It was January of 2011 when my buddy, Eric, and I made our first plunge into homebrewing. We had done all the research, talked with guys at our local homebrew club, visited the local homebrew shop, and, finally, purchased our equipment. It was nothing too fancy - we were just going to be extract brewers, boiling wort on our stove top.
After a week of fermenting and another week of dry hop additions, it was time to bottle. Bottling is a heck of a lot easier with two people, so I am glad I had a friend helping me. Clean, sanitize, fill, cap. Same process, over and over and over. About 54 times if you do it right. Then was maybe the hardest part: waiting 2 more weeks for the bottles to carbonate.
So, there you go. My first homebrewing experience. While this wasn't meant to be a how-to, it is meant to show you where we started. We didn't start out with turkey fryers or Blichmann mash tuns or any conical fermenters. Heck, we might not ever get to conical fermenters. And that is ok. Because this is about enjoying the process, being a little creative, and adjusting the hobby to fit your time, interest level, and budget. Most of our equipment we have purchased as we moved along and grew (and the funds became available).