Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How long does it take??
Thread Tools
Old 09-10-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Boston, Mass
Posts: 36
Default How long does it take??

Hey all, I'm gonna brew my first batch this week. I also picked up my homebrew kit today. Very excited to get going...I was reading the directions and it says three weeks from start to finish. I've been lurking around here for alittle while and reading a much longer time. Up to 6 weeks or more.

My question is, is three weeks too short of time? Not that i'm an impatient man. (I've been eating the hops right out of the bag today)...


BlatzBeer is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
FlyGuy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7


If you have a kegging system, two to three weeks is quite do-able. Tack on another couple of weeks if you are bottling, though. Some brews also mature more quickly than others. I recently did an English mild that was very drinkable at 10 days. Bigger, darker beers may need months of aging to bring out their best flavours.

Regardless, the rule of thumb that is often followed is about one week in the primary, 2 weeks in the secondary, and three weeks in the bottle. It is a pretty good, general guide that many follow until you learn the nuances of the different recipes and their associated fermentation schedules.

FlyGuy is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
Beer Dude in the Sunset
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
mrk305's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,720
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 22


1 week in primary + 1 week in secondary & 2 weeks in bottles
mrk305 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 01:17 AM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
TheJadedDog's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: People's Republic of Cambridge
Posts: 3,323
Liked 16 Times on 13 Posts


The shortest time I have done is 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in bottles but this was for a fairly light pale ale. Most of the time I primary for 1-2 weeks, secondary for 2-3, and bottle for 3+ (except for big beers which I leave in secondary for up to 6 months) when bottling or keg and carb for a week when kegging.
And now we go AG!

On Tap: Nadda
Primary: Nadda
Planning: Extra Special Bitter
TheJadedDog is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 03:14 AM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 330
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Even the lighted of the light ales need at least one week in secondary in my opinion. Which puts you at 4 weeks. 1 primary one secondary 2 bottle. Most of your more basic recipes are ok with that schedule, but maybe if you post the recipe from the kit we can get a better idea. One thing for sure is do not bottle unless the beer is clear. You'll actually see it clearing from top to bottom in the carboy, it is a neat thing to see.

PS How long does it take is the question everyone asks me when they find out I brew so I'm guessing when you start brewing a while you'll be answering this question alot to your friends.
joshpooh is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 03:27 AM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
bradsul's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,908
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 4


Whenever I get asked I say 6 weeks. Except for hefe's I don't think anything but my session bitters are any good before that point (relatively speaking of course ). As to how I break up that 6 weeks, I always do 3 in the bottle, the first 3 weeks are either 1-2 or 2-1. It depends how fast primary goes. I've been considering skipping secondary altogether (3 weeks primary and into bottles) after reading the latest posts on the subject.
Canadian Brewers Unite!

Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station
bradsul is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 04:29 AM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
WOP31's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,332
Liked 13 Times on 6 Posts


Generally speaking the 1-2-3 rule is good but really when it comes to primary fermentation you should let your hydrometer tell you when it is done. when you come up with a stable (bout 2-3 days in a row) SG reading, it is time to rack to a secondary, or bottle. I have had some beers take up to 3 weeks to reach the FG that I wanted, some less then a week. It really depends on the style and target FG.

"Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late. The cannons don't thunder there's nothin' to plunder,
I'm an [under] forty victim of fate, Arriving too late, arriving too late."
-Jimmy Buffet
WOP31 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
Vendor and Brewer
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
Bobby_M's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,810
Liked 1335 Times on 876 Posts
Likes Given: 35


You're going to rush at least the first two batches to the point where you question the hobby in general. Green beer just tastes aweful. The key is to brew often enough (primaries are cheap) that you start forgetting you have batches becoming delicious in the back corners of your closet.
Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN! ULWD 5500w Ripple, 2000w, 1500w, etc
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.
Bobby_M is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 06:33 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 852
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1


Luckily I'm the kind of person who will take his medicine if he knows it's good for him. I've been trying a bottle of my first two batches every 7 days since bottling so I can recognize green beer when I taste it in the future, and damn has it made a difference so far. My raspberry wheat was pretty gross after a week; well carbed but had two distinct (and not particularly good) flavors. Last Saturday, after two weeks, it was much better; everything had blended and mellowed and while it wasn't wonderful it was definitely good.

For what it's worth, that one was 2 in primary and then straight to the bottle, since it's a wheat and clarity doesn't matter.
Community Beer Works: a Buffalo, NY nanobrewery that is now open!

CBW website | Twitter | Facebook | HBT thread

Niagara Association of Homebrewers ex-President
Live in or around Buffalo? Join NAH for fun and excitement!

[1:47pm] chefmike: and dont listen to sigafoos!
[1:47pm] Sigafoos: that's generally good advice
Sigafoos is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #10
Maniacally Malty
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
DeathBrewer's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,925
Liked 248 Times on 129 Posts


leave it in your primary(+secondary if you have one) for three weeks. then leave in bottles for three weeks...minimum. even after that, i wouldn't drink them all at once...save a few for 6 weeks in bottles or longer. you'll thank yourself later.

the only exception would be hefeweizens which can finish in about 10 days and bottle for 3 weeks. but they still usually taste their best at about 6 weeks in bottle.

for BIG beers, it may take months. just be patient and you'll come out with much better beer

Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

"Death is always with us." - Brewpastor

We will remember...
DeathBrewer is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How long is too long in a secondary for a wheat beer? newbeerpig Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 15 09-26-2011 05:49 PM
How long is too long for Belgian Strong Ale (1.072) in Primary? redalert Fermentation & Yeast 19 03-20-2010 02:57 AM
Left in primary too long, how long in secondary? BrownAle4Me Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 10-15-2009 07:54 PM
Help me connect with my long long German Beer... jdcoffman General Beer Discussion 29 03-13-2007 09:11 PM
How long is too long after mixing priming sugar? fezzman Bottling/Kegging 3 11-28-2006 07:25 PM

Forum Jump

Newest Threads