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How long does it take to brew a batch of beer?

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Brewing beer can take as little as two and a half hours for a simple extract batch and up to six hours for a complex all grain recipe. It is not a good idea to rush anything in brewing. Cutting back the boil time is not feasible because that time is needed to convert alpha acids in the hops into the bittering flavors they provide. Similarly cutting down mash time leads to lower efficiency. These are things we just can’t get around in the process. Below is a breakdown of our estimate on how long it would take brew a batch of home brew given different methods.

Extract Batch without steeping grains:

  • 30 minutes – setup, and wait for water to boil
  • 1 hour – boil
  • 30 minutes – cooling, fill primary, pitch yeast
  • 30 minutes – clean up
  • 2 hours 30 minutes total.

Extract batches are the fastest because there is no mash to worry about and less equipment to deal with.

 

Extract Batch with steeping grains:

  • 30 minutes – setup, and wait for water to warm up
  • 45 minutes – steep grains
  • 15 minutes – wait for boil
  • 1 hour – boil
  • 30 minutes – cooling, fill primary, pitch yeast
  • 30 minutes – clean up
  • 3 hours 30 minutes total.

Steeping grains add real flavor, color, and freshness to plain extract batches. The extra time in our opinion is completely worth it, and the differences will be noticeable.

 

All Grain Batch:

  • 45 minutes – setup, and wait for mash water to warm up
  • 1 hour, 30 minutes – mash
  • 15 minutes – wait for boil
  • 1 hour – boil
  • 30 minutes – cooling, fill primary, pitch yeast
  • 30 minutes – clean up
  • 4 hours 30 minutes total.

All grain brewing does take longer. Complete control over the ingredients and mash leads to noticable benefits in the finished product.

 

All Grain Batch with 90 minute boil and longer mash:

  • 45 minutes – setup, and wait for mash water to warm up
  • 2 hour, 30 minutes – mash
  • 15 minutes – wait for boil
  • 1 hour 30 minute – boil
  • 30 minutes – cooling, fill primary, pitch yeast
  • 30 minutes – clean up
  • 6 hours total.

Some brews, particularly those using a large amount of Pilsner malt use a 90 minute boil. Longer mash times can also lead to higher efficiency.

 

Other thoughts:

One way to save on setup/tear down time is to have a dedicated brew space, like a shed. This takes time to build up to, but it is really nice to have.

Does time really matter when it comes to home brewing? If you are enjoying yourself that is what matters. Brewing is stress relief.

Perfecting an IPA, a lager, a stout, whatever your preference, is an admirable thing to master over one’s lifetime.
  1. 2 Responses to “How long does it take to brew a batch of beer?”

  2. Thinking about the worst case scenario, an all grain brewer will take:

    45 minutes – setup, and wait for mash water to warm up
    3 hours – triple decoction mash
    1 hour 30 minutes – fly sparge at 0.08GPM
    15 minutes – wait for boil
    1 hour 30 minute – boil
    30 minutes – chill, fill primary, oxygenate, pitch yeast
    1 hour – clean up
    8 hours 30 minutes total.

    By Emerson on Jun 13, 2012

  3. Add a one hour lunch break and that is more than a full day! A triple decoction is a labor of love for sure!

    By Larry on Jun 15, 2012

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