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What Is The Hardest Beer To Brew?

The hardest beer to brew is any beer that you’re attempting to make without the proper tools. With a beer-making kit, you can cut out unnecessary steps that slow down and complicate the brewing process. This gives you more time to focus on actually brewing and getting the trickier parts right. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the easiest and hardest beers to brew at home. 

What Type of Beer Is the Hardest To Make?

The hardest beers to make are the ones with finicky flavor profiles. When attempting to brew batches of these beers, even small mistakes can throw off the end result. For advanced brewers, the following types of beer can present a challenging—yet rewarding—brewing experience:

  • Light Lagers: Because these light brews rely on subtle flavor profiles to deliver a refreshing taste, there isn’t much in the beer to cover up any mistakes. 
  • Pilsners: As a subset of lagers, pilsners are also notoriously finicky. You won’t be able to disguise errors behind overwhelming flavors with these batches.
  • Sour Beers: These beers require an entire extra step during the brewing process. Instead of just steeping your grains and then bringing your wort to a boil as you mix in the rest of your ingredients, you need first to seal your mixture in a kettle to allow the sour flavor to develop. This step requires meticulous monitoring of both temperature and pH levels. 

What Is the Easiest Beer To Brew At Home?

The easiest beers to brew at home are more forgiving when it comes to flavors and aromas. These beers include:

At Great Fermentations, we often recommend the Chico Suave Pale Ale Beer Kit for beginners. Check out the recipe here.

What Is the Hardest Beer To Brew at Home?

Aside from having a tricky balance of flavors, the hardest beers to brew at home are the ones without a clear process. The good news is that you have a great deal of control over how difficult or easy your general process is!

How To Make Beer at Home Easy

Most home brewing recipes will have you follow these general steps:

  1. Gather equipment and supplies for brewing day.
  2. Clean equipment.
  3. Sanitize equipment.
  4. Steep grains and create wort.
  5. Ferment wort into beer.
  6. Gather equipment and supplies for bottling day.
  7. Clean equipment.
  8. Sanitize equipment.
  9. Prep the bottling container with priming sugar.
  10. Transfer the beer into a primed bottling container.
  11. Fill bottles.
  12. Cap and seal each bottle.
  13. Store bottles.
  14. Enjoy with friends and family!

Seems pretty straightforward, right? You can make this process even easier by using a beer brewing kit. These kits make your setup steps a lot more efficient and can come with either essential beer brewing equipment or pre-portioned home brewing ingredients.

Is It Harder To Brew a Lager or IPA?

IPAs often take less time to ferment and are less sensitive to changes in temperature during fermentation than lagers, which makes IPAs an easier brew. Light lagers also have the added challenge of relying on a subtle flavor profile. Small errors during the brewing process can throw off both taste and aroma. Overall, IPAs offer a more straightforward, less risky brew for new home brewers. 

Why Do Lagers Take Longer To Ferment?

The main reason why lagers take longer to ferment is that they should be fermented at lower temperatures than many other brews. These lower temperatures slow down the metabolism of the yeast in the wort, which makes it take longer for the yeast to create alcohol. So, how much longer does it take lagers to ferment? In some cases, they can require two months in a primary fermenter and then an additional three to four months in a secondary fermenter. Most other brews are good to go with one fermentation process that takes an average of two weeks.

If you’re looking for one of the quickest beers to brew, try an American ale like the Mosaic Medley Pale Ale, which takes just under two weeks to ferment. You can also shorten your overall brewing process with homebrew starter kits and beer ingredient kits.

What Is the Most Complex Beer Style?

Sours are one of the most complex beer styles. These brews have several key flavors working together, and they even require an additional pre-sealing process before boiling the wort. Dark stouts also feature complex flavor profiles, while light beers offer a challenge through low margins for error.

What Is the Strongest Beer Brew?

Typically, brewers can create a beer with up to 21% alcohol content—which is stronger than many types of wine. There’s even a beer with 67.5% alcohol content, although there’s still debate as to whether or not this qualifies as a beer. For home brewers, recipes tend to range between 5 and 10% alcohol content, which is perfect for casual nights sharing your brews with friends and family.    

Great Fermentations: Your Source for Easy Brews or a Challenge!

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a home brewer or you’re looking for ways to spice things up, Great Fermentations has what you need. Our homebrew starter kits make it easy to set up or upgrade your home brewery, and our beer ingredient kits are great for learning the basics or exploring new and advanced recipes!

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