My neighbor just started making his own beer. I don't recall the kits hes been using, they come from the Northern Brewer catalog. A 5 gallon kit is like 20 dollars-ish. It includes the syrup, yeast and other additives needed. These kits don't even require addiioanal sugar.
He simply adds the syrup to the pot with the required water, I think he's been throwing a hanful of grain for good measure. But it's boiled for an hour, cooled, adds the yeast ferments for about a week. He transfers it to a carboy allows it to sit for a wekk or so, transfers it to his cornie keg for a couple weeks and voila.
From what I can see it as simle as hell. Good beer too!!
I haven't ventured into the beer yet but will be soon. And from what I can tell these kits are the way to go for the beginer instead of buying all these different hops, grains etc.
I am not endorsing any supply house over the other, but I get the Northern Brewer Catalogs in the mail, one for beer, one for wine. Because shipping here is so expensive, my local homebrewshop will match and order any price in there. Damn cool!!
Take a look at their online version at www.northernbrewer.com
They've got a great deal on these cornie kegs(thats the kind you may think of as a soda keg, with the removable lid. You get a 5 gallon keg, all the hoses, and the regulator for like $100, I'm sure you'll see it when you visit the site. No need for bottles!! You will need to purchase the co2 tank seperate, but Steve was telling me his little tank cost 20 dollars to fill and he is working on like batch 15 and still has gas in it.
Good luck, looking forward to hearing your progress.