Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by Lydia Martin
If you are trying to explore the world of homebrewing, gaining a better understanding of the whole process of brewing beer can be overwhelming, so why not take it one step at a time?
So how long does it take to brew beer?
Today, we will help you gain more knowledge by answering this and what affects the timeline of the brewing process.
How Long Will It Take You To Brew Your Beer?
It will take around four to six weeks to brew your beer, and the entire process takes up to two months before you get to taste a bottle.
The timeline of making your own homemade beer  depends on the four brewing phases: brewing, fermenting, packaging, and carbonation.
Factors like equipment preparation, alcohol content, beer style, boiling and cooling, fermentation process, conditioning, and type of packaging affect the length of beer brewing time.
4 Phases Of The Brewing Process (Timeline)
If it is your first time in beer making, the brew day will take longer than the following ones, as understanding the whole process may take a while.
Brewing beer can take about two and a half hours (simple extract batch) to about six hours (complex all-grain recipe).
If you get an all-grain brewing, you have to soak malted barley in hot water to extract the sugary liquid and separate it.
Once the wort has cooled, you can transfer it inside the fermentation vessel. Introduce oxygen to the wort for about ten minutes, pitch yeast, and wait for yeast growth inside the fermentation vessel.
The fermentation will take place in four stages:
- The lag phase
- The exponential fermentation phase
- The static fermentation phase
The exact time of each step depends on what type of yeast you use, the yeast starter, and the fermentation temperature.
It may take at least two weeks for fermentation, but it may go on for months, depending on the alcohol content.
Also, always check the brew gravity from day one for better results.
After the fermentation is done, it’s time for bottling time. You have to sanitize the kegs and bottles to avoid unwanted bacteria.
A plastic fermenter can help you bottle the beer from the fixture but make sure no spent yeast and sediments will transfer into the bottles.
Carbonation through priming or kegging is one of the most crucial parts of beer making, which could last for around six weeks, depending on your method.
Since the bottle is capped, the carbon dioxide is trapped and absorbed into the liquid, carbonating the beer.
The waiting time depends on your preference and desired taste.
Ales may take around two weeks to finish bottle conditioning, but other beers should carbonate for around four to six weeks in a cool, dark place.
7 Factors That Affect The Beer Brewing Time
1. Equipment Preparation
Brewing beer takes time, depending on the brewing methods, but the equipment preparation is one factor that affects the timeline.
“You don’t need fancy gadgets… find a home-brewing-supply shop near you”– John LaPolla, Co-founder of a homebrew shop in Brooklyn
Unlike commercial breweries, you have to invest and get the right equipment for home brewing which may take time and money.
You have to set it up, which is included in the preparation time.
2. Alcohol Content
Most beers contain low alcohol content, but if you want a beer with high alcohol content (+7%), it may take some time.
Home brewing higher alcohol percentage beer needs a secondary fermentation after the primary fermentation, which will take about two weeks or nine months to one year.
3. Beer Style: Ales Vs Lagers
Light ale is the fastest beer to prepare because it takes two to three weeks to ferment, while Amber ale lasts around four weeks. Dark ale also ferments at around six weeks.
On the other hand, lager beers take much longer to finish than ales. Dark lager has a slow fermentation as it may take about a year.
Also, light lager takes about ten months.
Commercial lager beer takes about four weeks, while Amber lager goes somewhere between six months with three to four months of bottle conditioning.
4. Grain Boiling & Wort Cooling
Grain boiling is critical when making beer, as it will determine the flavor and color of your beer. You can either boil the grains immediately or get a pre-boiled grain.
Most brewers take more than an hour of boiling time, and the more complex the blend, the more boiling time you will need, which affects the timeline.
You can use grain extract to make the process easier and shorter.
Also, wort cooling takes time, so if you have a wort cooler; it may take less than 30 minutes.
5. Fermentation Process
Fermenting beer takes time. Once you add yeast, the first phase of fermentation lasts for around 3 to 15 hours.
Also, the length of the fermentation process (from adding yeast to the conversion of extra sugar into alcohol) depends on the type of beer to produce.
6. Conditioning & Clarity Process
The condition and clarity process takes about two weeks minimum. But if you want a good beer, we recommend that you condition it for six weeks or more.
5. Packaging & Carbonation
Kegging is a time saver, especially if you have a kegerator because you can skip priming sugar. Also, it is an easier and quicker packaging method.
Bottling your own beer takes time because you must wait around two weeks before you can drink your first bottle. However, it is more economical and offers convenience.
Can You Speed Up The Beer Brewing Process?
Yes, you can speed up the beer brewing by aerating well, using powdery yeast strains, and using mechanical stirring for fermenting wort.
Also, you can use warm water, as colder temperatures can slow down fermentation.
Tips To Speed Up The Process
- Pitch enough yeast.
- Aerate well.
- Control fermentation temperature.
- Chill kegs to force carbonation.
How long does it take to brew 1 gallon of beer?
It will take around four weeks to brew a 1 gallon of beer, but depending on your taste preference, you can brew beer longer.
How long does it take to brew an IPA?
Brewing Session IPAs  will take three weeks, while double IPAs can take four or more.
Can you brew a beer in 7 days?
Yes, you can brew a beer in 7 days. However, you will need the right equipment and dialed-in method.
If you are an aspiring home brewer, it will take around four to six weeks to brew your own beer.
The brewing may take about four to six hours, while fermentation may last for two weeks or more.
Packaging, carbonation, and all the possible factors mentioned above may also affect the timeline.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.