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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > fermtation halt
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default fermtation halt

This has happened to me two times and i wanted some input. on my most recent AG, primary fermentation went crazy for the first two days, then it all stops. I watched the bubbler for 5 minutes with no activity at all. I'm just assuming it can be finished fermenting in two days right?

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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This depends on alot of things, but the airlock has nothing to do with fermentation. Gravity readings are the only way to determine if your brew is done with the attenuation phase of fermentation.

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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How do you know fermentation stopped? Fermentation doesn't just stop. An airlock is NOT a fermentation gauge.

Bubbling doesn't really mean anything other than the airlock is bubbling. And airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it's a vent to bleed off EXCESS gas, be it oxygen or EXCESS co2. It shouldn't be looked at as anything else, because an airlock can bubble or stop bubbling for whatever reasons, including a change in temperature (gas expands and contracts depending on ambient temps) changes in barometric pressure (You can have bubbling or suckback in the airlock, depending on pressure on the fermenter) whether or not a truck is going by on the street, the vacuum cleaner is running, or your dog is trying to have sex with the fermenter. Or co2 can get out around the lid of the bucket or the bung...it doesn't matter how the co2 gets out, just that it is.

And bubbles don't coordinate with anything concrete within the fermenter either, "x bubbles/y minute" does NOT TRANSLATE to any numerical change in gravity....if an instruction says do something when bubbles do something per something, throw the instructions out.

Fermentation is not always dynamic, just because you can't see what's going on, doesn't mean nothing is going on. And just because your airlock starts up, and then slows down or stops in a few days, doesn't mean fermentation is over YET, it just means the excess co2 is not coming out of the airlock...not that the yeast is done.

The only way to know how your beer is doing is to take a hydrometer reading, if you're worried. But not until 72 hours have gone by. Then if you're still concerned, take one...then you'll know.

But don't try to discern what the yeast is doing by what the airlock is or isn't doing. All it is is a cheap piece of plastic, not a calibrated gauge of anything.

So I'm going to ask you, how do you KNOW fermentation has stopped, have you taken a CURRENT GRAVITY reading? If the answer is "no" then you don't KNOW if fermentation has or hasn't stopped.

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:57 PM   #4
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errr thanks for the input man, thanks so much for drilling it into me to me like i'm a retard too, i really appreciate it seeing as how i'm still new to it

But another thing i was curious about was my OG reading. i normally just catch some wort as i pour it into primary when its around 70 degrees. this time however it had quite a lot of sediment in it. In fact, there was lots of big chunks of sediment floating around as i was getting it up to boiling temp. I've never seen that before, I dont know what this is, but there was lots of sediment floating around in the hydrometer when i took the OG. Does lots of sediment give an inaccurate OG reading?

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #5
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Revvy wasn't trying to be condescending, that was a carefully crafted response based on hundreds of identical threads addressing the same issue... just all bundled in to one response, instead of several back and forth debates on, "What does it all mean???"

Chunkies won't affect your reading, temperature of the wort will, as will any bubbles stuck to the hydrometer. Also, apparently a hydrometer that has gone through a shock and dislodged the paper inside will give you a wacky reading. Easy to check in distilled water. But I digress.

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferym09 View Post
But another thing i was curious about was my OG reading. i normally just catch some wort as i pour it into primary when its around 70 degrees. this time however it had quite a lot of sediment in it. In fact, there was lots of big chunks of sediment floating around as i was getting it up to boiling temp. I've never seen that before, I dont know what this is, but there was lots of sediment floating around in the hydrometer when i took the OG. Does lots of sediment give an inaccurate OG reading?
If your OG was off, it wasn't because of chunks, it was more than likely because it was top off batch, an explanation can be found in this thread, which is another carefully crafted answer based on the fact that it gets asked 20-30 times a day on here. And just like answer above which I have posted at least 20 times today, I spent a good hour or so trying to be as thorough as possible, since my aim is to help new brewers out by being as detailed as possible, since that's how I like to learn. By getting as much clearly detailed information as possible.

Thanks Brewsit!!! I try...
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:37 AM   #7
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If you have a clear vessels simply look to see if it is cloudy and showing signs of activity.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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k all is forgiven then Revvy. thanks a lot!

I thought the chunkies were hot trub now that i read about it a bit. it was mostly the copious amount of it swirling around my brew kettle as i was getting it up to boiling. i had never encountered that before and apparently it is not good (according to some threads) by the time i looked it up then went back to the kettle, it was gone though

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