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Old 07-08-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default fermentation still going, sign of infection?

Brewing first beer from extract kit. Its a wheat ale. Used Wyeast wheat smack pack. Added a half gallon of filtered water after boil to reach OG target. Put in basement and its temp was 68* F. Anyway it fermented like crazy the first couple days even overflowing out of the airlock. It has now been 7 days and I thought fermentation would be slow by now but it's still going at a good pace, like a bubble every 5 seconds. After the first 3 days the temp dropped to 66*. Im now wondering if maybe there is a gusher infection or something. Any ideas on why it would still be so active?

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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The drop in temp may have slowed fermentation a bit. If you were good about keeping everything sanitized I wouldn't worry. You can always take a sample and give it a sniff/taste.

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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I'm a relatively new brewer, but I've made 3 hefes so far and I don't think it's at all unusual to still be fermenting after 7 days at those temps.

My guess is everything is completely normal.

Personally, I don't take my first post-fermentation SG reading until at least day 10, and then check again 3 days later to ensure the primary fermentation is complete.

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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I am a new brewer and I did a belgian whit. Its foamed outa the airlock several times. I have it in my house at 73 degrees and its still goin like crazy too. It is day 8. Is it ok to rack to secondary fermenter b4 the bubbling totally stops?

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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I thought the temp drop was because the primary fermentation was complete because the temp in the basement hasn't changed. I was careful about sanitizing everything but I didnt think much about the filtered water, I didnt boil it and the pitcher I had it in was not sanitized (it was dishwashed a while before). Anything I can check for to tell if its infected?

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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The temp drop may be just because the primary fermentation has slowed down (the yeast have finished off the easy to eat sugars, and have since turned their attention to the more complex ones that take them more time to 'digest') -- not because the fermentation has ceased.

You can try opening the fermenter, see what it smells like, or tastes like, and perhaps post a picture to the forum, but if it isn't infected, opening it unnecessarily risks introducing an infection.

I know patience can be hard, especially with our first brews! I remember how often I was obsessing over my first brew.

But my advice is to leave it alone for at least a few more days. I really do think what you're experiencing is, in all probability, completely normal.

Cheers!

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Old 07-09-2013, 05:10 AM   #7
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Its fermenting in a glass carboy and I see bubbles and swirling so it looks like yeast are still working. I dont see any signs of infection and the smell out of the airlock smells normal. It did have a higher OG of 1.054 and it was extract so maybe it will just take longer. I have done a few ciders and perry before and those usually were slowed by 3-4 days. Oh well, I'll just keep waiting and see. Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2013, 05:23 AM   #8
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Yeah I think you are fine. I'd give it 10-14days then check the FG to see if you're at target FG then again in a couple days to verify fermentation is complete. The airlock is simply that. Do not judge you're fermentation from how many bubbles in the airlock over x amount of time. The only way to Know fermentation is complete is by checking your specific gravity.

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Old 07-09-2013, 07:09 AM   #9
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the only thing that a bubbling airlock tells you is that your airlock is bubbling. it doesn't tell you if fermentation is active, complete, and it sure as shine doesn't tell you if you've got an infection or contaminant! have patience, check the gravity to determine the status of the fermentation.

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Old 07-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kcmfg View Post
Its fermenting in a glass carboy and I see bubbles and swirling so it looks like yeast are still working. I dont see any signs of infection and the smell out of the airlock smells normal. It did have a higher OG of 1.054 and it was extract so maybe it will just take longer. I have done a few ciders and perry before and those usually were slowed by 3-4 days. Oh well, I'll just keep waiting and see. Thanks.
Agree that everything's fine and to give it a good 10-14 days total before measuring your final gravity.

I've never made cider, but it's my understanding that the sugar in apples is 'simpler', that is, generally easier for the yeast to 'digest' than some of the more complex sugars that come from grains and extracts. On this basis, I would think it would be logical that beer would take longer to ferment than cider.

Again, though, I haven't made cider myself, yet.
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