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Old 12-23-2010, 04:16 AM   #1
toniogarces
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Default Fermentation question

I'm brewing a Nut Brown ale, and I poured it into the carboy 48 hrs ago. The level of activity didn't pick up until after 8 hours and it has now dwindled drastically... is this normal? All literature I've read says highly active fermentation usually lasts through the third or fourth day of fermentation...

Help, anyone?

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:19 AM   #2
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If there are still bubbles coming through the airlock, it's still fermenting. Give it time to do it's thing.

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:21 AM   #3
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Eight hours is actually kind of quick for a start. Some times it is fast and sometines it runs slow. It sounds fine to me. Leave it alone for three of four weeks and let it finish up.

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:25 AM   #4
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Yeah, there's still CO2 coming through the airlock. And how about checking the gravity to make sure it's ready to bottle? How do I draw a sample without letting air in? It sounds pretty impossible to me since my carboy doesn't have a valve...

Thanks

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:29 AM   #5
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Just wait three or four weeks. It will finish up. In the mean time, brew some more and start emptying some bottles.

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Old 12-23-2010, 05:02 AM   #6
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3 or 4 weeks? ****, I was going to bottle in 3 more days, then age for 10 more...

Oh, and I can't brew any more because I only have 1 carboy... Like I said, I'm a noob.

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Old 12-23-2010, 05:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toniogarces View Post
Oh, and I can't brew any more because I only have 1 carboy... Like I said, I'm a noob.
Brew on bottling day, it gives you something to do during the boil
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
Brew on bottling day, it gives you something to do during the boil
Sounds like a recipe for a noob disaster to me.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toniogarces View Post
3 or 4 weeks? ****, I was going to bottle in 3 more days, then age for 10 more...
The general consensus is ferment in the primary for 3 weeks or more, then bottle condition for 3 weeks or more.

As for drawing a sample, don't worry too much about letting air in, but also don't take a crazy amount of samples either. Once per week is probably even too much. The best way to grab a sample from a carboy is with whats called a wine thief (available at any LHBS or online).
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toniogarces View Post
3 or 4 weeks? ****, I was going to bottle in 3 more days, then age for 10 more...

Oh, and I can't brew any more because I only have 1 carboy... Like I said, I'm a noob.
I've been there and done that. I did a kit and followed the instructions the said to ferment for a week and then bottle and wait a week to have beer. I had beer all right but it wasn't good beer. It got better in a couple more weeks but it still wasn't really good for another 2 weeks.

Let this one have more time in the carboy so it completes its fermentation. Even when you think its done because it isn't bubbling anymore, it still isn't done with its fermentation. Given time, the yeast will clean up more of the off flavors that it produces during that very active ferment that it does in the first couple of days.

Since you only have one carboy, you have a problem. Fortunately, its an easy problem to fix. Spend about $15 for a fermentation bucket with a lid and grommet. Spend another $2 for a second airlock and you can have a second ferment going while you wait for the first to finish. Trust me, you'll enjoy the hobby more and get better beer with 2 ferment containers to work with.
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