I received a true beginner's homebrew kit from a relative as a Christmas gift, decided to attempt a brew and followed the directions as close to perfect as I could.
After the entire process was completed I wound up with something that did not really pour, smell or look like beer. Obviously I have done something wrong and need to try again, but my question is:
Assuming an enthusiast observes a respectable level of sanitation in the process of the brew, but perhaps severely deviates from the instructions at some point in the process, how can they tell if their brew is actually fit (or unfit) to drink? Are there tell-tale smells/colours/heads that indicate a "spoiled" beverage?