Cleanliness is not only next to Godliness, it is essential for repeatable flavor and healthy brews. But cleanliness is not the whole story - sanitization is the other part. The two agents required for sanitizing your brewing apparatus are TSP (trisodium phosphate) or ONE-STEP brand cleaner and a sanitizer such as BTF iodophor. I know from experience that ONE-STEP alone will not completely sterilize. Minimize the use of each; a little goes a long way.
Start your preparations by gathering your equipment to begin the boil:
Fill the carboy 1/3 full (2 gallons) and add 2 tablespoons of BTF iodophor to it. Shake vigorously and wet the entire inside surface thoroughly for 2 full minutes. Let stand while you clean all the tools in the bucket.
Dissolve a teaspoon of TSP in a gallon of water in the bucket and wash all the items (except the kettle) in the solution. Wipe the solution all around the inside bucket surface. Drain a bit through the siphon tube and the drain valve to clean them, too. Rinse all the items thoroughly in fresh warm tap water and air-dry on fresh paper towels. Empty the bucket. NOTE: If you have a septic tank, don't dump it down the drain. Dump into a bottle you can dispose of another way. Don't dump it in your yard if you have a well, either.
Dump the carboy into the cleaned bucket and let it drain upside down for a few minutes. Rinse and soak all the tools in the sanitizing solution, leaving them in the bucket until you need them. Return used, rinsed tools to the solution during the brew if necessary.
Never let un-sterilized things come into contact with the wort, including your hands. The BTF iodophor should NOT be rinsed off prior to using the carboy or tools - that will void the sterilization process, introducing contaminants from your water supply. It will not impart a taste or odor to the beer.
Now we boil the wort (pronounced "wert"). We're going to take over the kitchen for about 2 to 3 hours, including sanitization, boiling and cleanup. If you don't clean up afterwards, your partner may not let you use the kitchen next time!
Bottling takes some preparation also, involving cleaning and sterilizing bottles and the bottling equipment.
Presenting, serving and tasting your homebrew is nearly as important an experience as brewing it. Here are some guidelines:
Above all, enjoy the fruits of your labors with responsibility. Remember that alcohol inhibits or distracts decision-making. Don't drink and drive or operate machinery or firearms while drinking. Pregnant women should not imbibe.