It’s summertime, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer. After crushing it at your 9-5, you come home to find it’s still light out and you’ve got some time on your hands. While sitting down and cracking open a cold one may be the most convenient way to unwind, there is a more fulfilling route you can take: brewing your own beer. Home brewing is becoming an increasingly popular hobby for even the most casual of beer drinkers.
For those who have never done it, making the transition from a beer drinker to a beer brewer might seem like a daunting task. However, certain beers can be more forgiving of beginner’s mistakes, or even almost impossible to screw up. If you’re looking to start home brewing, but don’t know where to start, then this is for you.
Whether you’d like to impress your friends with a challenging lager, or simply want a beer that will pass as drinkable for your first batch, these levels will give you an idea of where to start and what to step up to when your skills have advanced.
Beers That Are Almost Hard To Screw Up: Pale Ales
With any type of pale ale, the hops will likely be able mask any mistakes that a beginner might make. When home brewing pale ales, take into consideration that they have a fast fermentation period starting at around two weeks, and don’t require too much equipment to get started. Home brewing IPAs are a particularly forgiving pale ale that also happens to be quite trendy right now, so you can earn some home brew street cred with a beer that you can easily make.
For Those Looking For A Moderate Challenge: Porters
These can be an easy style to make as all of the flavor and bitterness in them mask many simple mistakes. However, it’s difficult to make a great one as you have to find the right balance between the flavors in your batch. Their recipes are also fairly uncomplicated, and simple to follow. When home brewing porters, it’s best to have some mild experience in home brewing under your belt before you dive right into it.
When You’re Ready To Really Impress Your Friends: Lagers
The need for specific varying temperature-control during the fermentation process of lagers make these a more challenging style for home brewers. It’s also a much lighter style of beer that doesn’t mask mistakes well. In addition to these factors, they require a significantly longer fermentation process that could take a month or two (compared to two weeks for some ale styles), and demand more complex brewing materials. Consider the home brewing for lagers as the masters course in home brewery.
While there are different elements in each beer and it’s brewing process that affect its difficulty level, one of the most important factors in brewing a successful first batch is choosing a beer that you like! Since most recipes will produce a significant amount of beer, it’s important to start with a style that you enjoy so you don’t end up with gallons of beer and less motivation to try your second batch.