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Transportation between JFK and Brooklyn hotel

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I'm visiting NYC soon and plan on being frugal and taking the air train+ A train to my hotel (NU Hotel) in downtown Brooklyn (hoyt-schermerhorn stop). But I've never done this before. Is it a big hassle? I'll be alone and plan to have one large suitcase and carryon duffle bag. I arrive Saturday at 4pm @ JFK and will leave next Friday (flight @ 9am). For a 9am flight, I guess I have to leave the hotel around 6:30am. Will the train be very crowded? Are there a lot of stairs?

The last time I used public transportation to get to an airport was in Madrid and hated it.
Thank you.

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