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Old 02-20-2013, 02:18 AM   #1
XxCaseyBrewxX
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Default Primary / No More Bubbles

What's up beer lovers!

I'm brewing an IPA (All Grain) and the airlock has stopped bubbling after 5 days. Isn't this pretty short for an IPA? Should I give it a day and then dump the yeast? It was bubbling this morning...

OG: 1.058
6 Gallons
2 vials of White Labs California Ale

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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What's the gravity?

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:49 AM   #3
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OG: 1.058
FG: 1.014

The hydrometer tube is super murky, similar to pudding (haha), but it smells beautiful. Should I take another reading tomorrow to see what it says? And any suggestions on how to reduce all that trub? I destroyed my whirlpool so I anticipated this...

image-73625013.jpg

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Old 02-20-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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You can cold crash it to get it clear, or use finings.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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What temp are you fermenting at? A 5-day fermentation wouldn't be unusual, but it would indicate that you are fermenting too warm.

HOWEVER, just because it isn't bubbling doesn't mean there are not critical processes going on. The last 10-15% or so of active fermentation has little physical activity at all. Also, even after you do hit FG, the yeast will start to eat their byproducts if you give them enough time, which leads to a cleaner, better beer.

Almost all ale fermentations should be in the primary for at least 2-3 weeks.

Don't be in a hurry. Most ales don't reach their peak until a good 2-3 months from brewday, so take your time with all of the stages and be patient and you'll be rewarded with better beer. Rush it, and it's going to be young, subpar beer.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it's a vent for EXCESS co2, once fermentation begins to slow down, then excess co2 isn't being produced, and therefore bubbling will slow down or cease....it doesn't mean that fermentation is or isn't happening, just hat the silly airlock isn't bubbling.

You know enough to take gravity readings, ignore what your airlock does or doesn't do. 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.

Relax, leave your beer alone and let it do it's thing for a couple more weeks, and most importantly, IGNORE what your airlock does or doesn't do.

In fact you might find this discussion on the superfluousness of airlocks something that will help you get a handle on this. It was started by a newer brewing who just grasped this concept.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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I have been fermenting around 68-70 degrees, but I did notice that there was a temp increase to around 71-72. This was for only a day though...

In the primary for 2-3 weeks, huh? Wouldn't the yeast start to produce off flavors at that point?

Thanks guys!Just raising another question to gain a better understanding!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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No off flavors.

Google search for the HBT thread "To Secondary or Not to Secondary." (Or something like that.)

It's talked about on this forum repeatedly and exhaustively.

Consensus appears to be that you're okay leaving in primary for several to many months. Moving to secondary poses increased risk of infection. Use secondary for fruit additions. Some use secondary for dry hop, many don't.

But definitely don't feel the to move to secondary just because recipe or book or brewstore says to.

And there are benefits to leaving in primary for at least a couple of weeks, as after ferment is done, the yeast apparently do clean up duty.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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Based on your picture you should give the beer another week as while it may or may not still be fermenting, it certainly has not even begun to clear!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
In the primary for 2-3 weeks, huh? Wouldn't the yeast start to produce off flavors at that point?
No. The major off flavors are generally produced by the yeast, and it usually has to do with the metabolism of the yeast being stressed by the speed at which they try to consume sugars at higher temperatures.

Most standard ales can be left in primary for more like 2-3 months without any adverse affects to the beer. 2-3 weeks is really the standard for a primary fermentation for typical ales for experienced brewers.

Visible fermentation typically takes about 2-3 days. After that, the last 10-15% of fermentation that doesn't "bubble the airlock" takes another day or two.

Following active fermentation, the yeast will start to eat their own byproducts and other dead yeast cells, cleaning up the beer and resulting in a better overall product. That process takes about another 2-3 days.

After that process, the beer effectively starts to bulk age, starting chemical processes that also clean up the beer and lend to an overall better final product.

If you are not leaving the beer in primary for a good 2-3 weeks, you are really rushing it and likely not realizing that the beer you are drinking in the final product are subpar compared to a properly aged beer.

2-3 weeks primary.
2-3 weeks bottle/keg carb conditioning
2-3 days at serving temps before serving if you bottle

Those are about the minimums for average ABV ales to end up with a properly conditioned beer.

In general, the slower you keep the fermentation processes, without stopping it altogether, the cleaner and better the beer turns out. Patience is at a premium in the process!
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Primary #1 - EMPTY!
Primary #2 - Cherry Wood Smoked Tart Cherry Cider
Primary #3 - EMPTY!
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown
Keg #1 - Blackberry Berliner Weisse
Keg #2 - Baltic Porter (lagering in keg)
Keg #3 - Berliner Weisse
Bottled - NONE!

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