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The rock music artist Tom Petty had a hit song that went, “The waiting is the hardest part”. And when it comes to brewing your own beer, maybe the most difficult step of them all is the fermentation and aging process. After all, the steps leading up to the time when you wait for beer to mature is full of activity. From shopping for new equipment and ingredients, to cleaning and preparation to boiling the wort to cooling and preparing for fermentation, it’s a fun process. And that is what you want from a great hobby.

When you have used all of your skills to make a wonderful wort that is ready to ferment and age, waiting for that process to finish seems to take forever. If this is among your first sets or if you tried a brand-new grain or hops, you are anxious to see exactly how great the beer will taste. You are also anxious to offer your treasured ice-cool homemade beer to loved ones. But you also understand that if you break in and disrupt the process too soon, the beer will be disappointing and also not as flavorful as how it will be when the aging process is done. So you wait, often impatiently.

One method to avoid this wait in home brewing is to have fresh batches of beer done each week. You could at some point end up with batches of beer in various phases of fermentation and aging. For this, you need to date the storage containers so you know which beer to drink next, as well as which needs more time to get to maturity. If you take into account that a typical batch of home brewed beer produces around 5 gallons of beer,  you will have a great deal of beer around. So much, that you will need to start calling an audience of beer drinkers to assist you drink it up.

The waiting time is harder after the beer is bottled, when the brewing process is complete. From there up until it is prepared to taste could be anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, if you include both fermentation and also aging. As the fermentation continues, carbon dioxide is produced and this gives your beer that bubbly quality that is a huge component of the drink.

No matter how anxious you are to try the new stuff, it’s worth it to allow the process to be completed naturally. There are some undesirable by-products that you can get if not follow the required times. It does take a lot of patience to be a beer maker!

A vital step in producing the best beer is choosing a place for your beer to be left resting during fermentation. As you already know by now, you cannot save the beer in the fridge during this phase, because cold temperatures stop the fermentation process. That is why you keep milk there!

You can test some of the beer out as early as 4 weeks from the begin of fermentation. However, for the best possible beer, you must give this stage two to four months for sufficient aging.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is SO sweet.