1 can table sugar, 2 packets bread yeast (to be added after the liquid cooled to "baby bottle" temp) and enough hot water to make 5 gallons.
Remembering that dad's Bud mentioned hops, I looked that up in the dictionary: herb that gives beer bitterness. Okay, no hops, what else is bitter...dandelion roots, just like making coffee substitute. So, 4 ounces of cleaned, chopped dandelion roots, figured I should boil them in the water before dissolving in the syrup.
Got an empty frosting bucket from Dunkin Donuts to ferment the beer in, a rubber sheet and some string to hold it on as a topper (following what I had observed of a couple of my mom's uncles who made wine).
The local hardware store stocked cork lines caps. My mom found an old Ideal capper at a garage sale (75¢, I still use it), Powers' Bar provided 2 cases of empties, the pet store some aquarium water line...
(fast forward) I drank 1/2 a glass, poured the rest down the drain and forgot about that batch.
15 years later my mom reminded me that it was still sitting in the cupboard in the back corner of the basement. I buried all I could find...the other case turned up about 7 years ago and joined it's mate in the grave by the side of the garage. =)
Needless to say, I've improved.