Home-brewing is a sticky business. The pot of wort -- the stew of hops and barley malt that eventually becomes beer -- boils over at least once when a beginner's at the helm. That's why Brewmasters South is a good place to start. Tom Perlman, who owns the brew-it-yourself outlet with wife, Leslie, sets customers up at one of the gleaming copper kettles in the shop's front window, then helps them get started. First a beer -- anything from pale American-style lager to alcohol-heavy Belgian Double Triple ale -- is chosen, and then the brewer is handed a recipe sheet listing the ingredients. Fresh ground malt is put into a mesh bag and dropped into the water like an oversize tea bag. Syrupy malt extract is added for extra flavor, and after the malt has simmered for a while, hops are added, their tartness balancing the sweetness of the malt. Once the brew is cooked, the staff helps brewers put it in a barrel for fermentation. After two weeks a brewer returns to bottle the beer -- and sample it, of course. For about $100 (plus $50 for a set of 22-ounce, reusable bottles), he walks away with six cases of beer that -- if brewed correctly -- blows domestic brews out of the water and matches pricey imports.