In my other job - the dull one I have to do to pay the bills - I take a module whose concept I shamelessly nicked off a couple of academics in the States and Canada.
Called 'the Lifestyle Project', the unit asks students to plot out a course of 10 weeks of progressively more austere measures in their personal lives to eliminate or reduce aspects of their environmental footprint. Usually, people focus on travel, local food, water usage and the like.
However, this year, one student has focussed on trying to reduce his beer footprint, by brewing his own. And just to show that it works, we did a bottle swap (so it does not look like a gift in lieu of a good grade, right David!). And here's his attempt:
His gone kit rather than AG. I swapped for some Wailing Bike, and he's still around, so that's good.
The beer is well carbonated, and has poured very clear - probably less need to fine a kit beer. However, this just shows the real benefits of using real ingredients over extract. I expected it to be hoppy, given the colour, but their isn't the aroma you get from that big hit of late copper hops. Malt wise, this is pretty clean, almost lager like, and again, I think a few hops in the boil would have bittered this up (it is a little sweet in the balance for me). I also think that a mash might have dragged more flavour out of the malt. But, probably, the clincher would have been the yeast. Something giving a few more fruit characteristics would have made this a really decent first attempt.
However, Dave, a really good first go at zymurgy. I will be interested to see how you try and an environmental footprint out of this. Yes transportation costs may have gone down, but don't forget the extra processing that has gone in getting this kit up together.