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Old 12-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default LONG fermentation

Boil day 11.28; extract reciipe from BB for American Cream ale. OG 1.05. Late start to begin fermenting, day 3. But now day 14 and still bubbles, albeit slow. But fast enough to see visilbe rise in the airlock. Room temp 58-66 on spot checks.
If its truly fermentation, that's great. I'm patient. But in all my batches (10-12) it has always finished within a few days.
Thoughts?

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're equating airlock bubbles with being a fermentation gauge, and not going by gravity, so you really don't know what's going on.

How do you know if it's fermenting rather than the airlock just bubbling? An airlock is a vent, it's NOT a fermentation gauge.

It could just as easily be bubbling or stop bubbling for that matter, due to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, or whether or not the cat or vacuum cleaner bumped into it, as it could be to because it's still fermenting.

Activity, action, bubbles, even krausen can be affected by the envoironment just as much as it being caused by the yeast...so going by that is NOT reliable.

If you want to know what's going on with your beer, then take a gravity reading. The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Counting bubbles does not equate to anything usable in fermentation. It's not like "x bubbles/minute= y gravity points." It just means that co2 is being released....but it could also NOT be bubbling, and still fermenting away.

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
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Revvy to the rescue!

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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You're right Revvy, any surgeon worth having would never have room on his/her schedule to operate the next morning. I know my practice is booked out many weeks. And I think even with an MRI I would suspect foul play since an echo cardiogram and heart cath would be better indicators of the need for a thoracotomy. Thanks for the insight.
I choose not to expose my beer to possible contamination yet by using my thief. I have a room thermometer sitting next to the bucket, plus I never see regurgitation of the airlock. It is always raised. If I express air with gentle pressure on the lid, then minutes later it is again raised. Early morning chill or evening warmth, same thing. So fermentation, contamination, or something is continually creating gas. Perhaps CO2, maybe methane. I haven't checked that either. I appreciate the education you offer. I did not, however, assume it was fermentation. I stated "if" it was then OK. I was looking for insight on what else may produce gas inside my fermenter. I am sure it is not the cat or vacuum cleaner and unless I am in a vortex of ever decreasing pressure then something or somehow there is gas being produced in the fermenter. So anyone that has experienced 2 weeks of "bubbling" in their air lock using the novice method of extract brewing please let me know if it ended up being a problem. Just wanting to hear from experience. Thanks Revvy, and all.

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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O snap...

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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I've had airlock bubbling for weeks after. All it is is a sign of co2. I also don't use my hydrometer to find out when fermentation is done. I just give it a good long time- usually 4 weeks. By then, I feel OK assuming fermentation is done.

Short answer- bubbling is no problem.
Hydrometer is the only way to know if fermentation is done.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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+1 to Revvy's post, but out of pure curiosity, what strain did you use?

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Old 12-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Nottingham Ale yeast. Rehydrated several hours before pitching. Pitched a little warm, 82F. Thanks for the intelligent question.

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Well I too have been having lots of bubbles out of my air lock. I ferment in carboys and had a blow off tube to my cream ale for four days. Put a airlock on it and it almost plugged the airlock. it looked like it was done blowing off but i guess not. Put air lock on it on the 7th day. its been 11 days and its still releasing bubbles. I used american ale yeast that i made a 1l starter for it. My fermentation is at 67deg. and day 12 is tomorrow. I will be doing a hydrometer test tomorrow or maybe even later tonight.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrobertson View Post
You're right Revvy, any surgeon worth having would never have room on his/her schedule to operate the next morning. I know my practice is booked out many weeks. And I think even with an MRI I would suspect foul play since an echo cardiogram and heart cath would be better indicators of the need for a thoracotomy. Thanks for the insight.
I choose not to expose my beer to possible contamination yet by using my thief. I have a room thermometer sitting next to the bucket, plus I never see regurgitation of the airlock. It is always raised. If I express air with gentle pressure on the lid, then minutes later it is again raised. Early morning chill or evening warmth, same thing. So fermentation, contamination, or something is continually creating gas. Perhaps CO2, maybe methane. I haven't checked that either. I appreciate the education you offer. I did not, however, assume it was fermentation. I stated "if" it was then OK. I was looking for insight on what else may produce gas inside my fermenter. I am sure it is not the cat or vacuum cleaner and unless I am in a vortex of ever decreasing pressure then something or somehow there is gas being produced in the fermenter. So anyone that has experienced 2 weeks of "bubbling" in their air lock using the novice method of extract brewing please let me know if it ended up being a problem. Just wanting to hear from experience. Thanks Revvy, and all.
If you search the forums you will see why Revvy says this. A question like yours comes up several times a week or so at least, and it gets kind of repetitive. Revvy was trying to help and you came back with an attitude and tried to impress everyone with your medical practice reference. If you are indeed a physician I sure wouldn't refer anyone to a practitioner with this degree of rudeness.
Meanwhile, I hope you get some more advice, or at least peace of mind about your batch.
Cheers.
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