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Old 10-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
Geiger420
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Default Ferment done in 4-5 days

I brewed a chocolate milk stout 9/5 and when I got back in town tuesday it was completeply done bubbling.. I racked it to a secondary and added my nibs to it..

I brewed a peace coffee stout porter. Brewed it wednesday, its two days into primary and the krausen has dropped and is starting to clear. Bubbling 1 every 4 seconds.. I have a feeling this will be done by sunday...

When I first started brewing I swore it took 7-10 days for the primary to finish.

any thoughts?

No I have not taken a gravity.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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I am always suspicious when people claim to have their ferment done in a few days. Experienced homebrewers can do that because they pitch a lot of healthy yeast and keep their temps where they should be.

But most of the time I am reading about new brewers who let the temps go where they may and don't realize how important temperature is during the primary fermentation. Low temps slow the yeast down and extend or stall fermentation. High temps accelerate the fermentation process, but usually cause the yeast to create off flavors.

So I think the answer to your question is, this may be normal or not, depending on the pitching rate and temperature (and the yeast strain).

So besides the obvious question, "what is your gravity?" I'd like to ask:

What was the yeast strain?
How much yeast did you pitch?
What was the temperature during fermentation?
Also, what was the OG of the wort?

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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I do monitor my temp, its been about 65 constant in my office where I keep my fermenting ales. I pitched a dry packet yeast in both brews. I would normally used a liquid yeast which I know tends to take a bit to start off but I had the dry. The yeast has taken off in about 8hrs of me pitching it.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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Bubbling stopping doesn't mean fermentation has stopped it ONLY means bubbling has. An airlock is a VENT, a VALVE for EXCESS CO2. It's not a magic fermentation gauge. When the majority of sugars are eaten in the initial burst of fermentation, lots of co2 is released. As it slows down, bubbling ceases or stops altogether because there's not as much EXCESS Co2 being released.

But that doesn't mean fermentation is over, just that it's slowed down.

Fermentation is not always dynamic...just because you don't SEE anything happening doesn't mean that the yeast aren't happily chewing away at whatever fermentables are in there....the only way to know comes from gravity readings, and nothing else.

People who rack to a secondary too soon based on bubbling often get stuck fermentation, because they've taken the beer off the yeast while it was STILL FERMENTING.

It could just as easily be bubbling or stop bubbling for that matter, due to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, or whether or not the cat or vacuum cleaner bumped into it, as it could be to because it's still fermenting.

Activity, action, bubbles, even krausen can be affected by the envoironment just as much as it being caused by the yeast...so going by that is NOT reliable.

If you want to know what's going on with your beer, then take a gravity reading. The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Going by airlocks is the same thing. There's still things going on under the surface despite what an airlock is or isn't doing.

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Old 10-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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In my experience with good aeration both liquid and dry can take off quickly, or with some lag, depending on the temps and strain. Usually a rehydrated dry can take off right away, and liquid with an active starter will go even quicker.

Temps are low enough to make me wonder if it's as finished as you think. A low gravity ale can be done quickly though. We just don't know enough to come up with anything other than supposition. When it comes down to it, the only information you need is your OG and FG. You can get the FG with a hydrometer. If you didn't measure the OG than you have to guess at what the FG was based on the ingredients, or instructions if it's a kit.

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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my beer has fermented in 8 days i thought due to bubbling was stuck after 3 but my hydro is almost at 1.000 even can i rack off and bottle?

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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1.000 is pretty low for beer. Did you adjust the reading for temperature? Check calibration in water?

8 Days is still pretty short time even if it's done with primary. If it were me, I'd at least cold crash and let some of the stuff settle out before bottling. The extra week won't hurt the beer and will only make it clearer.

What kind of beer is it?

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Old 10-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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I've had a beer finish in 3 days before. I sat there, looked for any change in gravity, checked for stall, etc, but it was DONE. I bottled and it was excellent. All hail Notty!

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Old 10-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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+1 to Revvy's reply

One other consideration would be the difference between fermentation temperature and ambient temperature. My first few fermentations I put down as occurring at 68F because that was ambient temperature. Now that I put a fermometer on the glass carboys, I have noted that the fermentation heat is raising the temperature up to 74F-75F at high krausen. A 8 degree difference could take your yeast out of their ideal temperature range depending on where the ambient temperature starts, and what yeast strain you are using.

Is this the temperature we are interested in controlling? Or is ambient fine to go by, knowing we will get the natural increase from the exothermic fermentation reaction?

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Old 10-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
In my experience with good aeration both liquid and dry can take off quickly, or with some lag, depending on the temps and strain. Usually a rehydrated dry can take off right away, and liquid with an active starter will go even quicker.

Temps are low enough to make me wonder if it's as finished as you think. A low gravity ale can be done quickly though. We just don't know enough to come up with anything other than supposition. When it comes down to it, the only information you need is your OG and FG. You can get the FG with a hydrometer. If you didn't measure the OG than you have to guess at what the FG was based on the ingredients, or instructions if it's a kit.
The kit has an OG of 1.051, I took a gravity since I got my new hydrometer this morning. It gave me a reading of 1.020.. This seems to be normal on what I have been reading on northern brewers site..
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