Home Brew Bloggers on January 24, 2020 0 Comments You were just informed that you’re having a St. Patrick’s Day party and your significant other has assigned you the task of brewing a special beer for the occasion. While you’re thrilled at actually being given permission to use your home brew kit and home brew skills, you’re also plagued with questions. Do you have enough time to start a home brew for St. Paddy’s Day? What type of beer should you brew? We have answers to your questions plus tips to make it a St. Paddy’s Day to remember. How long does it take to brew beer? The quick answer is: that depends. The minimum amount of time you can expect from opening your home brew kit to drinking the beer from the bottle largely depends on the type of beer you’re brewing and the recommended fermentation time. For example, a light ale ferments at a much faster rate (1 to 3 weeks) than a light lager (4 to 6 weeks). Here are the steps to take to begin brewing: Step 1: Choose your home brew kit Step 2: Clean and sanitize the equipment Step 3: Prepare ingredients (1 to 2 hours) Step 4: First fermentation (about 2 weeks) Step 5: Bottle conditioning and second fermentation (2 to 4 weeks) Step 6: Drink and enjoy! Typically, the brewing period from start to finish is 4 to 6 weeks. While home brewing does require patience, it can be hard to wait! It’s okay to try your brew after the first two-week fermentation, but just be aware that many beers benefit from a longer fermentation time. Otherwise, you could end up with flat beer. There are some exceptions. We’ve included a few recipes below. What home brew recipe should I try? If you start your home brew soon with one of the recipes below, then you should have something to taste test with friends in time for St. Paddy’s Day. Dry Irish Stout “Featured in Amahl Turczyn’s book A Year of Beer, this gold medal-winning recipe from Rob Schutte is sure to satisfy all homebrewers, Irish or not. The classic dry-style stout is usually opaque black, with a medium body and medium to high hop bitterness. Enjoy the dark notes, complemented by the dry fruit, coffee and chocolate flavors.” Primary fermentation: 6 days Secondary fermentation: 9 days Total time: 15 days Irish Red Ale This recipe comes from author Mark Pasquinelli’s article on Irish Red Ales in the March/April 2009 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Mark describes it as: “the ultimate session beer: not too dark, alcoholic, malty or bitter—a metaphor in moderation, even capable of bridging gaps between stout snobs and light lager lovers.” Total time: About a month Irish Hunt Porter with Brett In the book “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home,” author Michael Dawson writes: “Drinking this beer young will highlight the tarry, French-roast quality of the black patent and the bittersweet admixture of malt, ale yeast, and hops. A beer like this can be served as a running porter—fresh for immediate consumption and quick turnaround—or a keeping porter, aged for many months or more.” Total time: 2 to 3 days (running porter) 3 to 12 months (keeping porter) This beer can be made in time for St. Paddy’s Day this year and will be ready to try again next year! How can I make my beer green? Drinking green beer on St. Paddy’s Day shouldn’t be confused with drinking green beer when home brewing. The term “green beer” in home brewing lingo means that your beer hasn’t completed the fermentation process yet, so the beer won’t taste good. However, green beer on St. Paddy’s Day is just referring to the color of beer you get by adding food coloring. You’ll get the best results by adding a couple drops of green food coloring to a lighter beer. You don’t have to worry about it changing the flavor or quality of the beer. But you can count on it adding to the fun of sharing a pint of your home brew at your St. Paddy’s Day party.