Views: 14 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-07-18 Origin: Site
It usually takes between four and six weeks to brew beer. Most of the activity takes place on day one, which is when the wort is prepared. After this, you should allow two weeks for fermentation followed by a further two to four weeks of conditioning, either in bottles or a keg.
The exact time needed depends on the style of beer you are brewing.
When brewing ales, you should allow approximately two weeks for fermentation to occur before transferring the beer to either a keg or bottles. Once bottled, ales (bitter, IPA, stout, etc.) take about two weeks to become carbonated and clear.
Lagers generally take an extra two to four weeks to fully mature. After fermentation has completed, the beer is transferred to a secondary vessel and stored in a cold place. This process is called laagering and gives the beer its typical clarity and crisp taste.
Some speciality beers can take even longer to brew. For example, sour beers undergo several fermentation stages, each of which may last several weeks.
First Thing: Sanitize Your Equipment
The cleaning and sanitation processes take approximately one hour for an experienced brewer. However, it can take twice as much time if you are a novice. Don’t forget to disinfect additional equipment such as a wort cooler and refractometer.
Second thing: Brewing
Brewing a beer takes several hours, depending on the recipe and equipment you have. Every brewing phase consists of a particular task and a period of waiting for the next step.
Some home-brewers skip this introductory part and go straight to boiling. Keep in mind that steeped grain gives the beer a more intense aroma. If you decide to do that, the brewing will take about an hour and a half longer than without this step.
It is necessary to warm water before soaking grain, which will take you about 40 minutes. Once your malt is in the water, wait around 45 minutes for the grains to release their enzymes. Afterward, you can move on to boiling them.
Boiling wort is a vital part of brewing beer since it determines the beer color and enhances its flavor. Different recipes suggest various pre-boiling and boiling times. Still, this phase requires around one hour for the light and low gravity beers. If you want to make Pilsner, you will extend the boiling part for another 30 minutes or so.
Remember that most brewers use a stable temperature to boil their wort. However, others choose to fluctuate it, resulting in up to four hours of prolonged boiling time.
Once you finish the boiling, your wort temperature will be around 212 F (100 C), and you need to lower it to 75 F (24 C). If you have a wort cooler, you will need 25 to 30 minutes to cool the brew.
Otherwise, this process will take hours. Some small home-brewers transfer the wort to a bathtub filled with cold water and add ice occasionally. That way, you will lose precious time.
Adding yeast to the brew is the last thing you need to do until the fermentation is complete. Use the funnel to transfer the liquid from a pot to a fermenter. Don’t forget that the yeast needs oxygen to grow.
If you have an aerator device, you will aerate the wort quickly. Otherwise, stir the brew or swish the carboy while transferring the wort. The aerating process, pouring the wort from one container to the next one, and adding yeast will take about half an hour. Then, the fermentation will begin, and its duration depends on the temperature and yeast strain you use.
Fermentation is the crucial stage in beer-making that defines your product quality. This final brewing phase is a period when yeast uses sugars and turns them into alcohol. It usually lasts at least two weeks.
Besides using a hydrometer to check brew gravity daily, you can do very little at this stage. Once you get the same measurement results two days in a row, the fermentation is over.
The first phase of fermentation lasts 3 to 15 hours after you add yeast. Wort rapidly absorbs oxygen, and yeast grows and multiplies.
Most brewers prefer that the wort temperature be higher at this stage than during the other stages of fermentation. That means the yeast multiplies at about 72 to 75 F (22 – 23.8 C), while a later temperature is 50 to 55 F (10 – 12.7 C).
Upon the lag phase ending, yeast consumes sugars and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, are broken down for the next one to four days, while complex sugars, such as maltotriose, decompose last.
It is a period when you can see visible fermentation signs, such as foam on the fermenter top and bubbles in the airlock. You will also notice a pleasant aroma of beer spreading in the room during this stage.
The conditioning fermentation phase will last about ten days, although it can be extended to two months for some beer types. Yeast growth will slow and flocculate, while some excess hydrogen sulfide gas escapes the fermenter.
Brewers lower the temperature to 35 to 40 F (1.7 – 4.5 C) in this stage. The beer is almost done, but some home-brewers often add additional hops at the end.
Fourth Thing: Bottling
Once the fermentation is complete, you need to bottle or keg beer. Keep in mind that the carbonation process takes about four to six weeks.
If you choose to fill bottles, you should add some priming sugar to the wort. Store beer in a cold, dark place until consuming.