ABV can be estimated fairly accurately with two gravity readings and some very simple math. Here's how to calculate ABV with specific gravity readings!
Using your own homegrown hops is an incredibly rewarding process that adds another level of pride and self-sufficiency to your homebrew. Hops are easy to grow and produce an attractive plant that grows quickly.
A yeast starter is something anyone can do to improve their homebrewing process! Yeast starters provide your beer with a higher number of yeast cells, which helps to avoid problems like stuck fermentations, stressed yeast producing off flavors, or increased lag time where bacteria can take over the wort.
Extract brewing, which is how most homebrewers get started, can be likened to baking a cake from a cake mix. All-grain brewing, which is how breweries make beer, is like baking a cake from scratch. All-grain brewing is more time-consuming and requires additional equipment, but allows you more control over both the ingredients and the brewing process.