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Old 06-22-2011, 01:25 AM   #1
kenpotf
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Default Took a gravity reading

I took a gravity reading and it read 1.014 (close to 1.012). The SG of the recipe that I have is between 1.042 and 1.046. According to the FG of the recipe it should reach between 1.010 - 1.012.

I took this reading from my primary. The airlock WAS active before I took the reading, but after I put the lid back on the airlock hasn't been active for over an hour. Could I somehow have killed it, or does it seem fairly close to the above? I tasted the beer and it tastes like beer albeit a bit tangy without the carbonation.

Thanks!

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Old 06-22-2011, 01:30 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about being .002 off your target gravity. It's likely that any airlock activity at that point was due to you moving the bucket around to get the lid off/take the gravity. You released the C02 that was in the fermentor when you removed the top, so it makes sense that you aren't seeing any activity anymore.
It will be beer, so RDWHAH!

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Old 06-22-2011, 01:31 AM   #3
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It stopped because when you opened it you released the pent up co2, so now it doesn't need to VENT. An airlock is just a valve, a vent to release excess co2, it's not a magic fermentation gauge.

Stopping or starting airlocks DO NOT mean fermentation has started or stopped, just that the airlock has.

Your gravity reading proved you had fermentation.

When you start thinking in terms of the real purpose of an airlock, as a vent it's not too hard to fathom why bubble or they don't, why the start and stop for reasons other than fermentation.

The cat can brush against your fermenter and cause the airlock to stop or start bubbling, changes in temp or atmosphere can cause an airlock to start or stop bubbling, but that doesn't mean the beer is or is not fermenting (that's why a hydrometer is the only true way to know what's going on. You could also have kicked up the yeast which kisktarted fermentation, but how can you distinguish the why, just by looking at bubbling?)

You can nudge the fermenter and a bunch of co2 that was trapped in the trub at the bottom of the fermenter can decide to break the surface and change the amount in the headspace, as as can opening the lid like you did.

When you're dealing with a volume of gas in a set space (the head space) with a vent on top, sometimes it's going to release the gas....or it's not. It's going to do it because of fermentation, or because of agitation.....Gas expands, it contracts, it moves...it's fluid, and it has a way out if it needs it.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, 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).

Step away from the fermenter, everything is fine.

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Old 06-22-2011, 01:40 AM   #4
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I appreciate the response. This is my first batch and I'm just hoping that everything goes right and that I get drinkable beer out of it.

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Old 06-22-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
I appreciate the response. This is my first batch and I'm just hoping that everything goes right and that I get drinkable beer out of it.
Everything will go right. It's really hard to screw this brewing stuff up, despite your noobish nerves.

Left alone to their own volition, the yeast will do what you ask of it, it will eat sugar, pee alcohol and fart co2. We just have to get out of the way, provide them with a clean sanitary factory and plenty of materials to do their job.

Read these stories and relax http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what-some-mistakes-you-made-where-your-beer-still-turned-out-great-96780/

You'll see just how resilient your beer really is.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:16 AM   #6
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Thanks Revvy!

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