My newest full time hobby has been all grain beer brewing. I had been kicking around making my own beer for about a year until March 2007 when my friends and I went to the Zapp's International beer festival where a number of home brewers from the area were allowing people to sample their home brew creations. We were inspired and I spent the next week researching the best books and equipment resources.
Home Brewing Equipment
If you want to buy home brewing equipment in Baton Rouge I suggest you check out locally owned and operated Red Stick Home Brew. It's a great store with a great owner who will go out of his way to make sure you're fully informed and happy. Click the above link to go to their website.
We began gathering together what we needed to brew our beer. Baton Rouge home brew stores were non-existant so we went to the web. Luckily there are many home brewers out there and we were pointed towards some great places. We ordered a deluxe home brewing kit with everything we needed to brew out the box. We also ordered a number of pre-constructed beer kits and kegging equipment.
We began brewing with extract brewing kits. This is where the sugar comes from a malt extract that's basically syrup. The beers came out good and bad as we learned the ins and outs of home brewing. Malt extract kits are definitely the way to start. You learn lots about the fermentation process and mashing before moving in to the all grain process which is more involved.
All Grain Beer Brewing
Moving in to all grain is a big step as it's much more involved and takes much more time during the mashing phase. You need a pot large enough to hold at least 7 gallons of water as well as a mashing/lautering tun to steep your grains and draw out the mash. You're looking to spend around 6 hours making your mash instead of around 2 hours with the malt extract kit. However the experience is great and the beer comes out much more tasty.