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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > 10 days in the fermenter, no action in the last 5-6 days
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default 10 days in the fermenter, no action in the last 5-6 days

My first batch ever has been in the primary fermenter for 10 days. I have not seen any action in 5-6 days. I fear that I failed to aerate my wort sufficiently before pitching my yeast an sealing the top on the fermenter.

It is a 5 gallon batch of shiner bock clone, malt extract recipe. After transferring to the fermenter, I stirred it up a bit, but now I fear it was not nearly enough to aerate it sufficiently for fermentation.

Should I abandon ship, open it and have a look (if so, what am I looking for), or just leave it be for a while longer?

Thanks!
Joe

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
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You should open it up and take a hydrometer reading and see if it is near your final predicted gravity. Do this a couple of days after that. If successive readings are the same it is done. My guess is it fermented and is done. I regularly have beers reach terminal gravity in 4-5 days.

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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What you're describing is completely normal. You'll typically see a couple if days of vigorous activity in the airlock, and that's about it. If you're fermenting in buckets and don't have a visual indicator, I'd wait another week and check your gravity. If you're in a carboy, look and see if the beer has gotten darker (indicating the yeast has dropped out). If so you could take a gravity now, but another week our so wouldn't hurt.

Yes, you definitely want to try and aerate well, but from my experience it won't result in your yeast pooping out that reality.

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:44 AM   #4
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Okay, I will give it a while longer and then take a reading. Thanks for the advise. BRW, yes it is in a white bucket, so no visibility.

My next and slightly related newbie question: What is the purpose/advantage of moving to a secondary carboy before bottling? I have a carboy and was prepared to do so, but I've seen some people say it is not necessary.

Side note:
I am mashing my second batch right now. It's a mini mash magic hat #9 clone. The confidence to jump straight to mini mash I a direct result of reading this forum. So again, thanks to both of you and all the others who contribute!

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:56 AM   #5
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fwiw, even with temperature control holding the brews in the mid-60s°F, nearly every primary fermentation I've run over the years is 95%+ "complete" within 5 days from pitching.

The use of secondary fermenters seems unnecessary for simple clarification. There's nothing magic about transferring the wort to another vessel to just let sit quietly. The beer will sit quietly just as well in the primary fermenter, while eliminating a handful of contamination opportunities involved with racking...

Cheers!

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:56 AM   #6
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There's a to secondary our not thread that's hugely long around here. Draw your own conclusion. My opinion is that there's no point.

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Old 11-26-2012, 03:30 AM   #7
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Thanks!

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
My guess is it fermented and is done. I regularly have beers reach terminal gravity in 4-5 days.
This.

For the sake of learning, taking a hydrometer reading would be a good idea, but you'll likely be just fine just giving it another week or so in the primary and packaging from there. I personally wouldn't bother w/ a secondary.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #9
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Another piece of information. You want to aerate the wort before pitching the yeast. Any action after fermentation should be limited to gentle swirling. If you aerate the beer after fermentation you will oxidize it and that is one way you CAN ruin your beer.

3 weeks in primary - check for final gravity then bottle. Secondary is most useful for additions like fruit of oak.

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Any action after fermentation should be limited to gentle swirling. If you aerate the beer after fermentation you will oxidize it and that is one way you CAN ruin your beer.
You can still add additional O2 to the wort during the lag/growth phase (roughly 12-18 hours if I remember correctly), but I understand your point. Although just to nitpick a little more, there should be a nice blanket of CO2 on top anyways, so any shaking isn't likely to introduce a significant amount of O2 IMO.
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