“What is the biggest challenge of home brewing?” I get this question a lot from friends and family. For me the hardest part is the wait time between the brew date and when it finally makes it to the bottles. The first few days after you brew a batch of beer you can hear the air bubbles escaping out of the airlock, making a very satisfying sound. However this quickly dies down as the fermentation does not become as rapid as it was at the beginning. Then there is the waiting for the beer to carbonate once the beer is bottled. In the end a batch of beer can take anywhere from 4 weeks to months.

The first batch of beer I brewed was a Scottish Ale, which had a fairly low ABV% and did not contain a lot of hops. This allowed it to have a very quick turn-around of 4 weeks, although as with most beers it tastes better the longer you wait to drink it. During December 2013 I brewed a Milk Stout that could have been ready to drink in as little as 2 months, however I let it stay in the fermenter for 5 months before bottling. It was well worth the wait since it tasted amazing, one of the best Milk Stouts I ever had. During November, I finished off the last bottle of the Milk Stout and it was well worth the wait. The flavor and smoothness of the beer improved, which I did not think was possible, over the 6 months it was in the bottle…a full 11 months from the original brew date.

Got a question for me? Shoot me an email at JPovlich@chortek.com.