I bottled my first batch of all grain beer this weekend. It ended well, but went poorly. Rather than buying a brewing kit, I decide to use what I had for equipment and then buy what I lacked one piece at a time. I used an old food-grade bucket we had around the house as a fermenter. I figured I'd use my old Little Beer Keg from the Mr. Beer kit as a bottling bucket. That meant I needed an auto-siphon and some tubing to make the transfer. Of course I didn't buy the right tubing for my auto-siphon. A working auto-siphon would have made the transfer easy. Hell, I'd watched videos about how to do the transfer. I knew what I was doing, at least in theory--but I hadn't bothered to do a trial run, so I didn't know much in practice. I spent a long time looking at my bucket in despair with the useless auto-siphon in my hand. It was a comedy of errors, but I made myself laugh at the humor and learn from the experience.
I wound up sterilizing a ladle and dipping nearly 3 gallons of beer from my bucket-fermenter to my LBK-bottling bucket one scoop at a time. It all eventually worked out. I added my priming sugar to the LBK and I now have twenty-some odd bottles of brown ale getting bubbly in my basement. Assuming I didn't contaminate the beer with my ladling, I'll have beer to drink in a couple of weeks.
Even if I don't like the beer in the end, I'm pleased that I learned something from the experience. Mostly, I now know I need to buy more tubing.