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Old 11-25-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
david58
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Default Steam Beer Still Going Strong after Two Weeks

Brewed my steam beer 19 days ago, and the fermentation is still going strong - probably a big bubble in the blowoff bottle about every 15 seconds. The first week was crazy - almost constant bubbling, pretty fun to watch. Used White Labs CA Lager yeast, and the fermentation temp has been about 64 or a bit less for the two weeks.

OG was about 1.050. I have not measured since the OG as the fermentation is still so active. I have read of award-winning steam beers that used only a 14 day primary and then on to bottle, to folks going weeks with a pseudo lagering process. But I am kind of mystified as to what to expect with this fermentation - should I just rdwhahb till activity drops, or put it in the garage to cool it (40's), or ?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 11-25-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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You could take a gravity reading and find out what is REALLY going on. You really don't know that your steam beer is still going, all you know is that you are getting a bubble every 15 second seconds. That doesn't necessarily mean it is still fermenting, just that it is still bubbling, and that's NOT necessarily the same thing as fermenting.

If you go by airlocks and bubbles, all you know is the "what" not the "why." You could be at terminal gravity, and have been for a week, and all it is doing is releasing co from the trub, or it could still be fermenting.

The grav reading will tell you where on the journey from Original gravity to terminal gravity, your beer really is.

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Old 11-25-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Revvy, should I take it that you like measuring gravity?

Will measure tonite or tomorrow - same time as I measure the sg on the burping stout in the secondary we discussed a coupla weeks ago.

Thanks!

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Old 11-25-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david58 View Post
Revvy, should I take it that you like measuring gravity?


Thanks!
I don't like or dislike measuring gravity. It just is the ONLY way to know what's going on. Everything else is just a guess.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. To keep your beer off your ceiling. Nothing more.

The only answer that is accurate or consistant, are the numbers on the little stick. I have had every airlock bubbling/non bubbling/slow bubbling/fast bubbling/little krausen/big krausen/slow forming krausen/krausen staying 3 weeks after the hydro showed terminal gravity scenario imaginable in nearly 1,000 gallons of beer, and none of that stuff is as sccurate as 30 seconds with a hydrometer.

NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

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....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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Fermentation lock still going nuts, but now have a gravity of about 1.015. SG was 1.052. Am going to let it sit for a few more days, confirm the measurement, and then set the carboy out in the garage to clear at about 40 degrees for a week or two, and then will bottle when its right at a month old. Even young and green, this one is going to be tasty based on the swig from the sample for gravity today.

Revvy, I is a believer!

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