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Old 03-22-2014, 02:45 AM   #1
Starchild
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Default Is fermentation really finished?

Hi, I'm new to this so don't know maybe there is already a thread relating to this...
I brewed a 5 gallon batch, it fermented like crazy for three day then it almost stopped. My OG was 1.043 (a little below my target).
after 7 days I dryhopped and took another gravity reading, it was on 1.01 (also a little below my target), but that was a clear indicator that fermentation is finished right?
It's day 14 now and I want to bottle...but when I checked the airlock was bubbling very slowly again
What is up with that...did it start fermenting again? Is it just a little CO2 from the dryhopping (don't even know if that's possible)? Or is it just the last of the gasses getting out? Can it be like wild yeast or contamination that triggered the process again? I don't have a clue...
Basically my question is can I bottle or should I wait?
Even if I take another gravity reading a very highly doubt that it will have fallen below 1.01...
Any help would be much appreciated
Thanx

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Old 03-22-2014, 02:57 AM   #2
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If you take another gravity reading an it's not below 1.01 then you know it's done. The only way to know for sure is to get at least 3 days of the same gravity reading. Air-lock activity isn't an indicator at all, it could be bubbling for other reasons unrelated to fermentation.

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:00 AM   #3
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You will receive many opinions from your questions raised, and here is my view.....I believe fermentation is fully complete. The bubbling is from degassing and not from fermentation kicking up again. (not with a gravity reading of .010). Let it sit in the FV for 1 more week and then bottle. It will turn out great!

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:00 AM   #4
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I am going to suggest what you highly doubt will help, but for a reason. Usually airlocks can bubble from just about anything including warmer temp rise, adding stuff (like hops), or just moving it a bit. If you take a gravity reading and it HAS moved, then it has a little bug friend that may be fermenting a bit more. If it is the same reading though, bottle.

Story time. I had an imperial stout that fermented nicely for 3 weeks, finished, and dropped all of the krausen which I was happy with believing that it was done without checking the gravity to make sure. I had some stuff to do for the next couple of days and didn't get to bottling. After about another week, I heard some bubbling in the other room. There was a whole other krausen that had formed on the top and was bubbling away happily. I was not so happy though. It ended at 1.004. Blah. Not ideal for an imperial stout. Came out very dry obviously with a watery mouthfeel.

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:07 AM   #5
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As ever, if you're not sure wait till gravity is consistent for 3 days, once it is, feel free to package.

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:18 AM   #6
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If the final gravity is stable for 3 days or so it is finished. However, most all beers benefit from sitting for more time to let the yeast clean up. Many leave their beers sitting for 3-4 weeks before bottling/kegging. It is hard to do but worth it for the final product.

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Old 03-22-2014, 04:39 AM   #7
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Thanx for all the input guys.
I'll take another gravity reading but cant imagine it will drop more...but
if a stout can drop to 0.004 who knows...
Lets hope I don't have a room flooded with exploded beers
It just still bugs me I hate not knowing what the hell is going on in there....
The beauty of science right

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Old 03-22-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
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Your dry hop addition gave the CO2 places to cling to, called nucleation sites. This is why you are seeing bubbling again, not because it is fermenting more. During fermentation, even though you have an airlock to release CO2 pressure, a certain amount remains in solution in your beer. Those nucleation sites on the hops attract the CO2 and bubbles form and come out of solution (think mentos in diet coke, but not that violent). Check the gravity and if it's still 1.010 and your dry hop time has passed, bottle it.

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Old 03-24-2014, 02:33 AM   #9
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that makes sense,
awesome info Joppa thanx a lot.
I checked the gravity again and it was still .01.
Thanx for all the input everybody!

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