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Old 03-22-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
CrescentHorizons
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Default How Much Longer In Primary

I brewed a Honey Kolsch two weeks ago. Still today I am getting about two bubbles per minute from the airlock. How much longer will it need to remain in the primary? I've never had a brew with this much activity and for this long of a time.

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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In general, you should let it go 3-4 weeks. But the only way to tell is to take a hydro reading. maybe if you describe more about your process it would give a better sense. All grain or extract? how much honey? ferm temp? yeast type? mash temp (if all grain), did you aerate/oxygenate?

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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It may very well be just some excess off-gasing. The only way to tell if it is done is to use a hydrometer. Take a reading wait 2 days, take another reading and if the readings are the same.... it is time. Bottling prior to complete fermentation can lead to bottle bombs.
What temperature are you fermenting at?

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Old 03-23-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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It was a extract kit from Northern Brewer. It used only 1 lb of honey. The fermenting temp has been 70 degrees. The strange thing was in the first 2 days of active fermentation the airlock was insane. It was blowing the water out of the airlock. From the beginning this brew has acted abnormal. Most of my brews have become fairly inactive after 72 hours and the foam caps drops. This one has been active for 2 weeks. I will take a dydrometer reading.

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Old 03-23-2011, 01:43 AM   #5
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IMO, if you want the best kolsch and you have no way to cold crash it. I would leave it for at minimum 2 more weeks. Though with kolsch yeast its something of a poor flocculator and will need 1.5-2 months to clear at room temps without any finings. If you want to risk oxidation and/or infection you can transfer to secondary right now. Over the 3 years I've been brewing I've found the best thing for my beer is to leave it the hell alone. As hard as that maybe sometimes, your beer and your palate will thank you.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Explain to me more about cold crashing. Is that what I should do or just leave it alone for another month?

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Old 03-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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Two bubbles per minute isn't that much. Your front-end fermentation was crazy because you had the temperature all the way up to 70, which is a bit high for a Kolsch yeast. You'll definitely want to let that thing sit in the low to mid 60's for a week or two before bottling it because you might have got some serious sulphur flavors from such an active fermentation. Take hydrometer samples every few days and taste them after you get a reading - if the readings are consistent over several days and the taste is right, you will know it's time to bottle.

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