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-   -   Fermentation Question from First Time Brewer (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/fermentation-question-first-time-brewer-158756/)

elmer88 01-23-2010 02:46 PM

Fermentation Question from First Time Brewer
I am currently brewing by first home brew, it is a kit from Midwest Autumn Amber Ale with a Munton's 6gm dry Yeast. I did my boil on Thursday afternoon and had the beer in fermenting by 5:00pm by 3:00am on Friday morning I was starting to see bubbles from my airlock. All day Friday the airlock continued to show good fermentation, at one time I was getting about a bubble per sec. Now the bubbling has slowed to one ever min. or even a little longer. Should i be concerned?

Revvy 01-23-2010 02:51 PM

Nope all is normal....

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. And the peak of fermentation has already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.

The bubbling just means that it is venting excess CO2, nothing more. If it's not bubbling, that only means that it is not producing enough co2 to need to vent.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

Fermentation is winding down, so it's not releasing excess co2 anymore, that's all.

Just leave it alone for at least another 10 days OR MORE, then you can take a hydrometer reading and decide if you want to secondary it...OR you can do what many many many of us do and leave your beer alone for a month, that will let the beer finish fermenting and then let the yeast clean up after themselves, that way they will get rid of all the byproducts of fermentation that often lead to off flavors, and if new/impatient brewers move to soon, they end up stuck with.

Thoughts about that have shifted over the last few years, now we have found that leaving the beer in primary for a month improves the flavor of beer by cleaning up the byproducts of fermentation...There is about 1,000,000 threads about it, including at least 5 threads active today alone in the beginners section...look for threads about secondary, long primary, no secondary, long primary, autolysis, and you will see our answers, over and over and over again.

All my beers stay in primary for a month, been doing it for 3 years now, and have won awards for my beers doing so....

Even John Palmer talks about this in How To Bew;


Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.

elmer88 01-23-2010 03:55 PM

Thanks for the advice. Thought something might have been wrong but I'll just ride it out.

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